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THE PSYCHOLOGICAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

PORTRAYED IN EIGHT SELECTED READERS


DIGEST SHORT STORIES

JUVIE B. DUTERTE

A THESIS PROPOSAL PRESENTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF


LANGUAGES AND LITERATURE, CENTRAL MINDANAO UNIVERSITY,
UNIVERSITY TOWN, MUSUAN, MARAMAG, BUKIDNON

A PARTIAL FULFILLMENT FOR THE REQUIREMENT


OF ENGLISH 100(UNDERGRADUATE THESIS)

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH


AUGUST 201
INTRODUCTION

Violence against women is a basic abuse of human rights. Much study has been done and
articles have been written about prevalence of Violence against Women as a form of gender
based violence. It is often described as an increasingly phenomenon worldwide with enormous

impact on the life of victims, their families and society. Overwhelmingly, women rather than men
are the major victims of violence and that is why the researchers speak specifically about the
psychological impact of violence against women. In this study the researcher will discuss the
psychological impact of Violence against Women in their lives. Setting limits to this abuse of
human rights is not only a political act and statement. Understanding the psychological impact is
of big importance in finding effective ways for support victims and societies. Knowing how to
recognize signals and hidden suffering are essential for a multidisciplinary intervention in
reducing and ultimately eradicating its incidence.
The definition of violence against women according to WHO (2000) encompasses
manifestations of physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family and in the
general community, including battering, sexual abuse of children, dowry-related violence, rape,
female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence
and violence related to exploitation, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational
institutions and elsewhere, trafficking in women, forced prostitution, and violence perpetrated or
condoned by the state.
In addition to the physical injuries, abused women suffer from health and psychological
problems: Abused women experience a range of feelings related to the violence from confusion
about what brings on the violence to feelings of hopelessness about the possibility of stopping
the violence, to feelings of isolation and depression from being under the violent control of their
husbands. Sometimes women consider suicide as an option to escape violence (Voices of the
Poor, World Bank, 2000). This study was conducted due to the researchers desire to explore the
psychological impact against women as they are portrayed in readers digest short stories. This
will give relevant information about womens roles in the present society.
On one hand, it is important to have a background of women in eastern societies because
the setting for the selected short stories is in other countries Asia. Besides that there were already
studies conducted on the violence concerning women, the researcher has not found studies
regarding psychological impact of violence against women using readers digest selected short
stories. Since these studies are from the most read magazine in Asia then typically this would be
more appealing to any, given that many can relate into it.

The study of womens literature is important and useful because it gives us the
opportunity to think critically about gender, sexuality, literary history, criticism and cultural
studies and explores the human experience historically, which leads to reflection and insight and
places current events into a larger historical context. Thus, this study is somehow guided by
feminist Approach that shows that she is a strong woman or not.
Statement of the Problem
This study aimed to determine the psychological violence against women portrayed in
eight selected readers digest short stories. Specifically, this study attempted to answer the
following questions:
1. What forms of violence against women as reflected in the short stories?
2. What the types psychological violence against women reflected in the short stories?
3. What the effects of this psychological violence against women are as reflected in the
short stories?
Objectives of the Study
This study aimed to determine the psychological violence against women portrayed in
eight selected readers digest short stories. Specifically, this study aimed:
1. To analyze women about psychological impact as reflected in the short stories.
2. To inform women about the forms of violence as reflected in the short stories.
3. To empower women about the effect of psychological impact and violence reflected
in the short stories.
Significance of the Study
The study of the psychological violence against women portrayed in eight
selected readers digest short stories will help the reader to gain more knowledge of the
psychological impact of violence against women. This will help the reader aware of the violence
that mostly hit the life of women in our society and help them inform that most of the women not

