Members of the Arab American community experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) face unique barriers to help-seeking and have different comfort levels with using formal and informal resources. This thesis surveyed Arab-Americans to identify perceived barriers and comfort levels with IPV help-seeking. A culturally informed and centered approach was taken to examine connections between individual level factors, perceived barriers and comfort levels in using resources. To do so, I gathered data via an online survey with 82 Arab American participants. Findings suggest that participants perceived the greatest barriers to seeking help for IPV are related to how others view and understand Arab Americans (i.e., "There is a stigma in how outsiders view Arab Americans" and "I feel my cultural values would not be taken into consideration") and that they would be more comfortable seeking help from informal resources, such as a friend or member of their family, compared to formal resources, such as calling the police or going to a homeless shelter. Participants who felt more connected to their local Arab American community perceived more barriers to IPV help-seeking and said they would feel less comfortable using informal and formal resources if they ever experienced IPV. Empirical evidence from this study suggests that Arab Americans believe that they would face many barriers and would feel uncomfortable in using more formal resources if they ever experienced IPV. To address these issues, it is important that those providing IPV resources better understand how they are being perceived by the Arab American community, and take steps to reduce those barriers and increase comfort levels in the Arab American community in using their services.


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Graduation Date





Reckdenwald, Amy


Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Sciences



Degree Program

Applied Sociology; Domestic Violence Track


CFE0009571; DP0027585





Release Date

May 2023

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)