'Life under the tent is not safe, especially for young women': understanding intersectional violence among internally displaced youth in Leogane, Haiti.Glob Health Action 2016 Jan - Dec; 10(sup2):1270816GH
Haiti's 2010 earthquake devastated social, health, and economic infrastructure and left 2 million persons homeless. Over 6 years later 61,000 people remain displaced, most lacking protection, services, and durable solutions. Structural contexts elevate risks of gender-based violence (GBV) targeting internally displaced (ID) girls and women.
We used an intersectionality framework to explore lived experiences and understanding of violence among ID young men and women in Leogane, Haiti.
We conducted six focus groups, three with ID young women (n = 30) and three with ID young men (n = 30) aged 18-24 years, and 11 in-depth individual interviews with frontline workers in Leogane. Focus groups and interviews were conducted in Kreyol, transcribed verbatim, translated into English, and analyzed using narrative thematic techniques.
Findings revealed violence experienced by ID youth was (re)produced at the intersection of gender, poverty, displacement, and age. Multi-level forms of violence included structural (e.g. poverty), community (e.g. gender norms, and interpersonal (e.g. family expectations) dimensions. Coping strategies spanned intrapersonal (hope), community (social support), and structural (employment/education) dimensions.
Interventions to reduce violence should be tailored to address the social inequities that emerge at the intersection of youth, poverty, displacement, and hegemonic gender norms.