6.6 Future Directions

Future Directions

What can be done to prevent and intervene with IPV among immigrants/refugees? We have several suggestions for research and practice to address this critical problem. First, researchers must evaluate if IPV in immigrant and refugee families has distinct etiologies, characteristics, and outcomes compared to non-immigrant and non-refugee families. As we discussed in the “Where’s Waldo” sidebar, very little research has captured IPV perpetrators’ perspectives. We urge researchers to particularly assess the features of IPV perpetration among immigrants/refugees. This research will guide prevention and intervention work among immigrants and refugees. Effective programs must: 1) be available in the immigrants’ language; 2) be adapted to be culturally appropriate for the immigrants’ background; 3) reframe cultural norms; and 4) encourage healthy relationships (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2009). Perpetrators are also in need of culturally specific programs. Such programs could include psychoeducation about IPV and culturally specific practices that call for respecting women (Rana, 2012).

Immigrant/refugee survivors describe word-of-mouth as the most effective way to increase awareness of IPV and resources to address it. They propose a call to action to prevent and address IPV. Through conversation, we can help our community members know about available resources. Everyone is called to be a part of “increasing the visibility of people affected by IPV, working for equality, and raising awareness” (Moya et al., 2014).