Barriers to help-seeking among immigrant african women survivors of partner abuse: Listening to women's own voices

Laura Ting, Subadra Panchanadeswaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Most studies in the United States documenting immigrant women's experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) have not included the perspectives of abused immigrant African women. This study utilized a phenomenological approach to explore help-seeking barriers and factors impacting decisions to leave an abusive relationship among 15 immigrant African women. Results from the qualitative analysis indicated that the culture of gender inequality and acceptance of gender violence were primary barriers. Self-blame, loyalty, concern for children, and lack of knowledge regarding abuse, services, and legal rights were additional barriers, along with structural factors such as finances, underemployment, and housing. Muslim African women also feared the additional stigma of being in polygamous relationships. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)817-838
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Volume18
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2009

Keywords

  • Abuse
  • African immigrant women
  • Barriers
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Survivor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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