A Review of Barriers to Treating Domestic Violence for Middle Eastern Women Living in the United States

Guy Balice*, Shayne Aquino, Shelly Baer, Mallory Behar, Anushree Belur, Jessica Flitter, Tyler Howard, Noah Laracy, Fereshte Mirzad, Roseta Patanian, Elizabeth Quintero, Kelly Scheneman, Tanya Abughazaleh and Linda Placencia

A Review of Barriers to Treating Domestic Violence for Middle Eastern Women Living in the United States.

Although domestic violence (DV) has been a problem throughout history, it is only in the past two decades that researchers have shown interest in analyzing how cultural values and social
norms relate to aggression and violence towards women. DV, as noted by Hawcroft et al2
“includes violence perpetrated by a family member or intimate partner towards another adult. Much of the current international evidence focuses on intimate partner violence (IPV), which is a subset of domestic violence”.

There are other problems associated with DV; for example, when compared to not having encountered a DV relationship, women within violent dyads report more frequent DV, and
are more likely to report headaches, chronic pain, difficulty sleeping, activity limitations, and overall poor physical health. These individuals can suffer from mental health problems such as depressive and anxiety symptoms, post-traumatic stress, and suicidal ideation.

In fact, research shows that 45.8% of women with depressive disorders reported domestic violence; 27.6% of women suffering from anxiety disorders reported experiencing domestic violence, and 61% of women suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder reported experiencing domestic violence.

Moreover, studies show that 36.4% of female victims of DV indicate a need for services during their
lifetime. These statistics highlight domestic violence as a correlate of various mental health disorders and therefore, a public health and safety problem. However, among victims of lifetime domestic violence, only 21.1% disclosed their victimization to a doctor or nurse.

Psychol Cogn Sci Open J. 2019; 5(1): 30-36. doi: 10.17140/PCSOJ-5-146