Mail order Brides (MOBs) are women who marry men through international marriage brokers. Usually, MOBs come from less developed countries than their husbands. In recent years, domestic violence in mail order marriages has been brought to public awareness. Although legal protection from government is in place, it is not always sufficient. Community resources, on the other hand, can be helpful for MOBs to escape from domestic violence. Therefore, in order to find out what community resources are available to MOBs who experience domestic violence, the author has conducted 10 interviews with professionals who work in different domestic violence service organizations in the Twin Cities area. This research suggests that only a small number of MOBs have utilized existing community resources. Cultural and language competency as well as an awareness of the unique needs of MOBs who experience domestic violence vary among organizations. Most professionals categorized MOBs as “Immigrants” and saw no difference between the needs of MOBs and those of either all women in general, or immigrant women in particular. Funding cuts and access to MOBs are the main barriers for most organizations in providing appropriate services. One interesting finding from the interviews is related to the term “Mail Order Brides;” as some who were interviewed saw MOBs as victims or other unwitting participants in the sex trafficking industry. This paper adds to our understanding of the unique needs of MOBs who experience domestic violence and whether or not community professionals are adequately prepared to assist them.
Faculty adviser: Dr. Steven M. Harris, Family Social Science
This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
"They're the Same as Any Woman:" Professionals' Awareness of the Unique Needs of Mail Order Brides Who Experience Domestic Violence.
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