This study examines immigrant Latinas’ (ILs’) help-seeking behaviors, types of support systems, and access to intimate partner violence (IPV) services during a global health crisis (COVID-19) at a community-based agency in a Northeastern state.
Nineteen immigrant Latinas who had prior IPV-related services such as legal aid, advocacy, and support within 1–3 years were recruited for the study. Spanish-speaking telephone interviews averaging between 30 and 45 min were conducted with each participant. Content analysis was the method employed to review the data and generate themes of the participants’ experiences.
Participants’ qualitative responses included an increase of intimate partner violence during the pandemic. Types of support systems included reaching out to police departments, hospitals and health-care settings, and community-based agencies. Findings indicated a 47% positive response rate when working with police officers (e.g., bilingual Spanish-English speaking police officers), and the participants reported being supported by the agency staff where they received services.
Recommendations are provided to the community-based agency and other service providers regarding ongoing delivery of services and best practices for ILs throughout the pandemic transitions and beyond.