Domestic Violence and Immigrant Women's Access to Services in Edmonton, Alberta

Wendy Aujla

Abstract


Domestic violence is a growing concern in Canada because immigrant women’s abuse situation in many ways is very different from most other women. Some immigrant women often struggle to cope with the abusive situation in Canada because they lack knowledge of shelters and other resources available to them.

This study recognizes to what extent local Edmonton shelters or organizations are accessible to immigrant women and how individuals in the field understand the strengths and challenges of accessibility.

Four in-depth interviews with a front-line worker, program coordinator, and two executive directors from three different organizations were conducted in 2009. Participants disclose their experiences and impressions as someone who has worked in the field. A textual analysis approach of the three organizations' websites is used to determine what messages are portrayed about the services offered to provide support to immigrant women who may or may not speak English. Four key themes emerge from this study: knowledge of immigrant women’s needs, working together, programs and services, and accessibility. This research study contributes to the development of support programs by identifying how shelters or organizations make themselves accessible.


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