Muslim Refugee Women’s Perspectives on Intimate Partner Violence

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Journal of Family Social Work


Domestic violence, family violence, interpersonal violence, intimate partner violence (IPV), Muslim, refugee women


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a recognized public health problem, and despite clear practice recommendations from service providers to recognize diverse cultural perspectives when addressing IPV, the narratives of Muslim refugee women are missing in our professional literature. The objectives of this qualitative exploratory research project are to (a) document the narratives of Muslim refugee women on IPV, and (b) identify the barriers that stop refugee women from accessing culturally appropriate services. Through in-depth interviews, the compelling narratives of 16 refugee women illuminated their perceptions of IPV. Our methodology was based on participatory action research (PAR), whereby participants have an active role in shaping research questions as well as in the analysis and verification of research findings. The three major themes that emerged were: (a) participants’ definition of IPV, (b) cultural perspectives on IPV, and (c) barriers and strategic resources needed to support refugee families. We also provide recommendations for professionals working with this population.


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