Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
W.M. Keck Science Department
© 2015 Hannah E Atlas
According to the World Health Organization, one in three women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by a partner. Through a number of biological pathways, intimate partner violence (IPV) has a direct effect on women’s health, particularly their sexual health. IPV has been found in numerous bodies of research to disproportionately affect immigrant communities. This literature review examined the prevalence and epidemiological significance of IPV among the Latina and Asian immigrant communities in the United States and the effects on these populations’ sexual health outcomes. My findings demonstrate the burden of this issue is exacerbated by manifestations of structural violence and anti-immigrant sentiments in American society. I found the majority of clinical literature did not factor in structural and systematic disparities such as linguistic barriers, inaccessibility of the health and legal systems, precariousness of citizenship, and shortcomings of public education as contributors to adverse sexual health outcomes. The contexts and circumstances of immigrant women also tend to be homogenized in the public discourse on IPV with little attention paid to the specific socio-cultural elements that shape survivors’ experiences. Lastly, the language employed in the discussion of partner violence is highly hetero-normative and cis-gendered. Partner violence must be treated as the serious public health crisis it is. Strategies to address this issue must be implemented in a timely, culturally, and contextually appropriate manner across all settings guided by an intersectional lens.
Atlas, Hannah E., "Intersections of Vulnerabilities: Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Health, and the Immigrant Woman's Experience" (2016). Scripps Senior Theses. 731.
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