Master's Project Title:

Providing quality care in sexual violence services for immigrants: A health care provider based needs assessment proposal

MCH Student:

Mayanthi Jayawardena

Date of Defense:

December 9, 2014


Sexual violence is a serious public health issue in the Twin Cities. With a diverse population,  health care providers face many barriers when treating victims. A primary barrier is the lack of  cultural tailoring of sexual violence services. While cultural competency trainings are available,  there have been little to no assessments on health care provider’s attitudes and interest in  addressing this important issue. The purpose of this research study is to gather what culturally  appropriate training and services are offered to health care providers and to determine the  challenges they face as they work with immigrant women facing sexual violence.

The goals of this research study are:

  • To identify existing gaps in care and challenges that health care providers face when  serving i mmigrant communities.
  • To generate recommendations to eliminate these challenges in order to improve sexual  violence services for immigrant communities.

To conduct this study, over a 12 – month time period three local clinics providing sexual violence  serv ices for immigrants will participate in this two – step study:

  • Step One: Conduct surveys of staff at each clinic.
  • Step Two: Conduct a 60 – minute focus group discussion with all of the interviewees at  each clinic.

Data will be collected and analyzed to gene rate action – oriented conversations that will lead to  crucial recommendations for future sexual violence initiatives at both the policy and direct  service level.