just in our country facing the circumstances about violence through readers digest survival
stories.
For the students, this study is helpful for it provides an example for informing that
women violence give great impact psychologically. Violence however preventable as a sort of
studying psychological impact and violence it could help them aware of their society.
For the students of Central Mindanao University field literature, this study could enhance
their proper evaluation of the present situation that women are experiencing this situation in the
society. In literature, women used literary works as representation of their personal experiences,
insights, concepts of themselves in the society.
For the teachers in general, the study will give them wider understanding about
psychological impact of violence because mostly teachers are women, they are part of this study
which they could help sustain their knowledge on preventing themselves against violence.
For the English majors, this study will be their reference for their further study relating to
the psychological impact and violence not just for the short stories but for the other studies that
violences are the center of their study.
For the staff, the study will help them create better study in relation with the topic by
understanding the inner part of this study and help them involved themselves. This will help
them resolve the problem and improve the better coping about this study.
For the school administrators, this study will be helpful for them to know about the
psychological impact and violence against women. This will help those established better
relationships towards women.
In the field of research, this study is significant for its yield new approach in
understanding the violence against women as part of their study. This could serve basis for those
who want to study psychological impact and violence using self-determination theory and other
related approaches.

In addition, the stories would allow the readers to compare and contrast the different
characters orientation and distinction of women studying the violence might help in providing
valuable ideas that would aid and establishing a good relationship between men and women.
This study as a foundation of enhancing their knowledge related to this study is
significant for individuals who need to involve their self in this study as part of the understanding
about women from the different people whom they interact daily.

Scope and Delimitation


This study is about the descriptive analysis of eight selected readers digest short stories.
This specifically focused on determining the psychological violence against women present in
the readers digest short stories.

The readers digest short stories used in this study are of the following;
1. To tough to die P. 55-59 by John Dyson
(Shirlie Douglas-Dufresne had confronted murderous tribesmen,
poisonous snakes and hippos on her lawn. Now she faced the most
Vicious attacker of all)
2. Hes not like me P.48-53 by Allen Abel
(Prejudice is childish. But people can change)
3. Without a trace P.105-112 by Matt Birkbeck
(Thousands of adults vanish each year. Kristen Modafferi was one of
them. You hope shes off somewhere trying to find herself. But the
circumstances indicate foul play.)
4. Murder in the cliff P.69-75 by Helen Oneill
(One woman knew the secret of Lost Dog Trail, but who would
believe her? A date for the killing was set, three weeks away. )
5. The most dangerous job on the force P. 48-55 by Peter Woolrich
(For 18 years, Detective Constable Janet Rogers has put her life on the
line as a decoy for rapist)
6. She stared down death P. 38-45 by Christopher Davis
(A quick stop at a shop to buy soft drinks turned into a 20-hour hostage
ordeal)
7. The black widow slayer P. 51-57 by Allanah Nash
(Two women, Two murderers, Two many questions)
8. A Simple idea P. 56-60 by Louise Williams
(Professor Ian Frazer that will save many women from cervical cancer,
a vaccine for cervical cancer it took Ian Frazer to make it happen).
Definition of Terms

The following words and terms are used in the study.


Psychological Violence refers to the psychological violence is the form of violence that is more

insidious. In this case, women are directly affected in their dignity. We can talk of
blackmail, threats, false accusations, isolation from friends and family. All this is done in
order to manipulate and control the victim.
Violence refers to the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual against a
person, or against a group of community that either results in or has a high likelihood of
resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal development or deprivation.
Psychological Approach is a theory created by a psychologist. This theory is applied to different
aspects of Psychology; the approach basically provides an explanation of a specific topic
from a certain point of view.
Effect refers to the physical, psychological or emotional

effects of domestic

violence

experienced by the women.


Domestic Violence refers to as "violence that occurs within the private sphere, generally
between individuals who are related through intimacy, blood or law. It may be committed
in the form of (a) physical violence; (b) psychological

and emotional violence; (c)

sexual violence; or (d) economic abuse (Panopio & Raymundo, 2004).


Readers Digest refers to the most read magazine in Asia.
Short Stories refers to the stories that consist of theme, plot, characters, event and setting.
Feminism
According to (New Lexicon Websters Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English language)
Feminism is a policy, practice or advocacy of political, economic and social equality for women.
a term that puts emphasis on the belief that existing inequalities between men and women.
Women
According to (The New Lexicon Websters Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English
language) Women is an adult female human being. The term woman is usually reserved for an
adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent. Sometimes used to

identify a female human, regardless of age and women are typically capable of giving birth,
though older women who have gone through Menopause, some intersex women, and transgender
women are not.
Formalism
is a school of literary criticism and literary theory having mainly to do with structural
purposes of a particular text.

