Journal of Cape Verdean Studies


Dawna M. Thomas


Family/intimate partner violence is a serious social problem, with women and children victimized at profoundly higher rates than adult males. Although the domestic violence community has worked tirelessly to develop programs to reach culturally diverse women, Cape Verdean women continue to be underserved and misunderstood. The Cape Verdean Women’s Project was a qualitative study with women who shared their experiences with intimate partner violence. A feminist theoretical framework offers a foundation for examining the Cape Verdean women’s experiences with intimate partner violence and for developing recommendations for working with the community to develop intervention and prevention strategies. This article presents research findings that include: Cape Verdean women’s perceptions of intimate partner violence, their strength and resilience, code of silence, and culture and violence. The article concludes with recommendations for social change.

Note on the Author

Dr. Dawna M. Thomas is Associate Professor of Sociology; Women’s and Gender Studies at Simmons College in Massachusetts, USA. She received a Ph.D. from the Law, Policy and Society Program at Northeastern University where her doctoral research examined the intersection of disability and race through the lens of the Cape Verdean community. Dr. Thomas was born in and grew up in Roxbury, where she still lives.