Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a complex set of behaviors that often escalates to physical violence, stalking, or sexual assault. The courage needed to escape an abusive relationship is often compromised by the very abuse itself, which complicates the healing process. As a result, victims of IPV struggle to regain a sense of self and self-in-relationship after leaving IPV. Boundary renegotiation may aid individuals in maintaining safety while simultaneously allowing them to access the supportive relationships needed for healing. This study explores the process of boundary renegotiation that female IPV survivors experience in their healing journey. Utilizing feminist grounded theory and in-depth interviews with 10 IPV survivors, we illustrated the five distinctive stages of boundary renegotiation: (a) prior self: lack of boundary awareness, (b) experiencing abuse: losing boundaries and selfhood, (c) leaving: establishing a clear physical boundary, (d) implementing firm boundaries and safety, and (e) demonstrating flexibility and openness.

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