Content Analysis
According to Dr. Farooq Joubish (1998), Content analysis is considered a scholarly
methodology in the humanities by which texts are studied as to authorship, authenticity, or
meaning. Content analysis or textual analysis is a methodology in the social sciences for
studying the content of communication.
Convenience Sampling
According to Altares (2003) Convenience sampling, is a non-random sampling technique
widely used in the selection of the readers digest short stories. This is a technique wherein the
samples are selected according to the preference of the researcher.
For this study, the researcher was guided by outlined objectives in choosing the readers
digest short stories.

Theoretical Framework
The study focuses only on the psychological violence against women portrayed in eight
selected readers digest short stories. The selection was done through convenience sampling-a
type of a non-random sampling technique where the samples were selected through the
preference of the researcher based on the objectives (Altares, 2003).

A Psychological Approach is a theory created by a psychologist. This theory is applied to


different aspects of Psychology; the approach basically provides an explanation of a specific
topic from a certain point of view. It is important to know that a Psychological Approach is not a
complete explanation of a specific topic, so a particular approach is not the 'correct' answer to a
topic it is simply applicable. Other approaches can then be applied to the topic as to see which
applies the most and is the most reliable approach for that specific topic.
Interpersonally Controlling Approaches are often used to keep individuals in line,
ostensibly in order to create a safer, more civilized society. Ironically, emerging research findings
indicate that when people feel controlled, they often respond by behaving in a less civilized,
more antisocial manner (Gagn, 2003; Knee, Neighbors, & Vietor, 2001; Mask, Blanchard,
Amiot, & Deshaies, 2005; McHoskey, 1999).
Womens studies also draw on feminist theories that primarily seek to understand and
explain womens experiences. A theoretical framework that allows us to see the diversity of
womens lives and the fundamental structures of womens lives through inequality and
opportunity (Kirk and Margo, Womens lives in multicultural perspective)
Feminism is the movement of social equality of men and women. Feminist theory aims to
understand the nature of gender inequality and focuses on gender power relation and sexuality.
Feminism is based on experiences of gender roles and relations (Baumgartner, et. al 1995).
Feminist literary criticism is the critical analysis of literary works based on the feminist
perspective. In particular, feminist literary critics tend to reject the patriarchal norms of literature
that privileges masculine ways of thinking/points of view and marginalizes women politically,
economically and psychologically. According to Paul Ady (2001) feminist critics approach
literature in a way that empowers the female point-of-view instead, typically rejecting the
patriarchal language that has dominated literature.
Literary theory (Internet Literary Philosophy) is the body of ideas and methods we use in
the practical reading of literature. By literary theory we prefer not to the meaning of a work of
literature but to the theories that reveal what literature can mean. Literary theory is a description
of the underlying principles, one might say the tools, by which we attempt to understand
literature. All literary interpretation draws on a basis in theory but can serve as a justification.

In this study it shows that feminist approaches were used to analyze the psychological
impact of violence against women in readers digest short stories.

Conceptual Framework

The Psychological Violence against


Women in
Readers Digest short stories

Feminist Approach
&
Psychological Approach

Forms of violence
against women

Types of
psychological
violence against
women

Effect of
psychological
violence against
women

Figure 1 Presents the Conceptual framework of the study


The diagram above shows the concepts that were used to analyze the psychological
impact of violence against women in readers digest short stories by which was anchored on
feminist approach.

