As Parker and McFarlane (1991a, p. 63) argued “ ° p ± hysical abuse of women, specifically the abuse of pregnant women, is central to women’s condition and oppression” and as such the application of feminist principles to the proposed study was deemed to be appropriate, and could be used as a framework to make sense of the findings. By applying feminist principles in the proposed study, the researcher aimed to emphasize a reciprocal relationship and encourage participating women to be involved in research. Feminist principles require researchers to ensure trust and openness between the researcher and participating women by establishing rapport during the research process. In addition, researchers are required to continuously be reflexive in order to discard any distorted views and avoid making male-dominated
22 underlying assumptions through the researcher’s own efforts to examine her own views, values, characteristics and assumptions (Im, 2000). Researchers are also required to determine the appropriateness and significance of the study by examining “whether the questions address women’s concerns and whether the answers to these questions can serve women’s interests and improve the conditions of women’s lives” (Im, 2000, p. 116). These processes would help to ensure the relevance of the proposed study as relevance is another key indicator of rigor in feminist inquiry (Hall & Stevens, 1991). Studies on Domestic Violence in Thailand It is difficult to comprehend the extent of domestic violence in Thailand for a number of reasons. First, most studies undertaken have been unpublished. From the literature, it was found that most studies undertaken were dissertations for which no subsequent publications were located, and there are few research reports. Second, the occurrence of domestic violence is often underreported (Clongphayaban, 1999). Although there have been notorious cases of domestic violence against women in Thailand as outlined in the popular press, none have produced obvious social responses to the problem (Quicker, 2002). Finally, there are very few studies that actually employ some sort of theoretical perspective especially a gender perspective (Gray & Punpuing, 1999), thus in the present study feminist perspectives will be used to inform the study and make sense of the study findings. From a search of the literature on domestic violence against women in Thailand, several studies were identified (e.g., Archavanitkul et al., 2003; Chaisetsampun, 2000; Chocksawat, 2003; Clongphayaban, 1999; Deoisres, 2004; Shuaytong, Phijaisanit, Isaranurug, & Weerawatthanodom, 1998; Thanaudom, 1996). Of these, only two studies addressed violence during pregnancy (Deoisres, 2004; Thanaudom, 1996). The prevalence of violence against Thai women as a whole ranged from 26.5% (Shuaytong et al., 1998) to 87.5% (Clongphayaban, 1999) while violence during pregnancy ranged
23 from 12% to 22.5% (Thanaudom, 1996) depending on the type of violence and definitions used.
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