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Economic crisis, immigrant women and changing availability of intimate partner violence services: a qualitative study of professionals¿ perceptions in Spain

10 Sep 2014

IntroductionSince 2008, Spain has been in the throes of an economic crisis. This recession particularly affects the living conditions of vulnerable populations, and has also led to a reversal in social policies and a reduction in resources. In this context, the aim of this study was to explore intimate partner violence (IPV) service providers? perceptions of the impact of the current economic crisis on these resources in Spain and on their capacity to respond to immigrant women?s needs experiencing IPV.
A qualitative study was performed based on 43 semi-structured in-depth interviews to social workers, psychologists, intercultural mediators, judges, lawyers, police officers and health professionals from different services dealing with IPV (both, public and NGO?s) and cities in Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Alicante) in 2011. Transcripts were imported into qualitative analysis software (Atlas.ti), and analysed using qualitative content analysis.
We identified four categories related to the perceived impact of the current economic crisis: a) ?Immigrant women have it harder now?, b) ?IPV and immigration resources are the first in line for cuts?, c) ? Fewer staff means a less effective service? and d) ?Equality and IPV policies are no longer a government priority?. A cross-cutting theme emerged from these categories: immigrant women are triply affected; by IPV, by the crisis, and by structural violence.
The professionals interviewed felt that present resources in Spain are insufficient to meet the needs of immigrant women, and that the situation might worsen in the future.

10 September 2014

Click here to view the full article which appeared in International Journal for Equity in Health