“The Rain Grows Plants, the Thunder Does Not”: Refugee Mothers’ Narratives on Child Abuse and Neglect

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Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies


Refugees, women, refugee mothers, parenting, child abuse and neglect


Child abuse and neglect are regarded as a public health problem in the United States and around the world. While refugee families experience extreme parenting stress as they resettle, little attention is placed upon how refugee women themselves view child abuse and neglect. The primary objective of this qualitative exploratory research project was to document, through interviews, the compelling narratives of 17 refugee women regarding child abuse and neglect. We discuss the unique struggles faced by refugee families while parenting their children as they resettle in the United States. Recommendations are provided for professionals working with children and refugee families.


Dr. Hermeet Kohli, School of Social Work, University of Southern Maine

Dr. Susan Fineran, Professor Emerita, School of Social Work, University of Southern Maine