Three: Challenges of researching gendered violence

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This chapter is focused on the challenges of researching gendered violence. Here, the chapter presents the empirical foundation and design of a large-scale national study conducted across Australia; which included a major survey, in-depth interviews, and constructed life histories. This chapter also considers some of the challenges faced when conducting and participating in gendered violence research in the context of the politics of ignorance and sexual politics. Given the risks that can flow from participating in and conducting research into gendered violence, it was particularly vital that the study was tightly conceptualised and methodologically sound, so that the benefits of participation by contributing to the development of new knowledge clearly outweighed any risks. The research study outlined here aimed to reveal the breadth and interconnected nature of the impact of intimate partner violence on women’s citizenship as part of challenging wilful ignorance about violence and its relationship to gender inequality. As such, this research was an inherently political project that involved balancing a number of key considerations.

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