The previous section detailed the methods used in creating the case studies that form the backbone of this book. The following section includes the case studies. Each case study begins with a brief socio-demographic profile of the women and their partners. Each case then describes the pre-migration history of the couple, settlement experiences, a detailed description of the domestic violence, and the final resolution of the case.
Although all of the identifying information has been changed (names, cities of origin, current place of residence), some details were maintained to help shape some of the stories. Details like the immigration status, the kinds of jobs that each spouse had, the number and ages of children, the presence or absence of family members and the cultural background are helpful to understanding the circumstances of each of the cases.
Reading the Case Studies
These case studies are based on real cases and one thing that we learned as a research team is that when you know that a case is based on a real life situation, it can be impactful. We are all seasoned practitioners who have worked in various roles in the Social Service and Criminal Justice system, but there were times when working on this project when we needed to take a break and acknowledge that it was difficult to read about the experiences of violence that so many women had gone through.
Our recommendation to readers as you begin to read these case studies, is to pace yourself. Read one or two cases at a time and use the questions that we have included, to think about the cases. Each of the stories represents experiences of violence and the results were not always a ‘happy’ ending. If there was a good ending, it was because each of the women received support and was able to move forward. The women who agreed to share their stories did so, because they wanted their stories help other women. That is the purpose of these case studies: to support your learning. More importantly, what can we learn from each of these cases, how will that learning shape our practices and support services differently to enable us to meet the needs of all women who need support?
If you are reading through these cases and feel triggered by reading one of the cases – because of a past personal or past professional experience, we encourage you to seek support. Violence is an issue that impacts all of us, it is pervasive in the world around us, and unfortunately, it has often played a role in our lives. It can isolate us and make us feel like we are alone. However, violence loses its power when people are willing to reach out for support and are willing to tell their stories. When we share the impact of violence with someone else, we begin to feel less alone.