The Impact Of Domestic Violence Exposure On South Asian Children In The United States: Perspectives Of Domestic Violence Agency Staff.
Ragavan, Maya I. Fikre, Tsion. Millner, Uma. Bair-Merritt, Megan.
Published: February 2018
Child Abuse and Neglect
Vol. 76 , p. 250-260
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The South Asian community is the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States, and past research suggests that South Asian domestic violence (DV) survivors may require culturally-specific resources. Similarly, South Asian children in the US exposed to DV may have unique responses and needs, but this has not been explored to date. The objective of this study was to examine the specific needs of South Asian children exposed to DV from the vantage point of staff from South Asian DV agencies across the United States. Thirty interviews were conducted, with data coded and consolidated into larger themes using thematic analysis. Participants described several factors important to understanding the impact of DV on South Asian children including the role of the extended family, identifying with two cultures, fear about what the South Asian community will think, gender differences, and the importance of projecting an image of perfection. Participants also discussed development of culturally-tailored resources. This study suggests the importance of framing South Asian children’s experiences within the context of interweaving South Asian and American cultural values, with careful attention paid to how potential culture clashes between parents and children may impact the way children process trauma. Further work should triangulate these themes with children, parents, and extended family, as well as collaborate with South Asian DV agencies to design child-focused programs. (Author abstract)
Spouse abuse; Asian Americans; intergenerational relationships; cultural factors; children of immigrants; fear; disclosure; human sex differences; societal attitudes; cultural competency; child welfare services; child witnesses of family violence