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Health Care for Women International


In this descriptive study we employ episodic narrative interviews and narrative analysis to explore experiences of abuse and violence within the families of origin of Mexican women entering adulthood. Twenty-four Mexican women, 18 years of age and about to graduate from a residential school in central Mexico, were interviewed about life in their families of origin. Participants were from several Mexican states and of low socioeconomic status. Nineteen of the participants described either witnessing or experiencing violence or abuse within their families. We present an analysis of the interviews in which violence or abuse was disclosed. Women who witnessed violence against their mothers did not see this as prescriptive of their own future relationships and articulated strategies for avoiding entering an abusive relationship. Women who experienced nonsexual physical violence described physical violence as punishment. Women who experienced sexual abuse did not provide explanations for the abuse and described being silent in response to the abuse.


This is the accepted, peer-reviewed, corrected version before publisher formatting.

Health Care for Women International, Volume 28, No. 5 (May 2007), DOI: 10.1080/07399330701226545.

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