Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy





First Advisor

Natasha N. Croom

Second Advisor

Constance P. Hargrave


Relationship violence among Black college women is becoming a serious concern. However, the face of relationship violence in higher education has been predominantly that of White women, which subsequently has excluded the voices of Black college women and other women of color. The rationale for this study came from my desire to uncover how Black college women make meaning of their experiences of relationship violence. Therefore, this narrative study explored (a) how four Black college women experienced relationship violence in college, (b) how they made meaning of their relationship violence experience in college, and (c) how they navigated campus resources related to their experience.

The study used a Black feminist epistemological approach related to Black college women’s lived experiences to illustrate how they dealt with their relationship violence experiences on a college campus. Using Black feminist theory, social learning theory, and ecological theory as frameworks, the study examined the internal and external challenges, and the resilience of four Black college women navigating their campus environment as relationship violence survivors. The findings were derived from in-depth interviews with and the reflective journals of four Black college women who had experienced relationship violence on campus, as well as from my research journal. The significance of the findings of this study is two-fold in that it has the potential to contribute to both scholarship and practice.

Copyright Owner

Lorraine D. Acker



File Format


File Size

274 pages