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Understanding feminism: Considerations for nurses working to end violence against women

Fontenot, Holly B. MS, RN, WHNP-BC1; Fantasia, Heidi Collins PhD, RN, WHNP-BC2

Journal of Forensic Nursing: March 2011 - Volume 7 - Issue 1 - p 27–31
doi: 10.1111/j.1939-3938.2010.01092.x
Original Articles: ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Violence against women is a pervasive and serious human rights and public health problem worldwide. As interdisciplinary research teams try to address the effects of this health problem of which the effects transcend all women, nurses are at the forefront. Using a feminist philosophy and methodology to explore violence against women is one way to uncover new knowledge to address this health epidemic. In this paper, we will review the basic concepts of feminism and provide examples of viewing violence research and forensic nursing practice through this theoretical lens. These perspectives provide a foundation for understanding feminism and facilitating nurses’ awareness as they consider careers in research and practice. Through this lens, nurses who are helping to ease the burden of violence in our global society may affect change in women's lives.

1Assistant Professor, William F. Connell School of Nursing, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA

2Post Doctoral Fellow, William F. Connell School of Nursing, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA

Correspondence Holly B. Fontenot, MS, RN, WHNP-BC, Boston College, William F. Connell School of Nursing, 140 Commonwealth Ave., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. Tel: 617-552-4250; E-mail:

Received: April 19, 2010; accepted: April 30, 2010

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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