Women's High-Conflict Divorce Experiences and Access to Statutory Social Services in Turkey *

Kelebek-Küçükarslan G., ATASÜ TOPCUOĞLU R.

Affilia - Feminist Inquiry in Social Work, 2024 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/08861099241233560
  • Journal Name: Affilia - Feminist Inquiry in Social Work
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Periodicals Index Online, CINAHL, Communication & Mass Media Index, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), Gender Studies Database, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Violence & Abuse Abstracts
  • Keywords: divorced women, high-conflict divorce, qualitative research, statutory social services, Turkey
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


High-conflict divorce proceedings in Turkey typically span 2 years but can extend to 6, reinforcing the perception that institutional violence against women has been widespread under the conservative Justice and Development Party’s 20-year rule. This study poses two primary research questions: (1) What are the legal, sociocultural, financial, and psychological experiences of high-conflict divorced women? (2) Which statutory social services could women access during and after the high-conflict divorce process? Employing a feminist qualitative research approach, this study draws on 20 semi-structured interviews with women in Istanbul who have undergone high-conflict divorces. The goal is to understand these women’s experiences and pinpoint the disparities between their needs and the support available from statutory social services. The findings illuminate the challenges women face while dealing with patriarchal norms within societal, cultural, and financial realms amid the divorce process. Additionally, the study reveals the inadequacies of current family-oriented services and emphasizes the urgent need for women’s rights-based support, including psychosocial, legal, and financial assistance.