: Data on Roma women’s experience of violence from their male partners are very scarce. We explored the process of actual domestic violence against Roma women, the threat of violence and its health consequences. We further focused on barriers in the availability of specialized support services aimed at eliminating domestic violence. Methods
: The sample included 20 Roma women living throughout Slovakia: scattered among the majority (45.0%), in crisis centers and sheltered houses (40.0%), and in segregated Roma settlements (15.0%). Data were obtained through qualitative research by means of semi-structured interviews in 20 individual case studies. All 20 women had experienced a combination of violence: physical, psychological and economic, all of them connected with social isolation. Results
: Prevailing gender stereotypes are a precondition of domestic violence against women, regardless of their status. Violence against Roma women resulted in several health consequences, and all of the 20 women suffered from these. Most of them reported general psychological problems (75%), among which anxiety and depression (25%), headache (25%), weight loss (10%) and health problems connected with motor activity (5%). The barriers include lack of awareness among Roma women of any specialised support services and the absence of such services for abused women in the region. Conclusions
: Domestic violence results in serious psychological and physical health consequences. Violence elimination is generally set up without a specific ethnic or gender approach. Disregard of these specifics can lead to deepening of the uneven position of Roma women within the family, community and society, and the acceptance of violence against Roma women.
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