A Qualitative Exploration of Perceptions of Strength Among Trauma-Exposed Women Living Within Homelessness

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The purpose of this study was to facilitate self-discovery of strengths of women who were homeless and trauma-exposed. Using an emancipatory feminist and existential phenomenological qualitative research design, seventeen women participated in facilitative dialogs exploring perceptions of strength. The dialogue focused on three aspects of strength: characteristics, strategies, and barriers. The participants’ words were represented within global themes of strength: balance, protection, and dangerous environments. Results suggest women who are houseless and abused find ways to remain strong as evidenced in their stories. Findings support strength-based discovery, patient engagement, and partnering as a health intervention with vulnerable women.