Kotzé, E., Hulme, T., Geldenhuys, T., & Weingarten, K. (2012). In the wake of violence: Enacting and witnessing hope among people. Family Process, published online 29 November 2012.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6950
In the territory of violence and despair, hope is rare. Recent work on hope has shifted attention from hope as a feeling to hope as a practice that people can do together. This case report of a family exposed to domestic violence highlights the role played by a South African police officer in the mother's actions to separate from the context of violence. As a witness to the violence, the police officer acted from an ethic of justice and an ethic of compassion. Outsider witnessing of a counseling session resulted in the recruiting of a community of acknowledgement for the mother, the police officer, and an Assistant Commissioner of Police. Listening carefully and doing hope together gave rise to alliances against practices of violence. As a step of accountability, the authors used reflexive practices to question their responses and to avoid colonizing practices.
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