IPR Seminar, Dr. Cecilia Mengo, Ohio State

September 4, 2018
Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
038, Townshend Hall
Dr. Cecilia Mengo

Title: Knowledge, Perceptions and Barriers to Accessing Criminal and Health Justice Services among Immigrant and Refugee Women and Girls Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Abstract: Domestic violence (DV) affects all populations. However, the specific cultural and structural issues as well as multi-faceted layers of oppression unique to immigrant and refugee survivors of DV warrant a focused examination. Furthermore, existing limited research on DV among immigrant and refugee women is primarily based on professional perspectives. Examination is needed to understand the unique cultural and societal factors affecting immigrant and refugee women’s ability to seek services for exposure to DV. Using in-depth qualitative interviews, we interviewed adolescent and adult women immigrants and refugees (N=35) from Bhutan, Burundi, Somalia, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo living in a large Midwestern city (USA). Participants were asked to share about their knowledge, experiences, perceptions, attitudes and challenges in accessing criminal justice, advocacy and culturally specific services available for victims of DV. Findings indicate (a) lack of awareness and limited contact with DV related services; (b) experiences of discrimination and everyday micro aggressions; (c) lack of trust in social service agencies; (d) fear of consequences after disclosure; (e) gender inequality issues; and (f) structural barriers such as language and transportation. We offer recommendations for intervention strategies that are targeted to bolster the ability of immigrant and refugee women victims/survivors of DV to access and utilize services within the current systems




Dr. Cecilia Mengo is an assistant professor in the College of Social Work at Ohio State.

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