Defining the Empowerment Process: Perspectives of DV Survivors and their Advocates

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While there is a general assumption that engaging in domestic violence services will produce empowered women, some might find programs disempowering. Although empowerment has been defined as a process, there is a lack in clarity of what that process might look like. Given this gap in the literature, especially as it pertains to minority women, ICH is working with the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK), a Boston-based domestic violence advocacy and service agency on a CBPR study that engages both clients and advocates to identify and define facilitators and barriers in the process of empowerment. The team is made up of researchers from ICH, Tufts, staff and a past client at ATASK. Funding for the study comes from the Tufts Community Research Center.

Focus groups in three languages (Hindi, Chinese and English) have been conducted and analysis of those rich conversations is underway. Preliminary findings will be shared at the International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference in Portsmouth, New Hampshire (July 8-10, 2012). The results will also be shared with the focus group participants and leadership at ATASK later in August 2012. The goal of this study is to inform both service delivery at ATASK and the field of domestic violence research by incorporating new knowledge from an often invisible sub-population in the Asian American community.

For more information, check out the story featured on Tufts CTSI’s website.