Coping with marital violence, a longitudinal study of women who sought help from a refuge

Scope and Content

The papers are stored in two archival boxes. Box one contains two folders of contextual material and metadata, a card index of interview quotations sorted by topic and six ring binder folders containing completed questionnaires and a research diary. Box two contains five ring binder folders containing the remaining completed questionnaires and transcriptions of interviews with refuge founders.

Administrative / Biographical History

The aim of this study was to investigate the problems faced by women who had to leave home because of violence; the helpfulness of the individuals and agencies to which they turned for assistance; and, in particular, the usefulness of the refuge as a response to the problems of battered women. The study investigated the women's perception of their problems, and their own evaluation of any 'solutions' they had been offered by their family and friends, by agencies such as the social services, the police and the medical profession, and by the refuge and those who lived and worked there. It also looked at the changing institutional structure of the refuge, and evaluated the extent to which the self-help principle seemed relevant to the needs of the women. An attempt was made to assess the value to each woman of her stay at the refuge as a resource to help her cope with her difficulties. The women's domestic situation before, during and after their stay was also considered as were the constraints which structured their decisions about the future.

Access Information

By written application to either the Librarian or Deputy Librarian. A letter of introduction may be required and prospective users will be obliged to sign an undertaking outlining the terms and conditions of access to the research materials.


Entry compiled by John Southall of Qualidata, UK Data Archive, University of Essex using entries from the NSPSCA information pack and Qualidata's online catalogue.

Record entered by Nadeem Ahmad of Qualidata, UK Data Archive, University of Essex.

Other Finding Aids

A collection level record for all paper based materials in the data collection is available via Qualidata's online catalogue, Qualicat.

Conditions Governing Use

No part of the NSPSCA collections may be reproduced, published, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Albert Sloman Library. This may be obtained by application to the Librarian or Deputy Librarian.


The materials held in the collection contain personal and identifying information. It is essential that the privacy of all respondents is not infringed. No real names or any other identifiable information used in the studies may appear in public. No attempt may be made to contact respondents directly. Use of the materials to derive information relating specifically to an identified individual or to claim to have done so is prohibited.

Appraisal Information

In consultation with academic colleagues, the library special collections acquisitions staff evaluate collections by assessing their relevance to the teaching and research interests of the University.

Custodial History

The collection was acquired and prepared for archiving by Qualidata in 1996 and deposited in the NSPSCA.


Additional material is not expected

Related Material

Quantitative data arising from the survey are deposited at the UK Data Archive.

Location of Originals

National Social Policy and Social Change Archive (NSPSCA), Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex


Pahl, J. (1978) 'A Refuge for Battered Women' (London: HMSO) Pahl, J., 'The general practitioner and the problems of battered women' (Journal of Medical Ethics, 1979; 5:3, pp. 117 - 123) Pahl, J. (1985) 'Private Violence and Public Policy' (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul) Pahl, J., 'Health professionals and violence against women' in Kingston, P. and Penhole, B. (1995) 'Family Violence and the Caring Professions' (Milton Keynes: Open University Press)


Personal Names