Violence Against Women: An Exploration of the Physical and Mental Health Trends among Immigrant and Refugee Women in Canada

Violence against women is a serious health and social problem for women worldwide. Research has looked broadly at the physical and mental health consequences of violence but little attention has been focused on immigrant and refugee women. In partnership with Ryerson University we examined history of violence and presence of physical and mental health impairment prior to, during and post migration for 60 women participants from the Iranian and Sri Lankan Tamil immigrant and refugee communities in Toronto, Canada. Our survey results show that immigrant and refugee women experience various types of violence throughout their lifespan, with psychological abuse occurring most frequently in the past year. Our study shows that a substantial proportion of abused immigrant and refugee women in Canada may also experience physical and mental health impairment. Women in our sample reported higher rates of post-traumatic stress which may be due to current situations of abuse, leaving countries where civil war was the norm, or injustice during transit to Canada. Research and practice implications are provided in our research paper, available through open source at Nursing Research and Practice.

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