Why place and space matter for intimate partner violence survivors’ mental wellbeing and communities in Northeastern Uganda

Jennifer J. Mootz, Sally D. Stabb, Catherine Carlson, Liat Helpman, Patrick Onyango Mangen, Milton L. Wainberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The context of place matters for mental health. Employing a feminist framework, this study used key informant interviews and focus group discussions in May 2012 with 77 conflict-affected adults, children, and adolescents in Northeastern Uganda to understand the relation of place and the symbolic space of family to IPV survivors’ mental wellbeing to shape intervention possibilities. Using Grounded Theory methods, narratives identified numerous negative mental health experiences, such as having a disturbed mind, associated with inhabiting a violent domestic space. Place-associated qualities interacted with the symbolic space of the family to impede women’s ability to enhance the safety of their domestic space, discourage separation, and encourage reunification in the case of separation, all of which related to negative mental health experiences. Interventions should not assume that IPV survivors’ exposure to violence has terminated and look beyond mental health as an individual outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)975-986
Number of pages12
JournalWomen and Health
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported in part by the National Institute of Mental Health funded T-32 post-Doctoral Research Fellowship Training Grant #T32 MH096724, Global Mental Health Research Fellowship: Interventions That Make A Difference.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • Armed conflict
  • Uganda
  • intimate partner violence
  • mental health
  • psychosocial intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)

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