Date of Award

Spring 1988

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Elizabeth Morrissey

Committee Member

Janet Katz

Committee Member

James A. Nolan

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62M55


This paper is an examination of some of the factors involved in battered women's decision to leave their partners. A review of past literature on battering, suggests factors that account for the women's decision: 1. the more financially dependent (whether actual or perceived) the battered woman is on the batterer, the more likely the woman will stay in the violent relationship regardless of the shelter services offered; 2. women with a teenage child or children will be more likely to leave the violent relationship than women without teenage children; 3 . women who were abused as children will be more likely to stay in the violent relationship as adults; 4. women who enter shelters that have all the programs they feel are necessary in order to allow them to successfully become independent will have a higher "success" rate than women who enter shelters that do not have programs that they feel are needed for their individual success. Actual financial dependence was the most significant factor relevant to the women's decision. It is concluded that more research is needed to thoroughly examine these factors.


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