Department of Family Therapy Dissertations and Applied Clinical Projects

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Family Therapy


Christine A. Beliard

Committee Member

Christopher Burnett

Committee Member

Anne H. Rambo


Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a huge epidemic in Haiti. It is estimated that 273,200 women suffer from instances of IPV yearly in Haiti. This is in line with the finding that 9.4% of the population of 14-49 year old Haitian women are affected by IPV (Gage, Honoré, & Deleon, 2016; Hindin, Kishor, & Ansara, 2008). It is critical to incorporate the voices of courageous women who have lived through partner violence into our understanding of this phenomenon. This qualitative study aimed to hear the VWA (Voice in Creole) of women in Haiti based on their lived experiences of IPV as well as to give rich description of the meanings they ascribed to those experiences. This researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with seven women in Haiti who survived IPV.

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyze the data gathered from the seven participants. From this data, five major superordinate themes emerged: Identity of self, Courage, Lack of protection, Vulnerable self, and Resilient self. The emergent subordinate themes were as follows: Meaning of IPV, Survival, Society’s framing of women, and The desire to live. Using IPA through a Narrative Therapy lens elicited a rich descriptive understanding of the participants’ experiences, as well as the meanings they attached to their experiences. The findings of this study contributed greatly to the existing literature of IPV, particularity to the limited research available for women residing in Haiti.