Trauma, power, and intimate relationships among women in prison
McCauley, H. L., Richie, F., Hughes, S., Johnson, J. E., Zlotnick, C., Rosen, R. K., Wechsberg, W. M., & Kuo, C. C. (2020). Trauma, power, and intimate relationships among women in prison. Violence Against Women, 26(6-7), 659-674. Article 1077801219842948. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801219842948
The present study, which included four focus groups of women ( n = 21) in four New England prisons, aimed to understand how power impacted women's relationships, exposure to violence, and health. Women described power in three ways: (a) power as control over their sexuality and their sexual partners, (b) power emerging from emotional strength, and (c) power referring to a process of empowerment. Women's perceptions and experiences of power were informed by their trauma histories and influenced their sexual behavior and health. Our findings provide a framework for considering incarcerated women's experiences of power in trauma-informed interventions for this marginalized population.