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Lifecourse Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence and Help-Seeking among Filipina, Indian, and Pakistani Women: Implications for Justice System Responses

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2010
123 pages
The objectives of this study were to improve understanding of Asian women's experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) and their efforts to seek help from the criminal justice and other programs, so as to develop recommendations for system responses to IPV in Asian communities.
The Asian ethnic groups selected for this study were 87 Filipina women and 56 Indian and Pakistani women. The study sought to determine when battered Asian women experienced various types of IPV over their lifecourses; when these women came into contact with the criminal justice system (CJS) and other non-CJS agencies; the kinds of responses Asian battered women have received from CJS and non-CJS agencies; the responses Asian battered women perceive as helpful; the barriers that prevent Asian battered women from contacting CJS agencies; and suggestions Asian battered women have for improving CJS responses to IPV in Asian communities. The trajectories of IPV over the women's lifecourses were experiences of physical violence (just over 95 percent of the women) and sexual violence (a majority of all ethnic groups). Generally, the probability of experiencing IPV increased rapidly in the early years of the relationship, peaked in the mid to late-twenties, and then gradually declined. Respondents reported help-seeking from police, legal services, domestic-violence (DV) shelters, and non-shelter DV programs. Help-seeking from these sources showed similar patterns across the lifecourse. Most helpful responses reported by the women were from friends and family, DV programs, legal assistance programs, and CJS agencies. Frequently mentioned types of responses included information and referrals, tangible/concrete assistance, and emotional support. Frequently mentioned barriers to help-seeking from CJS agencies included lack of knowledge/familiarity with the CJS, fears about the consequences and/or safety, shame, and concern about individual and family reputation and privacy. Recommendations pertain to CJS responses to Asian survivors/victims, collaboration and outreach, and systems change. Extensive tables and figures

Date Published: July 1, 2010