Storying Autobiographical Experiences with Gender-Based Violence: A Collaborative Autoethnography

Mel Parks, Jess Moriarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In earlier work, the author identified collaborative autoethnography as a viable methodology for researching stories that drew on lived experiences with domestic abuse. Collaborative autoethnography offers a method of working with women outside of academia who have experienced gender-based violence (GBV) and including them as co-researchers whose writings can and should be valued as academic research. In this article, also a collaborative autoethnography, the authors explore methods for storying autobiographical experiences of GBV as a potential way of reclaiming stories whilst navigating the legal, ethical and moral dilemmas sometimes associated with autobiographical writing that might help to make these stories less difficult to write, and also read, avoiding stereotypes that have led to critique around battle-weary narratives of GBV and bad romance tropes. We argue that evocative texts that draw on lived experiences but layer the real with the imaginary, the remembered with the fictitious, can be more accessible to read and write. Cook and Fonow argue that feminist work is often creative and spontaneous, and this article will detail writing methods that were shared by the authors in creative workshops with survivors of GBV as part of a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). We will also share examples of our own stories that have been inspired by this approach and the challenges and motivations of working in this way.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Autoethnography
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Dec 2021


  • autoethnography
  • gender based violence
  • storytelling
  • feminist
  • collaborative


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