‘If He Hits Me, Is That Love? I Don’t Think So’: An Ethnographic Investigation of the Multi-Level Influences Shaping Indigenous Women’s Decision-Making Around Intimate Partner Violence in the Rural Peruvian Andes
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Degree Granting Department
Jaime Corvin, Ph.D.
Martha Coulter, Dr.P.H., MSW
Ricardo Izurieta, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Linda Whiteford, Ph.D., MPH
ecological framework of violence against women, gender-based violence, intersectionality, participatory action research, qualitative research
This dissertation examines how the intersections of gender, ethnicity, place, and class shape indigenous women’s risks for and experiences of intimate partner violence and related decision-making in Carhuaz province, an underserved, resource-poor setting in the Peruvian Andes. This dissertation applied a mixed-methods, community-based approach to 11 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Peru, which included 82 face-to-face surveys using the World Health Organization’s Multi-Country Study Instrument, 38 semi-structured interviews with survivors, community members, and IPV-related service providers, and 6 participatory action research workshops (n=64).
Through this dissertation, the voices of indigenous women struggling with intimate partner violence illuminate the lived realities of partner violence, shedding light on how women in Carhuaz province cope with, escape from, and rebuild after such experiences. Through a multi-level, intersectional analysis, this dissertation identifies the multiple oppressions survivors face by demonstrating how intimate partner violence is embedded in broader political and social structures, with experiences of structural violence, such as institutionalized ethnic discrimination, reinforcing intimate violence. This research documents the prioritization of children’s emotional wellbeing and financial stability in survivor decision-making around intimate partner violence, as well as the influential roles of gender expectations, community gossip, and perceptions of violence. Broadly, this research helps addresses the gap in qualitative literature regarding intimate partner violence among non-Western, non-urban, minority populations, elucidating the various and distinct experiences of survivors in under-researched areas.
Scholar Commons Citation
Chan, Isabella Li, "‘If He Hits Me, Is That Love? I Don’t Think So’: An Ethnographic Investigation of the Multi-Level Influences Shaping Indigenous Women’s Decision-Making Around Intimate Partner Violence in the Rural Peruvian Andes" (2019). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.