Bringing visibility to intimate partner violence service providers: A qualitative study on vicarious resilience

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Velut, Delphine
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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This paper results from a qualitative study examining the professional environment of intimate partner violence (IPV) service providers and how the disclosures of violent acts can in return affect those helping professionals. A thematic analysis was used to explore the types of training received, the frequency of external supervision, self-care strategies, views on the new concept of vicarious resilience, and how meaning in life occurs in the context of IPV. From the data collection to the thematic analysis process, 5 main themes: Sociocultural context; Are we helping the helpers?; Empathetic engagement; Coping on 2 levels; Personal changes from professional challenges; were created with 3 sub-themes. Findings indicate that daily exposure to the resilience of women victimised by intimate terrorism altered the life perspective and sustained IPV service providers in their challenging yet rewarding work. The impact of this study and recommendations for future research are further discussed.