An Exploratory Study of Female Korean American Church Leaders’ Views on Domestic Violence


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This exploratory qualitative study examines the potential of Korean Protestant churches in preventing and intervening in domestic violence against women through the views of Korean Protestant female leaders. The study explores participants’ understanding of their religious teachings on domestic violence, as well as how they view the role of Korean churches in addressing domestic violence against women in the Korean community. Participants considered domestic violence as something for which a marriage could rightfully be dissolved, considered abusers as sick people who need help, and advocated for domestic violence primary prevention targeting the whole community; however , they expected Korean churches to engage in preventing domestic violence instead of intervening in domestic violence cases. Based on outcomes of the study, potential avenues for change in practice, policy, and future research are discussed. While there is a paucity of nationally representative prevalence studies of domestic violence among Koreans in the U.S., some studies have demonstrated higher rates of domestic violence among Koreans than other U.S. ethnic groups, with as many as 60% of women suffering from physical abuse by an intimate partner (Ahn, highlights that this physical violence is often severe. As a consequence of the violence, 70% of the physically abused women suffered bruises, 19% had broken bones or teeth, 9% experienced miscarriages, and 7% were hospitalized (Song-Kim, 1992).

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