Primary Care Needs of Latin American Women Asylee Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

Investigator: Ashley Yang, MS
Sponsor: Global Health Sciences Education

Location(s): United States


Mentor: Dr. Kelly Knight and Dr. Nick Nelson 

Intimate partner violence affects approximately 30% of women aged 15-49 living in the Latin American countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador. Severe and long-term abuse, coupled with culturally normative attitudes toward IPV and a legal system that is unresponsive to the needs of IPV survivors pushes many affected Latin American women to seek asylum in the U.S. Forensic medical evaluations are a critical tool used to document the physical and psychological sequelae of survivors of ill-treatment and corroborate their accounts of abuse in support of their asylum petitions. This study describes the IPV-related traumatic experiences of women in this population who have received forensic medical evaluation services at the Highland Hospital and the functional significance of these traumas on their day-to-day lives. It also elucidates the observations of clinical psychologists who have evaluated members of this population and their recommendations for providing them longitudinal therapy and support.