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J Immigr Minor Health. 2013 Dec;15(6):1057-64. doi: 10.1007/s10903-013-9836-2.

Resilience and resources among South Asian immigrant women as survivors of partner violence.

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Faculty of Health, School of Health Policy and Management, York University, Keele Street 4700, HNES 414, Toronto, M3J 1P3, Canada,


This study explored resilience among South Asian (SA) immigrant women who were survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). Eleven women participated in in-depth interviews. Thematic analysis was conducted using constant comparison. We identified five cross-cutting themes: resources before and after the turning-point (i.e. decision to confront violence), transformations in self, modification of social networks, and being an immigrant. Women drew upon their individual cognitive abilities, social support, and professional assistance to move beyond victimization. All women modified their social networks purposefully. The changes in individual-self included an increased sense of autonomy, positive outlook, and keeping busy. The changes in collective-self occurred as women developed a stronger feeling of belonging to their adopted country. This hybrid identity created a loop of reciprocity and a desire to contribute to their community. Women were cognizant of their surmountable challenges as immigrants. SA immigrant women IPV survivors sought multiple resources at micro, meso and macro levels, signifying the need for socio-ecological approaches in programs and policies along with inter-sectoral coordination to foster resilience.

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