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Getting Out
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Thinking Through the Heart Part I. The Privileged Are Not Exempt... Women from every social class are battered even those from moneyed, educated, and politically powerful families. 1. Jan: This descendant of pre-Depression Michigan farm real estate money with a doctorate herself, escaped an abusive marriage to a man ambitious beyond his intellect. 2. Netiva: This Israeli-born woman married a Jewish-American tourist and relocated to live with him in the United States. Her friendship network was critical to her escape from abuse. Part II... Nor Are Children Battering knows no age boundaries; girls can fall prey to it. 3. Kimberly: This woman entered her first abusive relationship at age twelve and her abusive marriage during her senior year of high school. Her story links obesity to abuse. 4. Jessica: This is the story of a high school homecoming queen who was battered most of her high school career by the school star athlete. Part III. A Two-Timing Batterer Men batter the women in their lives differently. This section highlights that reality with the case of a man who concurrently battered his wife and his extramarital lover. 5. Rebecca: This Plains Indian woman was battered by her Euroamerican husband. With the divorce she lost custody of her children. 6. Emily: This story captures the essence of the "Southern Belle" mentality where gendered relationships are concerned. This woman endured premarital marital, and extramarital abuse. Part IV. Family and Friends to the Rescue Battered women can be liberated by family and friends who support and do not blame them. 7. Lee: The wisdom and patience of this woman's parents freed her from her abusive outlaw militia husband. 8. Annette: This young Hispanic woman escaped her abuser with the help of her foster family. Part V. Faces of Shelter Life Women's shelters are structured and work in different ways to assist escape. 9. Sharon: This is the story of a woman who decidedly broke the traditional edict of silence that shackles abused Black women. Her shelter experience is typical. 10. Gretchen: An underground shelter system protects this lesbian woman and her four children who remain on the run from state to state from their abuser. Part VI. When the System Works Sociopolitical structures other than shelters informal as well as formal, can help battered women leave. 11. Raquelle: This is the tale of a Mormon woman abused by a professional athlete. The case and its jury trial drew national media attention. Colorado's mandatory reporting and arrest laws helped liberate her from abuse. 12. Lucretia: This woman's life demonstrates the intersection of class race, homosexuality, and abuse. A shelter, in conjunction with food stamps, welfare, and transitional housing programs, allower her and her children to escape. 13. Colette: This woman's story includes devastating loss: a mother's suicide and a young daughter's death by accident. Her tiny community mobilized an informal network of donated services to help her leave her abuser. Part VII. Legacies of Loss and Death These are stories of women who escaped battering but at significant personal expense or with great loss. 14. Blanca: This Puerto Rican-American woman relinquished custody of her child in order to escape her Vietnam veteran husband. 15. Judy: As a final gesture of control the husband of this "preacher's kid" hanged himself where she was certain to discover his remains. 16. Freda: This is the story of a homeless African-American mother of five who contracted HIV from her abuser. Afterword: A Message for Battered Women

Promotional Information

The stories of the women in this book are a powerful wake up call for getting rid of society's stereotype of the abused woman. Here we see, once and for all, that we are all at risk, and that getting out is not as easy as everyone thinks. -- Marian Betancourt, author of What to Do When Love Turns Violent: A Practical Resource for Women in Abusive Relationships This collection of personal narratives gives powerful proof to the situations women encounter in abusive relationships. -- Lisa Weissenbuehler, PLA, "Outstanding" Rated Titles from University Press Books: Selected for Public and Secondary School Libraries Getting Out is at once personal and sociologically rich: it chronicles a great variety of women's struggles to gain freedom, yet it also reminds us eloquently of the still pernicious reality of women's battering. A great teaching tool. -- Sarah Fenstermaker, University of California, Santa Barbara These riveting stories, narrated by women who have made new lives for themselves after years of abuse, reveal the often lengthy and frustrating process they undertook of breaking the bonds of abuse wielded by their batterers. I strongly recommend that women seeking the insight, strength, and courage to leave abusive partners read this book, as should domestic violence experts, judges, attorneys, and caseworkers. -- Eileen King, editor of One Voice: The National Alliance for Abuse Awareness A fascinating and compassionate journey into the lives of women who 'get out'of violent relationships. It gives lasting meaning to the view that violence against women is a men's issue. We need more books like this! -- James W. Messerschmidt, author of Masculinities and Crime This collection of women's narratives uniquely and dramatically captures the wide range of ways that their abusive lovers ensnared them. By presenting each woman's entire story, Goetting enables the reader to sympathetically understand not only their terrible ordeals, but the enormous courage and support that enabled them to escape, though often at great price. -- Joan Zorza, editor of Domestic Violence Report

About the Author

Ann Goetting is professor of sociology at Western Kentucky University. She is the author of Homicide in Families and Other Special Populations and coeditor, with Sarah Fenstermaker, of Individual Voices, Collective Visions: Fifty Years of Women in Sociology.

Reviews

Getting Out offers new insight into how women victimized in abusive relationships can successfully exit these tumultuous environments. Goetting presents qualitative data derived from interviews with several women who survived abusive relationships. As one reads these stories, there is no doubt that the author remains true to the integrity of these women's lives. She presents their highs and lows, their tragedies and victories, with attention to detail and a feminist lens through which to understand the context of each woman's experience...Goetting showcases the women's stories in a purposeful manner...Perhaps the most practical feature of this book is the ease with which it can be read. As with most qualitative research, the product feels like a novel based in truth. Students would most likely respond favorably to such a required reading. I would recommend this book as an addition to a monograph reading list for an upper-level course that focuses on violence in families and intimate relationships. Goetting has done a great service to the discipline by providing a window into these women's lives through which we can all learn a great deal.

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