Honoring resilience narratives: Protective factors among Indigenous women experiencing intimate partner violence


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Despite the need for education among undergraduate social work students and practitioners to provide culturally relevant services to address the disproportionate rates of violence against Indigenous women in the United States, little is known about which factors Indigenous women identify as protective. Thus, the purpose of this article is to uncover Indigenous women’s narratives of resilience or emergent protective factors related to experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV). As part of a broader critical ethnography, results emerged from thematic analysis of ethnographic interviews with 29 Indigenous women who had experienced IPV. Women reported the following protective factors: (a) an educational orientation; (b) affirming talents and abilities; (c) constructive coping, which included helping others and expressing emotions; (d) faith; (e) optimism and resilience perspectives; and (f) self- reliance and inner strength. Identified protective factors may guide education for social work students and practitioners regarding how to engage in strengths- based practice with these populations.

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