'Now My Eyes are Open': Latina women's experiences in long-term support groups for intimate partner violence survivors. Academic Article uri icon


  • One in four women has experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. The effects of intimate partner violence on women's mental health may be long-term; possible conditions include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. Latina women may be particularly vulnerable to long-term effects of intimate partner violence. The purpose of this study was to describe Latina women's experiences in long-term support groups for survivors of intimate partner violence. Forty-nine Latina women were interviewed about their experiences in a nurse-led long-term support group, with participation from 2months to 9years. The women ranged in age from 26 to 73years and all but two interviews were in Spanish. Five themes emerged from the qualitative data: awakening, transformation, community, empowerment, and advocate. Women described their thoughts of still feeling the 'ugliness of the abuse', even years after it occurred with some women enduring abuse for as long as 32years. The need for long-term support groups was evident as women described the value of the group for providing support and gaining an understanding that they are not alone, or their awakening to the idea that they can have a life without abuse. Long-term support groups give voice to Latina women who are survivors of intimate partner violence. By raising their awareness and sense of community, women survivors can be transformed and empowered to improve their lives and advocate for others who face similar struggles.

published proceedings

  • Int J Ment Health Nurs

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Page, R. L., Montalvo-Liendo, N., Nava, A., & Chilton, J.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Page, Robin L||Montalvo-Liendo, Nora||Nava, Angeles||Chilton, Jenifer

publication date

  • June 2021