238539 Challenges of Providing Intimate Partner Violence Services to Immigrants: The Case of Indigenous Oaxacans

Monday, October 31, 2011: 10:30 AM

Pammie Gabrielle Renee Crawford, MPhil, SM, MS, PhD Candidate , International Health, Health Systems Division/Department of Health Information Systems, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Celia Organista, Director , Director, La Manzana Community Resources, Watsonville, CA
Background: Watsonville, a town in central California, recently experienced an immigrant influx from Oaxaca, one of Mexico's poorest states. The local Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) service-provider struggles to serve this indigenous sub-population because Oaxacans do not share cultural or linguistic similarities with other Latinos groups. Oaxacans speak the indigenous language Mizteca (not Spanish), and most are illiterate so accessing them via written materials is impossible. They are also culturally isolated from others. These differences create serious public health obstacles for IPV and health service providers, and often prevent access to health services when needed.

Methods: In-depth interviews with IPV specialists experienced in IPV service provision to Latino and Chicano communities were performed. Data elicited health provider perspectives on challenges reaching Oaxacan immigrants with services. Further research via purposive snowball/chain sampling of Oaxacan immigrants is needed: in-depth interviews in a safe and secure setting would help define and delineate the IPV/health care access obstacles specific to this immigrant group. Results will inform and improve IPV and health service-provision and access to Mizteca-speaking Oaxacan immigrants.

Results: Providing IPV services to immigrant communities presents unique challenges. Immigrant groups such as indigenous Oaxacans suffer from high IPV prevalence, but due to their unique linguistic, cultural, literacy differences are often unable to access IPV services or other health care when needed, and IPV and health service providers are not sure how to provide access to care for these populations.

Conclusion: IPV is a serious public health problem and is especially prevalent among immigrant Oaxacan communities. Because these communities are highly isolated, even within predominantly Latino communities, and as they experience unique language and cultural barriers to care, IPV service providers and other community health workers must go beyond typical outreach efforts to provide health care access to immigrant Oaxacans and other isolated immigrant groups.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Explain how IPV and other health services as currently provided may not satisfy immigrant populations' needs Demonstrate unique challenges faced by Oaxacan immigrants in need of IPV and other health care services Discuss how IPV providers and health providers can better serve linguistically and culturally isolated immigrant groups Design a plan for improving overall IPV service-provision in communities with hard-to-reach immigrant populations

Keywords: Immigrant Domestic Violence, Immigrants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted this research and am currently a student in the PhD program in Public Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.