Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Ginette Lafreniere

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor

Second Advisor

Eliana Suarez

Advisor Role

Committee Member


There is a paucity of qualitative scholarship on Indian and Pakistani immigrant women’s experiences of family violence. Further, existing scholarship on this topic seldom explores the unique experiences of distinct South Asian groups such as Indian and Pakistani immigrant women. This thesis addressed this gap in the literature by qualitatively examining family violence among immigrant Indian and Pakistani women in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). A case study methodology was used to explore two research questions: 1) What are the cultural specificities of family violence as experienced by Indian and Pakistani immigrant women in the GTA? and 2) How are their experiences situated within an immigration context? Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with three women with lived experiences of family violence and six service providers who serve this population. By drawing on multiple theoretical frameworks of feminism, postcolonialism, resilience and immigration, a thematic analysis of the narratives revealed three major themes: 1) Specificities of violence through a cultural lens, 2) Barriers to service and 3) Resiliency: From victimhood to survivorship. Finally, significant implications and recommendations are offered to incorporate these findings within the practice, research and educational arenas of social work.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Social Work Commons