"Some days I don't know how I got through it, but I did": The Experience of Resilience in Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence
Little is known about what factors contribute to resilience or how resilience is experienced by survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). Using in-depth semi-structured interviews, two qualitative studies examined how resilience is defined, conceptualized, and experienced by survivors of IPV. Ten adult women participated in study 1 and data was analyzed using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) to identify a variety of internal and external factors and mechanisms that contributed to resilience. Sixteen adult women participated in study 2 and data was analyzed using Colaizzi’s (1978) phenomenological method. Resilience was experienced as a series of cognitive, emotional, and behavioural shifts across three theme areas: toward resistance, in the experience of control, and toward positivity. Together, these studies suggest that for survivors of IPV, resilience is experienced as a personalized, ongoing, and dynamic process involving multiple internal and external pathways that facilitate shift experiences.