Balancing Acts: Counselling for Intimate Partner Violence against Women in the Two Districts of Anuradhapura and Batticaloa

Kodikara, C. (2014). Balancing Acts: Counselling for Intimate Partner Violence against Women in the Two Districts of Anuradhapura and Batticaloa. ICES Working Paper Series. Sri Lanka.

The dominant discourse on intimate partner violence against women (IPVW) in Sri Lanka trivialises, normalises and dismisses it as momentary disruptions in otherwise harmonious and happy households. Yet increasing numbers of women are seeking IPVW intervention services offered by a range of institutions (Kodikara 2012). Counselling is often the first point of contact in a line of services offered and provided by these organisations. In this paper I examine whether counselling for IPVW in Sri Lanka opens up a discursive space to challenge dominant constructions of violence, in a manner informed by both an ethic of care and an ethic of justice is it a space where feminist understandings of IPVW are shared in a way not possible or even imagined before and where the self and subjectivity of survivors can be constructed anew?

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