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Open Access Barriers Affecting Access to and Use of Formal Social Supports Among Abused Immigrant Women Les obstacles à l'accès aux services de soutien et à leur utilisation chez les immigrantes victimes de mauvais traitements

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Abstract:

Social support is critical for women dealing with intimate partner violence (IPV). When support from their informal sources, such as family, friends, and neighbours, is limited, women tend to access services provided by health professionals, social workers, and settlement workers. In this qualitative descriptive study, community leaders who were also first-generation immigrants describe the complexities of immigrant women's access to and use of formal supports to deal with IPV in Canada. The findings show that a number of factors negatively shape the experiences of these women: lack of familiarity with services, inappropriate services and intervention strategies, lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate services, lack of portability and coordination of services, confidentiality concerns, and discriminatory and racist practices embedded in services and service delivery. In order to improve care for women dealing with IPV in the post-migration context, health professionals must collaborate with social workers and settlement workers to address structural barriers that limit women's access to and use of formal social support.

French
Le soutien social est un élément essentiel pour les femmes victimes de violence infligée par un partenaire intime. Lorsque le soutien informel qu'elles reçoivent de la part de leurs proches, leurs amis et leurs voisins est limité, les femmes dans cette situation se tournent en général vers les professionnels de la santé, les travailleurs sociaux et les services d'établissement. Dans cette étude qualitative et descriptive, des dirigeantes communautaires qui sont aussi des immigrantes de première génération au Canada décrivent les difficultés qu'éprouvent celles-ci à accéder aux services établis. On constate l'existence d'un certain nombre de facteurs qui influent négativement sur leur expérience : le manque d'information sur les services; des services et des stratégies d'intervention inadéquats; l'absence de services sensibles aux différences culturelles et linguistiques; le manque de transférabilité et de coordination des services; les préoccupations liées au respect de la vie privée; les pratiques discriminatoires et racistes ancrées dans les services et la prestation. Pour améliorer les soins aux femmes victimes de violence infligée par un partenaire intime dans un contexte postmigratoire, les professionnels de la santé devront collaborer avec les travailleurs sociaux et des services d'établissement et trouver des solutions aux obstacles structurels qui limitent l'accès aux mesures de soutien et à leur utilisation.

Keywords: ABUSE AND VIOLENCE; CROSS-CULTURAL AND GENDER; CULTURAL; CULTURE; DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND WOMEN'S HEALTH; SOCIAL SUPPORT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-09-01

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