among Latina Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence from an Intersectional Lens
Linda Zheng & Molly Becker
INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE (IPV) IS A MAJOR PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN. IPV encompasses any physical, emotional, sexual aggression or harm that occurs between current or former intimate partners (World Health Organization, 2012) and can also include psychological and financial abuse. Approximately 1 in every 3 women experiences IPV in their lifetime in the United States (Basile et al., 2011). Women of color and women living in poverty are especially vulnerable to IPV and its consequences (Stockman et al., 2015). Notably, the interconnectedness of social identities can influence lived experiences, namely oppression and privilege (i.e., intersectionality; Crenshaw, 1989). Holding multiple minoritized identities (e.g., Latinx, undocumented) exacerbates women’s vulnerability to and experience with IPV; therefore, addressing IPV warrants an intersectional lens.
Heywood et al. (2019) explored the concept of “thrivership” among demographically diverse IPV-exposed women in the UK through qualitative focus groups and interviews. Heywood et al. (2019) defines thriving after IPV as characterized by “a positive outlook and looking to the future, improved health and well-being, a reclamation of the self, and a new social network” while thrivership refers to “a fluid, non-linear journey of self-discovery” with 3 stages: victim, survivor, thriver. Based on these findings, the Thrivership Model includes: “(1) Provision of Safety, (2) Sharing the Story, [and] (3) Social Response” as essential elements. The Thrivership Model provides a foundation for questions that have yet to be answered for Spanish-speaking (SS) IPV-exposed Latinas, such as: How do SS IPV-exposed Latinas define thriving? What underpins their journey from “victim” to “survivor” to “thriver“?