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Robin Friedman


The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that influence the decisions among Latina victims of domestic violence as to whether to seek support services after experiencing domestic violence. Various studies have found a higher rate of domestic violence among Latinas than other ethnic minority groups. A review of the contemporary literature demonstrated that little is known about factors influencing these women’s decisions about whether to seek support services post domestic violence experiences. Intersectionality and structural violence theory constituted this study’s framework. The research questions explored the lived experiences of Latina victims of domestic violence in seeking help from antidomestic violence agencies and their reasons for not seeking support services. Semistructured interviews of 8 self-identified Latina victims of domestic violence were conducted. Data were analyzed using Moustakas’ steps in transcendental phenomenology. The findings revealed 5 core themes of the participants’ experiences: Theme 1: Rationale for not Seeking Support Services, Theme 2: Family’s Influence on Help Seeking, Theme 3: Cultural Constraints, Theme 4: Reasons for not Calling the Police, and Theme 5: Financial Constraints. Recommendations include additional studies to explore additional studies on how to address the causes for not seeking support services that were identified by the participants in this study. More

culturally competent services for minorities struggling with domestic violence need to be offered. The findings can foster positive social change by providing an in-depth understanding of this phenomenon, including improving services provided by antidomestic violence agencies.

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