Article written by 2010 DPDF After Secularization: New Approaches to Religion and Modernity Fellow Annie Hardison-Moody, featured in Practical Matters, Issue 3:
Through an examination of one woman’s narrative of intimate partner violence, this article argues for an understanding of healing as an emerging process in the lives of women affected by violence. As such, the author argues that there is a pressing need (in both theology and practice) to hear all of women’s stories as they work through their experiences of violence and abuse, including women’s ambivalent feelings about returning to an abusive partner. Grounded in an ethnographic study at a homeless shelter in Atlanta, this article encourages theologians and practitioners to examine the ways that narratives of violence are heard and silenced in women’s search for healing. The author posits that the effects of violence on a life necessitates a reconceptualization of what it means to be a subject, what it means to tell a story, what it means to heal, and the role of God in bringing these things to bear.