Intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy is prevalent in Mexico and is associated with deleterious effects on physical and mental health. This study explored barriers to, and facilitators of, wellbeing and access to resources for IPV-exposed, pregnant women living in Nuevo León, Mexico.
Participants were N = 43 individuals (n = 17 women receiving IPV or prenatal health services, n = 20 mental health professionals, and n = 6 medical professionals) who participated in nine focus groups in Nuevo León. Qualitative focus group data were analyzed using thematic analysis.
Several barriers to women’s access to community resources and wellbeing were identified, including intrapersonal barriers, structural barriers, widespread violence exposure, and family expectations and power structures. Similarly, multiple facilitators of women’s wellbeing and access to resources emerged from the data, including women’s intrapersonal empowerment, support from women’s immediate social circles, and supports in the broader community.
Results suggest that women in Nuevo León who experience IPV during pregnancy face significant barriers to accessing supports that could foster wellbeing. Women also possess inherent strengths and actively seek to supports that contribute to their resilience in the face of IPV. Intervention strategies should focus on ways to overcome common barriers experienced by IPV-exposed women, while incorporating strategies to bolster personal empowerment and connection with existing community resources.