Review of Related Literature


The feminist movement has been essential in stimulating this development. In the early
seventies research was done by two American feminists (Burgess and Holmstrom, 1972). They
concluded that the effects of rape and sexual abuse are in fact the same as the effects found on
war survivors. Women who had been victim of violence or rape described their fears during these
experiences of violence as life threatening and as an intense fear to die or to be mutilated forever.
After the event they suffered of complaints such as sleeping problems, nausea, nightmares,

jumpiness, frightfulness and they showed symptoms of dissociation and deafening. Over the past
thirty years a lot of study has been done and until today new literature and results are published
and discussion about the subject takes place in the media.
It is clear that seeing and recognizing effects of violence and sexual abuse is not only a
matter of proving injuries by showing physical wounds and immense psychological suffering. It
is also highly a matter of a political climate that allows seeing this injustice and that responds by
making efforts to stop it. Important instruments in limiting violence against women are a legal
system that criminalizes aggressors, a health system that creates space for women to heal their
wounds and a socio cultural system that allows women to reintegrate and rebuild their lives in
peace.
According to Morganthas (cited by Morales, 2009) feminism is a collective term for system
of beliefs and theories that pay attention to womens rights and position in the society. It was first
used in the late 18th century, whose advocates campaigned for the complete equality between the
women and men.
Individual and Family life
The well-being and functioning of a woman, victim of violence and sexual abuse, is
severely affected and disturbed by these experiences. Her personal health, her role as mother,
wife, income generator and employer will all be affected. Her children have higher risks to
develop a serious mental health problem or become victims or perpetrators in adult life. This
creates a vicious circle of violence.
Some studies we are taking in account show that children living in a family environment of
domestic violence against their mothers are 1.500 times more in risk above the national media to
be themselves victims of abuse (Van der Kolk, 2000).
Witnessing frequent violence at home can be conducive to the development of aggressive
behavior: Lewis et al. (1983) studied homicidally aggressive young children. They found that the
most important factor that contributed to those acts of violence was having a father who behaved
violently and who showed himself able to become homicidal.

Feminist advocates still believe that sexism is still rampant in these modern times.
Although a number of females have broken through male bastions in the past decades, feminist
argue that there is still much work to be done. Changes in the nations economies globally have
brought more opportunities for women to participate not only in the workplace but in the society
where they are living. Womens issues include low wages, sexist advertising and music, working
mothers, adolescent pregnancy, sexual harassment, prostitution and trafficking and domestic
violence (Panopio and Raymundo, 2004).
According to WHO (2001) children who are victims of violence or sexual abuse run a high
risk of themselves becoming perpetrators of similar forms of abuse in relation to younger
children.
A recent multi-country study of WHO (2005) on Women Health and Domestic Violence
against Women shows that at least half of all women in Bangladesh, Ethiopia province, Peru,
Samoa and Tanzania said that they had been physically or sexually assaulted after the age of
fifteen. In general the vast majority of this violence was inflicted by a male intimate partner.
Violence against women is a basic abuse of human rights.
Violence in the Philippines
According to the 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey, one in five women in
the Philippines between the ages of 15 and 49 years have experienced domestic violence
(Violence, 2010). Similarly, a report produced by Amnesty International (AI) Philippines in
collaboration with Women Working Together to Stop Violence Against Women (WWTSVAW)
states that violence against women is "very pervasive" in the Philippines. A media report states
that police statistics indicate that 7,864 cases of violence against women were reported in 2008,
up from 6,647 incidents the previous year (Philippine Daily Inquirer 6 Feb. 2009). However, a
report produced by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and various United Nations (UN)
agencies states that, relative to the size of the Philippines' population, official statistics reflect a
"limited number" of reported cases (ADB et al. 2008, 75). The same source indicates this low
number is likely due to the fact that many women do not report gender-based violence to the
police (ibid.). Moreover, a report produced by the National Commission on the Role of Filipino

