"Violence is an international language": Tamil women's perceptions of intimate partner violence

Robin Mason, Ilene Hyman, Helene Berman, Sepali Guruge, Pushpa Kanagaratnam, Lisa Manuel
Violence Against Women 2008, 14 (12): 1397-412
Research on intimate partner violence (IPV) across populations is challenging because of the multiplicity of definitions and lack of clarity about the behaviors that constitute IPV. The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which Sri Lankan Tamil women in Toronto understand, define, and experience IPV. Focus group interviews were conducted with women representing different ages and stages of life. Findings suggest that definitions of IPV were not culturally specific. Rather, the Tamil women defined IPV broadly and recognized different forms of coercive control. However, psychologically abusive behaviors were identified that held particular meanings for this community.

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