Overcoming Discrimination, Persecution, and Violence Against Women

  • Dana C. Jack
  • Jill Astbury
Part of the International and Cultural Psychology book series (ICUP)


This chapter addresses how silence gives consent to conditions that are oppressive, and examines how voice is liberatory, providing an antidote to the power of oppression that survives through silence. Additionally, we focus on psychology’s responsibility to confront more proactively and systemically the interlinked issues of oppression, discrimination, and violence against women.


Violence against women Silencing the self Gender Cambodia Chbab Srey 


  1. Addis, M. (2008). Gender and depression in men. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 15(3), 153–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Astbury, J. (2010). The social causes of women’s depression: A question of rights violated? In D. C. Jack & A. Ali (Eds.), Silencing the self across cultures: Depression and gender in the social world (pp. 19–45). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Astbury, J. (2012). Violating the right to health: how partner violence and disability undermine women’s mental health in Cambodia, special issue on mental health. Journal of Disability and International Development, 2, 4–11.Google Scholar
  4. Astbury, J., & Cabral, M. (2000). Women’s mental health: An evidence based review. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  5. AusAID (2010). Australia’s strategic approach to aid in Cambodia, 2010–2015. Canberra: Australian Government.Google Scholar
  6. BBC. (2008, April 5). Women face bias worldwide- UN. Retrieved August 10, 2008, from
  7. Belle, D., & Doucet, J. (2003). Poverty, inequality, and discrimination as sources of depression among U.S. women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 27(2), 101–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bowleg, L., Craig, M. L., & Burkholder, G. (2004). Rising and surviving: A conceptual model of active coping among black lesbians. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 10(3), 229–240.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bromet, E., Andrade, L. H., Hwang, I., Sampson, N. A., Alonso, J., de Girolamo, G et al. (2011). Cross-national epidemiology of DSM IV major depressive episode. BMC Medicine, 9(90). Retrieved October 10, 2012 from
  10. Campbell, J. C. (2002). Health consequences of intimate partner violence. Lancet, 359, 1331–1336.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cochran, S. D., Mays, V. M., Alegria, M., Ortega, A. N., & Takeuchi, D. (2007). Mental health and substance use disorders among Latino and Asian American lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75(5), 785–794.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cozolino, L. (2006). The neuroscience of human relationships. New York: WW Norton.Google Scholar
  13. Davidson, R. J., & Begley, S. (2012). The emotional life of your brain. New York: Hudson Street Press.Google Scholar
  14. DeMarco, R. F. (2010). Supporting voice in women living with HIV/AIDS. In D. C. Jack & A. Ali (Eds.), Silencing the self across cultures: Depression and gender in the social world (pp. 343–362). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eisenberger, N., & Lieberman, M. (2004). Why rejection hurts: A common neural alarm system for physical and social pain. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8, 294–300.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2(3), 300–319.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fredrickson, B. L. (2000). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and well-being. Prevention and Treatment, 3, Retrieved October 10, 2012 from
  18. Garcia-Moreno, C., Jansen, H., Ellsberg, M., Heise, L., & Watts, C. (2006). Prevalence of intimate partner violence: Findings from the WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence. Lancet, 368, 1260–1269.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Geertz, C. (1973). The interpretation of cultures: Selected essays. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  20. Gordon, R. (2010). Drugs don’t talk: Do medication and biological psychiatry contribute to silencing the self? In D. C. Jack & A. Ali (Eds.), Silencing the self across cultures: Depression and gender in the social world (pp. 47–72). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gratch, L. B., Bassett, M. E., & Attra, S. L. (1995). The relationship of gender and ethnicity to self silencing and depression among college students. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 19, 509–515.Google Scholar
  22. Hatzenbuehler, M. L., McLaughlin, K. A., Keyes, K. M., & Hasin, D. S. (2010). The impact of institutional discrimination on psychiatric disorders in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: A prospective study. American Journal of Public Health, 100(3), 452–459.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hegarty, K., Gunn, J., Chondros, P., & Small, R. (2004). Association between depression and abuse by partners of women attending general practice, descriptive cross-sectional survey. British Medical Journal, 328, 621–624.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. International Consensus Statement on Women’s Mental Health. (2006). World Psychiatry, 5(1), 61–64.Google Scholar
  25. International Labour Office. (2005). A global alliance against forced labour. Global report under the follow up to the ILO declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work. Geneva: International Labour Office.Google Scholar
  26. Jack, D. C. (1991). Silencing the self: Women and depression. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Jack, D. C. (1999). Silencing the self: Inner dialogues and outer realities. In T. E. Joiner & J. C. Coyne (Eds.), The interactional nature of depression: Advances in interpersonal approaches (pp. 221–246). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jack, D. C., & Ali, A. (Eds.). (2010). Silencing the self across cultures: Depression and gender in the social world. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Jack, D. C., & Dill, D. (1992). Silencing the self scale: Schemas of intimacy associated with depression in women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 16, 97–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jack, D. C., Ali, A., & Dias, S. (2013). Depression in multicultural populations. In F. E. Leong (ed.), Handbook of multicultural psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  31. Kawachi, I., & Berkman, L. F. (2001). Social ties and mental health. Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 78(3), 458–467.Google Scholar
