In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Immigration and Intimate Partner Violence

  • Introduction
  • Introductory Works
  • Textbooks on Immigration and Intimate Partner Violence
  • Reports on Immigration and Intimate Partner Violence
  • Journals
  • Specialized Organizations
  • Definition, Prevalence, and Rates of Intimate Partner Violence
  • Impact of Intimate Partner Violence on Mental Health
  • Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence
  • Criminal Justice System and Intimate Partner Violence
  • Criminal Justice System and Immigrants
  • Immigrant Latinas and Interventions

Social Work Immigration and Intimate Partner Violence
by
Catherine L. Marrs Fuchsel
  • LAST MODIFIED: 12 January 2021
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0295

Introduction

Drawing from a feminist and ecological perspective, intimate partner violence, also known as domestic violence, is abuse that occurs in intimate relationships regardless of culture, race/ethnicity, or sexual orientation and involves behaviors used by one person to gain or maintain power and control over the other person. These types of abuse and characteristics of abuse include psychological, physical, sexual, verbal, or economic abuse, or isolation. Targeted victims in intimate partner violence incidences are predominantly women. According to the ecological model, intimate partner violence manifests at four levels, including individual, relationship, community, and societal. During the 1970s in the United States, recognition of intimate partner violence as a community problem affecting millions of American Caucasian women was apparent. Since that time increasing numbers of foreign-born individuals have resulted in increased prevalence of intimate partner violence among different groups of women (e.g., African women, Asian women, Southeast Asian women, Latinas, immigrant women, refugees) living in the United States. In addition, the intersection between intimate partner violence and immigration-related implications has increased for one particular group of women living in the United States: immigrant Latinas (i.e., approximately one in three Latinas have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime). This is partly due to the increase of Latinos migrating to the United States from Mexico, Central American countries, and other Spanish-speaking countries. According to the 2016 US census, Latinos are the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the United States. The majority of Latinos currently reside in large states and distinct geographical parts of the United States (e.g., California, Texas, New York, Southwestern and Eastern states). In the early 21st century, the Southeastern (e.g., state of North Carolina) and Midwestern (e.g., state of Iowa) parts of the United States have seen an increase in the Latino population. The criminal justice system’s involvement and efforts to mitigate intimate partner violence among migrant populations are noteworthy.

Introductory Works

Gosselin 2019 provides information on the definition and scope of the problem, and on prevalence and rates of intimate partner violence. Additional information on the micro-, mezzo-, and macro-level approaches of understanding intimate partner violence can be found in Jackson 2007. Texts such as Buzawa, et al. 2017; Marrs Fuchsel 2017; and Renzetti, et al. 2017 include an overall perspective of intimate partner violence inclusive of definitions for specific populations (e.g., Latinos and the LGBTQI communities), criminal justice system interventions, community interventions for both victims and perpetrators, risk and protective factors, prevention strategies, types of support systems, and access to resources. Intimate partner violence affects children, adolescents, persons in relationships (e.g., victims and perpetrators), and the elderly population (see Clements, et al. 2015). Intimate partner violence occurs in any type of intimate relationship. Hattery and Smith 2012; McClennen 2010; and Snyder, et al. 2018 describe theoretical frameworks such as the family violence perspective, which stems from sociology; intersectionality, which originates from feminist ideology; and empowerment frameworks, which originate from the domestic violence movement of the 1970s. Disciplinary frameworks inclusive of criminology and the criminal justice system are also included (see Buzawa, et al. 2017). Finally, Taft, et al. 2016, a text on trauma-informed frameworks, provides a lens to understanding the problem of intimate partner violence and supports professionals who are working with victims and perpetrators.

  • Buzawa, E., C. Buzawa, and E. D. Stark. 2017. Responding to domestic violence: The integration of criminal justice and human services. 5th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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    The authors explore human services and the capacity to respond to domestic violence incidences, with a particular emphasis on the integration of the criminal justice system. This book is especially recommended for professors in higher education teaching courses on family violence, professionals working in the criminal justice system, domestic violence advocates in practice settings, and undergraduate and graduate students conducting research projects.

  • Clements, P. T., J. Pierce-Weeks, K. E. Holt, A. P. Giardino, S. Seedat, and C. M. Mortiere. 2015. Violence against women: Contemporary examination of intimate partner violence. St. Louis, MO: STM Learning, Incorporated.

