In Their Own Voices: Immigrant Arab-Muslim Women's Experiences with Interpersonal Violence in the U.S.

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Research has established that the experience of immigrant women with interpersonal violence is directly affected by their multiple layers of identity. This presentation uses the analytic concept of “intersectionality” (Crenshaw, 1994) or as stated by Abraham (2000) “ethno-gender” to examine the dynamics of interpersonal violence among Arab-Muslim women immigrants living in the U.S. The paper is based on a narrative analysis from interviews with 48 battered immigrant Arab-Muslim women living in various areas in the U.S.. The analysis explores the extent, nature and effect of interpersonal violence in the lives of this group of women. It further discusses the experiences of this ethnic/religious group of battered immigrant women in terms of accessing services that are directly related to dealing and reducing the violence. More particularly the women’s assessment of services provided by law enforcement, emergency room services and the courts are presented. The paper concludes with a discussion on the similarities and differences between this group of women’s needs and those women who belong to main stream society. Policy implications are included in this concluding section.


Keywords: Interpersonal Violence, Immigrant Women, Arab-Muslim
Stream: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Nawal Ammar

Professor and Dean, Faculty of Criminology, Justice and Policy Studies, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Professor Ammar (Ph.D. 1988, University of Florida, Gainesville) is an ethno-criminologist who conducts cross-cultural research on Islamic law and society, Muslim-Arab women outside war zones or occupation, violence against women, including battered immigrant women. Nawal’s recent research includes projects on violence against immigrant women, financing and intelligence of anti-terrorism, Muslims in U.S. prisons and domestic violence in Egypt. Professor Ammar has contributed over 50 book chapters, and refereed articles and has a 2005 E-book entitled Homeland Security: Controversies, Strategies and Impact. http://upress.kent.edu/books/Ammar.htm published by Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press. She is a frequent speaker at conferences with a record of near one-hundred presentations both invited and refereed. Ammar has more than a million and a half dollars in grants from local, state, national and international funding sources. She participated in the United Nations’ Fourth Conference on Women in Beijing, China, and is one of the authors of the United Nations Basic Principles for Restorative Justice.

Ref: I08P0212