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Intimate partner violence against women and its related immigration stressors in Pakistani immigrant families in Germany

Rubeena Zakar12*, Muhammad Z Zakar2, Thomas Faist3 and Alexander Kraemer1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Public Health Medicine, School of Public Health, Bielefeld University, Universität Straße 25, Bielefeld, 33615, Germany

2 Institute of Social and Cultural Studies, University of the Punjab, Quid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore, 54590, Pakistan

3 Centre on Migration, Citizenship and Development (COMCAD), Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University, Universität Straße 25, Bielefeld, 33615, Germany

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SpringerPlus 2012, 1:5  doi:10.1186/2193-1801-1-5

Published: 21 June 2012

Abstract

This paper addresses the issue of intimate partner violence against women and its related immigration stressors in Pakistani immigrant families in Germany. Drawing on 32 in-depth interviews with Pakistani women in three cities in Germany, we found that psychological violence was the commonly reported violence among the study participants. The data showed that the process of immigration exacerbated tensions between spouses because of various immigration stressors such as threats to cultural identity, children’s socialization, and social isolation. In order to cope with the stressful spousal relations, women applied various indigenous strategies, but avoided seeking help from the host country’s formal care-providing institutions. This study also debunks some stereotypes and popular media clichés about the “victimhood of women from conservative developing countries” and provides an understanding of the issue of intimate partner violence within an immigration context. Further research with a larger sample will be helpful to understand immigration-induced stress and intimate partner violence in immigrant families.

Keywords:
Intimate partner violence; Immigrant families; Pakistan; Immigration stressors