  32. Kernie, M. A., Holt, V. L., Stoner, J. A., Wolf, M. E., & Rivara, F. P. (2003). Resolution of depression among victims of intimate partner violence: Is cessation of violence enough? Violence and Victims, 18, 115–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kessler, R., McGonagle, K., Zhao, S., Nelson, C. B., Hughes, M., Eshleman, S., et al. (1994). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders in the United States. Results from the national comorbidity study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 51(1), 8–19.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kleinman, A. (1995). Writing at the margin: Discourse between anthropology and medicine. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  35. Krug, E. G., Dahlberg, L., Mercy, J. A., Zwi, J. A., & Lozano, R. (2002). World report on violence and health. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  36. Leibowitz, R. Q., Jeffreys, M. D., Copeland, L. A., & Noel, P. H. (2008). Veterans’ disclosure of trauma to healthcare providers. General Hospital Psychiatry, 30(2), 100–103.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. LICADHO, (2007). Violence Against Women in Cambodia 2006, LICADHO: Phnom Penh.Google Scholar
  38. Lorde, A. (1980). The cancer journals. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books.Google Scholar
  39. Mann, J. M. (1999). Medicine and public health, ethics and human rights. In J. M. Mann, S. Gruskin, M. A. Grodin, & G. J. Annas (Eds.), Health and human rights: A reader (pp. 439–452). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Marmot, M., On Behalf of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (2007). Achieving health equity: from root causes to fair outcomes. The Lancet, 370(9593), 1153–1163.Google Scholar
  41. Marsella, A. J., & Kaplan, A. (2002). Cultural considerations for understanding, assessing, and treating depressive experience and disorder. In M. A. Renecke & M. R. Davison (Eds.), Comparative treatments of depression (pp. 47–78). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  42. Martin-Baro, I. (1994). Writings for a liberation psychology. Essays, 1985–1989. In A. Aron & S. Corne (eds.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Meyer, I. H. (1995). Minority stress and mental health in gay men. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 36(1), 38–56.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2005). Attachment security, compassion, and altruism. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(1), 34–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. (2010). Attachment in adulthood: Structure, dynamics, and change. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  46. Moller-Leimkuhler, A. M. (2003). The gender gap in suicide and premature death or: Why are men so vulnerable? European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 253(1), 1–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. NGO-CEDAW & CAMBOW (2011). Implementation of the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women in Cambodia. Retrieved from
  48. Oatley, K., & Jenkins, J. M. (1996). Understanding emotions. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  49. Panksepp, J. (1998). Affective neuroscience. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Patel, V., & Kleinman, A. (2003). Poverty and common mental disorders in developing countries. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 81(8), 609–615.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Reid, P. T. (1993). Poor women in psychological research: Shut up and shut out. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 17(2), 133–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Schulz, A. J., Gravlee, C. C., Williams, D. R., Israel, B., Mentz, G., & Rowe, Z. (2006). Discrimination, symptoms of depression, and self-rated health among African American women in Detroit: Results from a longitudinal analysis. American Journal of Public Health, 96(7), 1265–1270.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Smith, L., Chambers, D., & Bratini, L. (2009). When oppression is the pathogen: The participatory development of socially just mental health practice. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 79(2), 159–168.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Smolak, L. (2010). Gender as culture: The meanings of self-silencing in women and men. In In Jack, D. C., & Ali, A. (Eds.), Silencing the self across cultures: Depression and gender in the social world (pp. 129−146). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Taylor, S. E., Cousino Klein, L., Lewis, B. P., Gruenwald, T. L., Gurung, R. A. R., & Updegraff, J. A. (2000). Biobehavioral responses to stress in females: Tend-and-befriend, not fight-or-flight. Psychological Review, 107, 411–429.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Trimble, J. E., Scharron-del Rio, M. R., & Bernal, G. (2010). The itinerant researcher: Ethical and methodological issues in conducting cross-cultural mental health research. In D. C. Jack & A. Ali (Eds.), Silencing the self across cultures: Depression and gender in the social world (pp. 73–95). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Twenge, J. M., Baumeister, R. F., DeWall, C. N., Ciarocco, N. J., & Bartels, J. M. (2007). Social exclusion decreases prosocial behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(1), 56–66.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Ullman, S. E., & Filipas, H. H. (2001). Predictors of PTSD symptom severity and social reactions in sexual assault victims. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 14(2), 369–389.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. UN. (2010). Statistics and indicators on men and women. Retrieved from
  60. UNIFEM (2007). Violence against women: Facts and figures. Retrieved August 16, 2012, from
  61. United Nations. (2012). The Milleniun development goals report 2012. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
  62. van der Kolk, B. A. (1988). The trauma spectrum: The interaction of biological and social events in the genesis of the trauma response. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 1(3), 273–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Vera, E. M., Y Speight, S. L. (2003). Multicultural competence, social justice, and counseling psychology: Expanding our roles. The Counseling Psychologist, 31(3), 253–272.Google Scholar
  64. Vos, T., Astbury, J., Piers, S., Magnus, A., Heenan, M., Walker, L., et al. (2006). Measuring the health impact of intimate partner violence on the health of women in Victoria, Australia. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 84, 739–744.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Williams, D. R., Neighbors, H. W., & Jackson, J. S. (2003). Racial/ethnic discrimination and health: Findings from community studies. American Journal of Public Health, 93(2), 200–208. PMCID: PMC1447717.Google Scholar
  66. Woods, S. (2010). Seeking safety with undesirable outcomes: Women’’ self-silencing in abusive relationships and implications for healthcare. In D. C. Jack & A. Ali (Eds.), Silencing the self across cultures: Depression and gender in the social world (pp. 485–504). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. World Bank. (2006). Women in development. In 2006 World Development Indicators, Washington, DC. Retrieved August 22, 2008, from
  68. World Health Organization, International Consortium of Psychiatric Epidemiology. (2000). Cross national comparisons of mental disorders. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 78, 413–426.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary StudiesWestern Washington UniversityBellinghamUSA
  2. 2.School of Social Sciences and PsychologyVictoria UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations