Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse in Relationships

“We are sisters of the same pain” – Mexican immigrant women talk about intimate partner sexual violence

This report of in-depth interviews with Mexican immigrant women begins with the following abstract:

Migration across international borders places tremendous stress on immigrant families and may put women at greater risk for intimate partner violence. In this study, we used narrative analysis methods to explore how nine Mexican immigrant women in the Northeastern United States described their experiences of intimate partner sexual violence, and how these stories were embedded within narratives of transition and movement across borders. We identified three major themes: The Virgin and the Whore, The Family, and Getting Ahead. We share important implications for researchers and health and social service providers working with this population.


With support from a student research grant from the Ortner Center, the work was conducted by Tiffany Kim while she was a doctoral student at Penn’s School of Nursing. Ortner Center Faculty Fellows Jeanne A. Grisso (Medicine) and Marilyn Sommers (Nursing) also contributed to the research. Dr. Kim is now an assistant professor at Northeastern University.


The full article can be found at:

Kim T, Draucker CB, Bradway C, Grisso JA, Sommers MS. Somos Hermanas Del Mismo Dolor (We Are Sisters of the Same Pain): intimate partner sexual violence narratives among Mexican immigrant women in the United States. Violence Against Women. 2017; 23(5):623–642.