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Walker, L.E.A. (1999). Psychology and Domestic Violence Around the World. American Psychologist, 54(1) (pp.21-29).

Psychologists around the world have made contributions in research, clinical assessment, and intervention and prevention of domestic violence. Each country has unique factors that determine the services and resources available to battered women, children exposed to domestic violence, and abusive partners. However, it is the interaction among gender, political structure, religious beliefs, attitudes toward violence in general, and violence towards women, as well as state- sponsored violence, such as civil conflicts and wars, and the migration within and between countries, that ultimately determine women's vulnerability and safety. This article reviews the latest psychological research and applications to intervention and prevention programs. An introduction to the various articles (in this issue of American Psychologist) that compose this international perspectives section is also included.

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Wessel L., et al. (1997). Providing Sanctuary for Battered Women: Nicaragua's Casas de la Mujer. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 18(5): (pp.455-476).

A combination of participant observation and in-depth interviews (ten with key informants and twenty-one with battered women) was used to investigate wife battering in Nicaragua and the Casas de la Mujer, or women's centers, that have been established to help abused women. The results are presented within the context of the historical and structural realities of women's lives in Nicaragua and the sanctions and sanctuary framework of cultural analysis of wife battering. Nicaraguan wife battering is exacerbated in the context of cultural traditions of acceptance of wife beating, machismo, and the recent history of warfare. Findings about the relationship context and intervention outcomes were similar to those found in studies of battered women and shelters in the United States. The results were generally supportive of the framework, demonstrating the importance of women's solidarity groups, community sanctions against domestic violence, and sanctuary for battered women.

West, C.M., Kantor, G.K. & Jasinski, J.L. (1998). Sociodemographic Predictors and Cultural Barriers to Help-Seeking Behavior by Latina and Anglo American Battered Women. Violence and Victims, 13(4), (pp.1-15).

Data from a national survey were used to investigate the help-seeking efforts of 1,970 Latinas (Mexican, Mexican American, Puerto Rican) and Anglo American women who experienced battering by intimate partners. The findings revealed that battered Latinas were significantly younger, less educated, and more impoverished than Anglo women. Additionally, Latinas more often categorized their marriages as male dominated and their husbands as heavy drinkers. Bivariate analyses showed that Latinas who sought help were significantly more acculturated and more likely to have a heavy drinking husband than those who did not seek help. Although battered women were active help seekers, Latinas underutilized both informal and formal resources relative to Anglo women, with Mexican women least likely to seek assistance. When sociodemographic predictors of help seeking were analyzed, being youthful and Anglo significantly increased the odds of help-seeking efforts. Low acculturation, as measured by preference for the Spanish language, was the only significant cultural barrier to help seeking by Latinas. ((c) 1999 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)

Wiist, W.H., & McFarlane, J. (1998). Severity of Spousal and Intimate Partner Abuse to Pregnant Hispanic Women. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 9(3), (pp.248-261).

Abuse to pregnant women can result in complications to maternal and child health. This study assessed the severity of intimate male partner abuse to Hispanic pregnant women receiving prenatal care at an urban public health department. Subjects responded to the Severity of Violence Against Women Scale, and provided socio-demographic data. The mean age of the 329 pregnant, abused Hispanic women was 24 years (range 15-42 years). The women had an average of eight years of education, annual incomes of less than $10,000, and most spoke only Spanish. In all, 30% of the women had been threatened with death, 18% had been threatened with a knife or gun, 80% had been shaken or roughly handled, 71% pushed or shoved, and 64% slapped on the face and head. Pregnant, abused Hispanic women experience abuse of sufficient severity to pose a risk to maternal and child health. Prenatal care provides a window of opportunity for routine abuse assessment and counseling for low-income, Hispanic pregnant women. ((c) 1998 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)

Wiist, W.H., & McFarlane, J. (1998). Utilization of Police by Abused and Pregnant Women. Violence Against Women, 4(6), (pp.677-693).

Describes the association of the severity of abuse among pregnant Hispanic women and their use of police as a community resource. 329 Hispanic prenatal patients (aged 15-42 years) at urban public health clinics, who were assessed during routine prenatal care as abused, completed the Severity of Violence Against Women Scales (L. Marshall, 1992) and were asked about frequency and effectiveness of their utilization of police. Of the 23% who had used the police, 72% reported that police were very or somewhat effective. Of the women who had used police, 37% said that the violence had ended compared with 22% of the nonusers. Women who had used the police in the past 12 months had experienced more severe abuse than those women who had not. Longitudinal research is needed to determine whether increased severity precedes or follows abused women's use of the police so that the women may be counseled appropriately. ((c) 1999 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved).

Williams, K.C. (1994). Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color. In Martha Albertson Fineman & Rixanne Mykitiuk, (Eds.). The Public Nature of Private Violence (pp. 93-118). Routledge, 1994.

The author illustrates how patterns of subordination intersect in women’s experiences of domestic violence. While the intersection of race, gender and class constitute the primary structural elements of the experience of many Black and Latina women in shelters for battered women, there are other sites where structures of power intersect, including immigration status and language barriers. Focusing on two dimensions of male violence against women–battering and rape–this article considers how the experiences of women of color are frequently the product of intersecting patterns of racism and sexism, and how these experiences tend not to be represented within the discourse of either feminism or antiracism. In the first part of the article, the author discusses structural intersectionality, the ways in which the location of women of color at the intersection of race and gender makes their actual experience of domestic violence, rape, and remedial reform qualitatively different from that of a white woman. The focus of the second part of the article is on political intersectionality, where she analyzes how both feminist and antiracist politics have functioned in tandem to marginalize the issue of violence against women of color. At the end, the article examines the implications of the intersectional approach within the broader scope of contemporary identity politics.

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