Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 171–180 | Cite as

Social Support and Disclosure of Abuse: Comparing South Asian, African American, and Hispanic Battered Women

  • Marianne R. Yoshioka
  • Louisa Gilbert
  • Nabila El-Bassel
  • Malahat Baig-Amin


Sixty-two battered women who had accessed domestic violence services were asked to whom they disclosed the partner abuse, the responses they received, and how supported they felt by kin and nonkin network members. The findings showed that older women and those who had resided in the United States longer were more likely to make disclosures to kin members. Older women, those who had higher levels of perceived social support, and those who reported lower frequency of physical violence were more likely to disclose to nonkin members. The findings suggest that those women experiencing more severe abuse may be the least likely to disclose to others. As a group, the South Asian women were older and more educated, and greater proportions were or had been married to the abuser. In contrast to the other groups, a greater proportion reported having been burned or scalded and fewer reported being sexually coerced. In greater proportions, they disclosed the abuse to brothers and fathers and were advised to stay in their marriages. Service providers working with minority battered women must be knowledgeable of cross-cultural differences in the experience of abuse and disclosure patterns. Culturally appropriate and aggressive outreach within specific ethnic communities may be required to reach battered women in the community. Service providers must consider working with members of women's informal support network to provide both emotional and instrumental support.

partner violence social support disclosure battered women racial differences 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marianne R. Yoshioka
    • 1
  • Louisa Gilbert
    • 1
  • Nabila El-Bassel
    • 1
  • Malahat Baig-Amin
    • 1
  1. 1.Columbia University School of Social WorkNew York

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