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    Using a public health perspective, authors from diverse disciplines (e.g., health care, social science, law enforcement, public policy) explore the current scientific understanding of how men, women, adolescents, and children experience harm from intimate partner violence. The authors provide a multicultural global perspective as they describe the key issues affecting families engulfed by violence. This book is especially recommended for professors in higher education teaching courses on family violence.

  • Gosselin, D. K. 2019. Family and intimate partner violence: Heavy hands. 6th ed. Boston: Pearson.

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    The author describes the fundamentals of family violence, such as definitions, a global perspective, the history of family violence, research conducted on the topic, the criminal justice system, and child and neglect among children, as well as intimate partner violence in general with specific populations such as Latino families and the LGBTQI communities. This book is especially recommended for professors in higher education teaching courses on family violence.

  • Hattery, A., and E. Smith. 2012. The social dynamics of family violence: The social dynamics of intimate partner violence. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

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    The authors explore family violence from a sociological perspective and examine causes (e.g., social character and institutional causes) of family violence across the lifespan. The authors provide case examples and ask students to consider how social inequality, especially gender inequality, contributes to tensions and explosive tendencies in family settings. LGBTQI relationships and multicultural couples are addressed. This book is recommended for professors in higher education teaching courses on family violence.

  • Jackson, N. A. 2007. Encyclopedia of domestic violence. London: Routledge.

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    The author describes power and control within intimate relationships and risk and protective factors, including individual, family, community, and societal levels. This text has a micro-, mezzo-, and macro-level approach when discussing intimate partner violence and abuse. This book is especially recommended for professors in higher education teaching courses on family violence, domestic violence advocates, and undergraduate and graduate students conducting research projects.

  • Marrs Fuchsel, C. 2017. Yes, I can (Sí, Yo puedo): An empowerment program for immigrant Latina women in group settings. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    The author provides a specific prevention curriculum for use among mental health professionals working with immigrant Latinas in group settings. The culturally sensitive curriculum includes eleven weekly topics inclusive of goals, objectives, and self-reflection writing and drawing activities. Grounded in prevention strategies for intimate partner violence, topics include self-esteem, healthy relationships, domestic violence, dating, and cultural concepts. This book is especially recommended for professors teaching group work in social work.

  • McClennen, J. 2010. Social work and family violence: Theories, assessment, and intervention. New York: Springer.

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    In this book, the author addresses family violence and provides best practices and guidelines for social work students in graduate or undergraduate courses. The text is also comprehensive, including investigatory procedures of protective services workers, risk assessments used in investigations, specific questions for approaching victims and perpetrators, and the ethical dilemmas of mandated reporting. This book is especially recommended for professors in social work in higher education teaching courses on family violence.

  • Renzetti, C., D. Follingstad, and A. Coker, eds. 2017. Preventing intimate partner violence: Interdisciplinary perspectives. Bristol, UK: Bristol Univ. Press.

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    The authors, comprised of researchers and practitioners from a range of fields, examine strategies and programs for preventing intimate partner violence. One aspect of the book incorporates an overview of intimate partner violence among underserved and understudied groups and the role of culture and context. This book is especially recommended for professors in higher education teaching courses on family violence and professionals and domestic violence advocates in practice settings.

  • Snyder, L., E. J. Cho, and L. Snyder. 2018. Intimate partner violence: A bibliography of theory, research, and intervention. Minneapolis: Minnesota Center for Nonviolence.

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    With this bibliography, the authors have provided theory, research, and intervention of intimate partner violence for practitioners (e.g., counselors, social workers, psychologists, domestic violence advocates). This book is especially recommended for professors in higher education teaching courses on family violence and undergraduate and graduate students conducting research projects on intimate partner violence.

  • Taft, C., C. Murphy, and S. Creech. 2016. Trauma-informed treatment and prevention of intimate partner violence. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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    The authors in this book address trauma-informed treatment for survivors. Individuals who engage in intimate partner violence have high rates of previous exposure to trauma and, most notably, to childhood violence. Mental health professionals can gain the knowledge and skills they need to deliver effective treatment to individuals who engage in intimate partner violence. This book is especially recommended for professors in higher education teaching courses on family violence.

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