Intimate Partner Violence in Hawai i: Communities in Distress
Guruge S*, Morrison LA, Jayasuriya-Illesinghe V and Mock TA
School of Nursing, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
- *Corresponding Author:
- Guruge S
School of Nursing
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: May 18, 2016; Accepted date: May 25, 2016; Published date: May 31, 2016
Citation: Guruge S, Morrison LA, Jayasuriya-Illesinghe V, Mock TA (2016) Intimate Partner Violence in Hawai’i: Communities in Distress. Arts Social Sci J 7:185. doi:10.4172/2151-6200.1000185
Copyright: © 2016 Guruge S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major health concern for women worldwide. Many studies have explored IPV within the (mainland) United States but very few have explored the topic in Hawai’i. Thirteen women from Hilo, Hawai’i who had experienced IPV participated in one-on-one interviews. An intersectionality perspective and an ecological or ecosystem framework guided the data analysis. IPV was considered common place, a norm, and part of larger ‘societal’ problem. For some of the women, the need to belong was so strong that taking alcohol or drugs and experiencing IPV could be seen as a sign of acceptance into local culture. Multiple contextual factors acting at individual, relationship, community, and societal levels seem to increase women’s vulnerability to IPV. Similarly, individual, family, community, organizational, and societal level barriers prevented women from seeking services and leaving abusive relationships. Once certain neighborhoods become labeled as ‘violent,’ people living within and outside it (including law enforcement officials), become indifferent to incidents of violence in these communities. Preserving the strong sense of interdependence within the family, and strengthening the ideal of reciprocity and balance at home could be highly influential in preventing perpetration of IPV and helping women access IPV-related services in Hilo, Hawaii.