Mexican Immigrant Women's Reconstruction of Punishment and Victimhood in Intimate Partner Violence

Violence Against Women. 2020 Jul;26(9):987-1007. doi: 10.1177/1077801219850347. Epub 2019 Jun 19.


Utilizing 20 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with Mexican immigrant women in Southern California, we argue that participants employ a bifocal lens to develop perceptions of intimate partner violence (IPV). By drawing on existing knowledge from Mexico as reference points, the findings show that participants construct law enforcement as the appropriate intervention in the United States. As a result, they construct new norms for victims on how to address IPV. Ultimately, this research suggests that perceptions of laws and law enforcement as change agents in ending IPV within the United States may create, in fact, a false sense of security in Mexican immigrant women.

Keywords: Mexican immigrants; bifocal lens; intimate partner violence.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Female
  • Help-Seeking Behavior
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Intimate Partner Violence / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Intimate Partner Violence / psychology*
  • Law Enforcement / methods*
  • Mexican Americans / psychology*
  • Mexico
  • Middle Aged
  • Perception
  • Punishment
  • United States
  • Young Adult