7 How to Approach these Cases

The case studies in this book are a collection of facts gathered from a number of legal documents of closed domestic violence cases. The authors of this text encourage you to think about these cases with some specific theoretical or conceptual frameworks in mind (these are lenses or ways to consider the cases as you read them).




Anti-colonialism challenges structures that continue to uphold systems of oppression and marginalization, while the same structures promote notions of universality and equality (Smith, 2012). Specifically, an anti-colonial framework interrogates dominating power relations structured along lines of race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion, language, disability, and sexuality (Dei, 2000; Dei & Ashgarzadeh, 2001). Within the context of the cases presented here, this framework allows us to question the effectiveness of existing Canadian institutions and social service delivery models. Such models are based on Western Eurocentric ideas and are applied universally to all women including racialized immigrant women disregarding their own ways of knowing and responding as inferior. In this manner these institutions and services reproduce marginalization.


Critical Race Feminism 

Critical Race Feminism considers race as a vital aspect shaping everyday interaction of people. Viewed from this perspective, patriarchy refers to all social relations where any individual or group is subjugated to the interests of another against their will (Razack et al., 2010). Critical Race Feminists centre race and gender relations as a critical aspect influencing the experiences of racialized immigrant women as they interact with various societal institutions and service providers while addressing domestic violence.


Anti-Oppression Perspective (AOP)

An anti-oppression perspective recognizes multiple, intersecting and interlocking forms of oppressions experienced by marginalized individuals and groups (Collins; 1990; Crenshaw, 1989). Each immigrant woman experiencing domestic violence is distinctly positioned within the complexities of these oppressions based on the intersections of their age, race, gender, class, immigration status, and proficiency in the English language. These women often get locked within these multiple oppressions as the oppressions influence each other and create a unique experience of oppression.


Culturally Sensitive/Informed Approach 

A culturally sensitive approach (Fernandaz-Borrero et al., 2016) “promotes attitudes of recognition, respect, tolerance” (p. 448), and ensures marginalization, alienation, and silencing of individuals ceases to occur on the grounds of judgment based on Eurocentric norms. The personal and professional development of incorporating cultural sensitivity is expected to be a lifelong learning process which is primarily developed through constant interactions with diverse populations (Arthur, 2001; Fernandaz-Borrero, et al., 2016). Viewed within this perspective, only strategies that are culturally sensitive and/or appropriate would successfully support women to end abuse in their lives.


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Domestic Violence in Immigrant Communities: Case Studies Copyright © 2020 by Ferzana Chaze, Bethany Osborne, Archana Medhekar and Purmina George is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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