College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-14-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Leonard A. Jason, PhD

Second Advisor

Douglas Bruce, PhD

Third Advisor

Anne Saw, PhD


Research has demonstrated that individuals of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic are at high risk of violence and experience multiple levels of structural oppression. However, less research exists specifically for women of Haitian descent, who are at unique risk of violence due to the complex political history between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as structural and gendered violence. I use frameworks of socio-ecological systems, intersectionality, structured violence, and gendered violence to consider how women of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic construct safety and prioritize different needs for their survival. I used thematic analysis to analyze life history interviews of women who had married at least once and who endorsed experiencing violence in their lives. Analysis demonstrated that women navigate a variety of informal supports primarily with other women to address different needs, including material, emotional, and interpersonal issues.

SLP Collection