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Books and Articles

Immigrant Latinas' Conceptualizations of
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

By Sandra Bibiana Adames and Rebecca Campbell.

This study explored the definition of intimate partner violence (IPV) by immigrant Latinas through their experiences and relationships with their partners.

  • The study was conducted in a small community agency that provided English literacy classes and consisted of qualitative interviews with eight women.
  • The women indicated that, in general, immigrant Latinas do not have a good relationship with their partners because of men's behavior or cultural pressures such as men's control over women and machismo.
  • Other issues discussed were immigration changes, men's violence toward women, men's alcohol and drug use, social pressure on women to take care of men, pressure to be or stay married, and distress experienced by immigrant Latinas because of the conditions of their relationships.
  • Immigrant Latinas indicated that the lack of harmony in their relationships had to do with factors such as male domination, machismo, and men not being able to cope with changes related to immigration.
  • The participants had an understanding that the circumstances of their intimate relationships had to do with the inequalities between men and women.  The authors suggest that participants were developing a critical understanding of the causes of their social, political and economic victimization. 
  • The participants’ knowledge about IPV came mostly from their own experiences or by witnessing the experiences of other women.  They identified physical and verbal violence as the most common types of abuse.  However, they did not easily recognize sexual and emotional aggression as abusive. 
  • Participants in the study acknowledged that immigrant Latinas are abused by their partners and that dealing with this issue is a problem in their communities.

Adames, S. B., & Campbell, R. (2005). “Immigrant Latinas’ Conceptualizations of Intimate Partner Violence.” Violence Against Women 11 (10), 1341-1364.


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For help please call:

The National
Domestic Violence Hotline:

1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

The New York State Spanish Domestic Violence Hotline:




©2007. National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence.
All Rights Reserved. Last updated 12/13/07.