Wednesday, September 12, 2018

OSCAR Student Ruth Maul Learns about the Socioeconomic & Cultural Experiences of Latina Immigrants who Experience Intimate Partner Violence

The reason I got interested in this summer impact grant project, created by Drs. Gupta, Sutter, and Gring-Pemble, is because it aligns perfectly with the things I am most passionate about: women issues, migrant issues, human rights, and the creation of social support projects for Latin@ minorities in my community. The IPV project tackles all of them with one single goal: “to adapt global economic and social empowerment programs to improve the well-being of Latina immigrants.”  With this two-part study, we aim to learn about the socioeconomic and cultural experiences of Latina immigrants who experience Intimate Partner Violence, and the immigration-related stressors that can impact their physical and mental health; as well as compiling data collected through surveys for preparing recommendations for future programming.

I am very thankful to take part in this project where my abilities as a bilingual student, and my interest in women and migrant issues, can provide effective contributions to the work of the IPV team. I am glad to have been given this opportunity to learn about this type of social research; it has been very educational and informative. So far, one very important thing that I have discovered about conducting social research is the complexity of the protocols needed to create, administer, and report on one’s research. The team and I had to take certifications prior to the creation of our surveys and the follow-up work. It has been an intense process with repetitive work, countless revisions, and constant submission of our work for oversight from our mentors. We have conducted weekly meetings with our mentors, and daily face to face meetings with team members for revisions, and oral practices of the surveys. The only setback we have experienced so far was the delayed approval from the IRB which delayed our survey delivery by two weeks, but which gave us extra time to polish our survey interview skills.

Finally, we were given the opportunity to put into practice what we have been preparing for months: the delivery of the surveys to the clients of the community clinics, MAPS, in Manassas and Culmore. I look forward to the presentation of our final work. It will be an exciting presentation.