South Carolina Study: Domestic Violence Prevalent among Hispanics

Article excerpt

COLUMBIA, S.C.

Some 70 percent of Hispanic women surveyed in South Carolina say they are victims of domestic violence, according to studies by researchers at the University of South Carolina.

It's a serious problem in South Carolina's growing Hispanic community. Recent census estimates reported more than 110,000 Hispanics in the state, but those who study the population think the actual numbers are three to four times higher.

USC college of nursing researchers Mary Boyd, Tena Hunt and Kathleen Scharer conducted a series of studies looking at the links between domestic violence, child and substance abuse, and the prevalence of domestic violence among Hispanics in the state.

Of the more than 300 Hispanic women across the state surveyed by Hunt, 70 percent reported experiencing domestic violence in the previous year. Of these, 43 percent reported multiple episodes of abuse during that time.

Many of the women said violence was triggered by the abuser's alcohol use, Hunt says.

The women also reported that socioeconomic factors--such as unemployment or concerns about jobs or money--led to abuse.

About three-fourths of the women did not report the abuse to their health care provider because they were embarrassed, could not speak English or were afraid of their abusers, says Hunt, a USC nursing clinical instructor. …