Major Department

Social Work


College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Summer 2017

Honors Major Advisor

Sara Sanders

Thesis Mentor

Carolyn Hartley


This Honors thesis presents a review of the literature on the magnitude and impact of intimate partner violence (IPV) in Black immigrant communities in the U.S. I argue that IPV must be approached within an intersectional framework in order to account for the ways in which multidimensional identities and experiences occur in conjunction with abuse. The intersectional identities of Black Immigrant Women (BIW); as Black, foreign, and woman, render them essentially invisible in U.S. immigration discourse and especially vulnerable to IPV due to multifaceted layers of oppression as well as specific cultural and religious implications. This thesis first presents the demographic makeup of Black immigrant communities in the United States, noting push and pull factors for migration, educational and economic statistics, and a pattern of burgeoning pockets of specific Black immigrant ethnic groups. The following section provides statistics on the prevalence and scope of IPV in Black immigrant communities and throughout the world. I then present unique cultural and societal factors as challenges to addressing IPV among BIW including; risk factors for experiencing abuse such as changing gender and family roles, institutional racism, the process of acculturation as a result of migration, and the burden of cultural honor and responsibilities. In union with unique cultural and societal risk factors are barriers to help-seeking for BIW experiencing abuse. These barriers include prior dissatisfaction to help-seeking services, community pressure, the significance of marriage and honor in Black immigrant communities, and a lack of culturally specific care. Finally, I provide an implications section for social work practice, arguing for culturally relevant IPV interventions in Black immigrant communities from a macro, mezzo, and then micro scale. This includes greater community collaboration and engagement with Black immigrant communities, centering BIW’s voices, culturally relevant prevention and outreach efforts, collaborative and impactful research that is research practice, a re-framing of IPV within social work education, and ultimately, addressing IPV in Black immigrant communities from an intersectional framework at the macro, mezzo, and micro scale.


domestic violence, intimate partner violence, intersectionality, social work, immigration, social justice, Black immigrant communities, Black immigrant women, African women

Total Pages

67 pages


Copyright © 2017 Azzah Nasraddin

Included in

Social Work Commons