Domestic Violence Risk Factors Among Arab Immigrant Women

Monday, 30 July 2012: 11:10 AM

Anahid Kulwicki, PhD, RN
College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify domestic violence risk factors among Arab American women

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to analyze cultural implications of domestic violence in immigrant Arab American women who are victims of domestic violence

Purpose: The purpose of this research was to develop and standardize an evidence-based, culturally-sensitive bi-lingual (Arabic/English) measure of risk for domestic violence for use in health, mental health and social service settings for Arab American clients

Methods: Morgan and Kreuger’s  (1988) steps for focus group data collection and analysis were followed rigorously to insure the accuracy and the credibility of the study findings. An inquiry guide was developed by the Principal Investigator and was critiqued by a consultant with expertise in the field. A select group of professionals and community leaders with expertise in domestic violence were identified and recruited for this study.

The study was conducted within a community-based setting for a period of six months. Health professionals and community leaders from an array of backgrounds participated in a total of 5 focus groups. The focus group discussions were designed to closely examine the risk factors for domestic violence that service providers, community leaders, and health and legal professionals feel operate in the case of Arab immigrant women who are in partner abuse relationships.

Results: Although it is difficult to generalize about the findings because of the qualitative nature of the study, the analysis of data resulted in eight themes with regard to assessment of risk factors.  Religious beliefs, family support, economic, social, immigration status, legal rights and English language skills were factors in increasing the risk for domestic violence for Arab American clients should be incorporated into the risk assessment tool.

Conclusion: This research project identified several variables in the identification of domestic violence risk factors in a sample of Arab American immigrant women. Community leaders, service providers, and the spiritual leaders were engaged in the development of a culturally and linguistically appropriate risk assessment tool that will accurately identify risk factors for domestic violence.