Women (NCRFW) corroborates that official data do not present a "coherent picture" of violence
against women in the Philippines (Domestic Violence 2008).
Domestic Violence or Violence against Women in the Family is defined as "violence that
occurs within the private sphere, generally between individuals who are related through intimacy,
blood or law." It may be committed in the form of (a) physical violence; (b) psychological and
emotional violence; (c) sexual violence; or (d) economic abuse.
Effects of Violence on Women
Violence has wide ranging and sometimes long-term effects on victims. The effects can
be both physical and psychological. The following are the summary effects of domestic violence:
Physical Effects are varied, but victims are known to suffer physical and mental
problems as a result of domestic violence. Battering is the single major cause of injury to
women, more significant that auto accidents, rapes, or muggings. (O'Reilly, 1983).
Psychological Effects are primary and immediate focus for many people is the physical
injury suffered by victims, the emotional and psychological abuse inflicted by violators likely
has longer term impacts and may be more costly to treat in the short-run than physical injury.
(Straus, 1990).
Economic Effects victims often lose their jobs because of absenteeism due to illness as a
result of the violence. Victims may have to move many times to avoid violence and Impacts on
Children one-third of the children who witness the battering of their mother demonstrate
significant behavioral and/or emotional problems, including psychosomatic disorders, stuttering,
anxiety and fears, sleep disruption, excessive crying and school problems (Hilberman and
Munson, 1990).
Kinds of violence
A process when a partner, within a privileged relationship, dominates physically,
psychologically, sexually, economically or spiritually. The physical violence is probably the
most visible violence. It includes slaps, burns, kicks, bites and any object that may be used to do
arm. In fact, the aggressor may even prevent the woman to get medical help.

The psychological violence is the form of violence that is more insidious. In this case,
women are directly affected in their dignity. We can talk of blackmail, threats, false accusations,
isolation from friends and family. All this is done in order to manipulate and control the victim.
The sexual violence is the one nobody talks about, but which is often devastating. It
includes all actions performed by resorting to force without the consent of the person. For
example, there may be unwanted touching, harassment, derogatory slurs, the infliction of pain
and refusal to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases.
* Did you know that sexual abuse is a form of domestic violence?
We know that rape and sexual assaults made by a person unknown is a form of` abuse.
However, it is important to specify that any sexual act to which the woman does not consent, as
the `incest, sexual harassment by a spouse, meeting one night` s turning into aggression, etc. is
an abusive situation. Thus, LEscale Madavic also offers a service of` listening and support for
survivors of sexual abuse. The economical violence is the least known, but it must still be taken
seriously. This form of violence can be defined by the total control of the finances of the family
`s aggressor. He monitors how women spend their money. He decides where money should be
spent or saved. He forces her to give him her earnings and may even stop her from working. All
this leads the woman to be dependent on her spouse.
The spiritual violence is not negligible. The aggressor can prevent the woman to go to
the churches he can denigrate religious beliefs or even require a religious practice other than his
own.
Related Studies
This descriptive study is related to the researchers study about the psychological impact
of violence against women portrayed in readers digest short stories.
Genota, A.V. (2012), A Woman in a Mans World: A Descriptive Study of the
Representation of the Working Filipino woman in the 10 years of Soap Operas of ABS-CBN
(2000-2010). She used textual Analysis using the term working Filipino woman to pertain to
Filipino female characters in short operas that are shown to participate in labor force for a work
of living either for themselves or for their families.

Mendoza Dela Cruz, A. (2012), Whats wrong with women, three: A Study on the
Alleged Oppression of Women in their Representation in Media. She used Textual Analysis to
examine the representation of women in radio, television and cinema. The portrayal of women
and their alleged stereotypically demeaning roles as what feminism claims. Feminist studies
stated that women have been marginalized or oppressed in how they are represented in Media.
In this study, we the researchers acquired some information about women. Thus, it will
help guide the researchers studies about the psychological impact of violence against women
portrayed in readers digest short stories.

Methodology
This Descriptive study of Content Analysis or textual analysis present the method
of gathering process used in the study.
The first step started in the selection of eight selected readers digest short stories
through convenience sampling. Convenience sampling, according to Altares (2003) is a nonrandom sampling technique widely used in television and radio programs to find out opinions
regarding controversial issues. This is a technique where in the samples are selected according to
the preference of the researcher.

The second step focus on the reading and analysis of the text concentrating on the
women major characters that lead to the identification of the psychological impacts of violence
against women. Note taking was used to record important details and facts.
The third step involved the identification of the forms of violence against women
played, the way they were treated by the male characters and their response to the treatment and
then the effect of the treatment and the coping mechanism. These details determined through the
authors description and how they portrayed in the short stories.
This study used the feminist approach to a tool of the analysis. This approach
yielded the appropriate information of the portrayal of the women as a major character.
The final step concentrated on the examination of the over-all impression and the
general insights of the short stories using literary theory method.

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