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Domestic Violence and Diversity: A Call for Multicultural Services

Author: MELVINA SUMTER
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 29 No. 2

Domestic violence is a pervasive problem in virtually all
countries, cultures, ethnic and racial groups, and social classes. A
review of the literature indicates that in the vast scholarship on violence
against women in intimate relationships, minimal attention has been
given to experiences of ethnic minorities. Consequently, although there
have been significant gains in providing criminal justice and social
services initiatives to victims of domestic violence, many victims of
intimate violence who are ethnic minorities underutilize the
interventions and services available in part because their help-seeking
behaviors differ from those of the dominant culture. As such, this
paper provides an overview of some of the cultural barriers that may
hinder the effectiveness as well as limit the amount of intervention and
social services available for some of the most vulnerable victims of
intimate violence. This paper concludes with recommendations that
agencies as well as individual service providers can employ to increase
their multicultural competency.

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