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Historical Oppression and Intimate Partner Violence Experienced by Indigenous Women in the United States: Understanding Connections

Catherine Burnette
Social Service Review
Vol. 89, No. 3 (September 2015), pp. 531-563
DOI: 10.1086/683336
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/683336
Page Count: 33
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Historical Oppression and Intimate Partner Violence Experienced by Indigenous Women in the United States: Understanding Connections
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Abstract

AbstractAlthough indigenous women in the United States consistently experience disproportionately high rates of intimate partner violence (IPV), attention to this problem is glaringly underrepresented in the existing research. This article addresses the lack of empirical research on structural causes of violence by aiming to understand historical oppression in the lives of southeastern tribal members and highlighting how historical oppression may give rise to the increased likelihood of violence against indigenous women. Critical analysis of ethnographic data drawn from a broader critical ethnography and interviews with 49 indigenous women and professionals who had firsthand experiences with violence, either personally or professionally, uncovers five main themes: experiences of oppression, historical and contemporary losses, cultural disruption, manifestations of oppression, and dehumanizing beliefs and values. Results indicate that various forms of historical oppression created a context in which IPV tends to be perpetuated at high rates.

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