About the Session:
Domestic violence impacts the mental health and well-being of women across Canada. Immigrant women, including refugees, experience unique risk factors for domestic homicide and domestic violence compared to Canadian-born women. Thus, educating service providers on these risk factors can create culturally appropriate mental health treatment plans for immigrant survivors of domestic violence. Although there is limited research on this issue in a Canadian context, a review of the literature reveals that immigrant women experience language barriers, spousal economic dependence, and differing views on gender roles that place them in a vulnerable position. This study examines these risk factors in a Canadian framework. A thorough understanding of these barriers can improve cultural competence amongst mental health service providers and help create effective risk management and safety planning strategies for all women who call Canada home. F_Keywords: diversity, mental health, justice system, feminism, immigration, refugees, human rights, violence against women.
Sakthi Kalaichandran is an MA Counselling Psychology student at Western University and is pursuing her thesis at the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children. Her thesis is investigating the risk factors of domestic homicide in immigrant and refugee populations and is informed by her academic background in international relations and psychology.