Based on formal interviews with self-identified Spanish-speaking first-generation immigrant Latinos living in eastern Iowa who had experienced emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse from their intimate partners, this study examined how they cope with their difficult domestic circumstances.
The overall findings from the interviews indicate these women coped with their intimate partner’s abuse by devoting themselves to the care and needs of their children and relying on the resources of their religious faith and solidarity with and support from other battered women. This suggests that social-work strategies for assisting Latinas victimized by IPV must facilitate the cultural identity of Latinas, which includes a preference for confidentiality, their reliance on the resources of their religious faith, and bonds with other Latina women struggling with IPV. Priority must also be given to resources that facilitate the care of their children in the face of difficult circumstances. Future studies should focus on how public resources for helping Latina victims of IPV can strengthen and facilitate support for their responsibilities as mothers and social networking strategies as a means for victims of IPV to receive support and guidance from one another.