What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a systematic pattern of behaviors that include physical battering, coercive control, economic abuse, emotional abuse, and/or sexual violence. It is intended to gain or maintain power and control over a romantic or intimate partner to intimidate, frighten, terrorize, humiliate, blame, or injure.
Domestic violence is a universal problem, but its cultural expressions differ.
Extent of the Problem
Most domestic violence incidents are never reported. For the incidents that are reported, there has not been conclusive research on the incidence of domestic violence in immigrant communities. One study did find that Latino immigrants were less likely than non-immigrants to seek help for domestic violence (6.9% vs. 14.7%) but there is no information for other ethnic groups. There is some evidence that domestic violence may not be more prevalent among immigrant populations in general.
However, we DO know that there are many factors that make immigrant victims of domestic violence less likely to report the abuse.
Barriers to Reporting Domestic Violence
What Services Do Immigrant Domestic Violence Victims Need?
What Happens If the Violence Continues?
Rana, S. (2012 February). Addressing Domestic Violence in Immigrant Communities: Critical Issues for Culturally Competent Services. Harrisburg, PA: VAWnet, a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.
Runner, M., Yoshihama, M. & Novick, S. (2009 March). Intimate Partner Violence in Immigrant and Refugee Communities: Challenges, Promising Practices and Recommendations. Princeton, NJ. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Futures without Violence.
Yoshihama M & Dabby C. ( 2009 September) Domestic Violence in Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island Homes. Asian & Pacific Island Institute on Domestic Violence, A Project of Tides Center.