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The Descent of Inanna: A Study of the Loss of Self in Domestic Violence Open Access


Other title
domestic violence
emotional, psychological abuse
Type of item
Degree grantor
St. Stephen's College
Author or creator
Jane Doe
Supervisor and department
Dr. Heather Coleman
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Jean Waters
Dr. Karen Dushinski
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts in Pastoral Psychology and Counselling
Degree level
Emotional and psychological abuse are often overlooked as forms of domestic violence because they are neither against the law nor necessarily visible to the onlooker. Yet, the daily barrage against the victim diminishes their understanding of themself and undermines their relationship to the world. In this study, I use an autoethnographic method to explore the experience of emotional and psychological abuse within an intimate relationship. Overlaying my story with a variation of the Myth of the Descent of Inanna, allows the segmentation of my experiences into seven clear categories. Although these ‘gates’ make for a non-linear story telling method, they allow for a means to understand the implications of emotional and psychological abuse on the various aspects of my own life. These gates are labeled (a) control; (b) objects; (c) comfort; (d) community; (e) identity; (f) madness, and; (g) death. They can be used to not only understand the descent of an individual in domestic violence, but also in the ascent – the recovery from abuse.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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