Escape

Safety Alert: If you believe your computer activities are being monitored, please access this site from a safer computer. To immediately exit this site, click the escape button. If you are in immediate danger, contact 911, a local crisis line, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Skip Navigation

Safety Alert: If you believe your computer activities are being monitored, please access this site from a safer computer. To immediately exit this site, click the escape button. If you are in immediate danger, contact 911, a local crisis line, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

 

<30%

of Latinas know of IPV services and options

 

While the number of studies examining intimate partner violence (IPV) in Latin@ populations is growing, research on this issue continues to be limited in quality and breadth. We have compiled what we believe are the most current data on this topic and summarized it below.

Barriers to services

In light of recent immigration enforcement policies, the apprehension to call the police due to the fear of deportation has become more salient for many Latina survivors.

14%

of Latina immigrant women had problems accessing IPV services due to immigration issues

  • Immigrant Latinas may fear deportation while seeking help from social services[13].
  • Specifically, immigration status is often identified as a barrier for immigrant Latinas to seek services[36].
  • In a recent study, immigrant Latina survivors reported a decrease in the likelihood of calling the police due to heightened immigration enforcement policies and increased fear of deportation[47].
  • Latina survivors report that immigration status is often used as a control mechanism to ensure that they do not leave the abusive situation[13, 36, 42].
  • The strength of this control tool is amplified by the current realities of heightened deportation and immigration enforcement[47].
  • A survey of over 500 foreign-born Latina women found that 14% of participants reported experiencing problems in accessing IPV services due to immigration issues, some reporting they were denied IPV services for lack of proper identification[55].
  • Threatening Latina survivors to take away their children if they leave their partners was an especially powerful strategy used by men against undocumented, non-English speaking women[44].

In addition to immigration, studies have found that low awareness of resources for IPV, language and cultural differences act as significant barriers to Latina survivors’ ability to access services.

50%

of shelters in one study offered child-related services

  • There is little awareness of IPV services and options among Latina survivors[56].
    • Women report a lack of knowledge about available resources in the community as a common barrier to services[40].
    • One study found that only 1 in 4 Latin@s had heard of IPV protective orders[57].
    • Another study with immigrant Latina survivors found that many women initially believed the abuse they were experiencing was a “normal” part of marriage[58]. It was only after migrating to the U.S. that they became aware of a way of life in which abuse was not the norm and felt empowered to seek help for ending their abuse.
  • Lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate services is also a barrier for many Latina survivors, as it is for women from many other racial/ethnic groups.
    • A study found that 1 in 3 shelters did not have any Spanish-speaking staff.
    • Only half of the participating shelters offer child-related services.
    • Additionally, many of the problems stemming from diverse cultural values were not respected and went unresolved[59].

For all works cited and references, please visit the References page