Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Domestic violence against South Asian immigrants in the United States is a vital concern, and its impacts are psychologically and physiologically debilitating. Past research supports the influence of identity and systems on a South Asian woman's decision to remain in an abusive relationship, however there is a dearth of data on survivors who leave violent interpersonal relationships in this community. The focus of this study is to better understand the factors which motivate South Asian American women to leave abusive partner relationships. Utilizing a qualitative approach, this study explored these factors, examined why women stay in abusive relationships, and explored the rewards and challenges after leaving. Data supported that obstacles included cultural perception, emotional states, and a lack of support. Departure from these relationships occurred when women experienced increasing deterioration and conflict, and were encouraged by social support to leave. Benefits after departure were optimism, peacefulness, and increased confidence. Losses included financial concerns, mistrust of others, and short-term depressive and anxious feelings.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2026

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