Violence against women and Hmong religious beliefs
Vang, Pa Der
Johnson, Andy J.
Springer Science + Business Media, New York, NY, 2015.
Consistent with animist tradition, Hmong concern themselves with maintaining strong ties to their spiritual lineage. The belief that each member of the Hmong community possesses a spirit that must be led back to the land of the spirits upon death is an ingrained belief that contributes to members' desires to maintain membership with the Hmong community and their spiritual lineage. In order to maintain membership with a spiritual lineage, members must follow social rules specific to gender, age, and familial roles. Hmong women who fail to obey men and elders may risk consequences such as physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. A Hmong woman who chooses divorce rather than endure violence voluntarily severs her ties with her husband's spiritual lineage, leaving her without a spiritual clan to facilitate her funeral in the future. This behavior is discouraged, resulting in women having to endure abuse rather than leave their abuser. The patriarchal nature of Hmong society places many burdens on Hmong men. They are obligated to fulfill cultural traditions and practices that uphold and maintain their spiritual lineage. It is necessary for Hmong men to marry and keep their family together in order to fulfill their cultural and community obligations. Hmong men may go to extremes to keep their family intact because the Hmong community maintains their right and privilege to do so. Hmong men who abuse their wives in order to maintain a sense of order in their household face almost no consequences because the community believes it is the man's right to maintain order in his household. The migration of Hmong to the USA has resulted in role reversals between genders and generations leading to role loss and disruptions of cultural traditions for first generation Hmong refugees. In addition, Hmong refugees suffer from loss of culture and traditions and face cultural, language, and economic barriers as they transition to life in the USA. Hmong men must cope with the myriad of losses and the traumatic experiences of war-related migration as they adjust to life in America. It is necessary that Western providers take into account the plethora of culturally specific loss issues and spirituality-based decision-making processes of the Hinong in the treatment of Hmono men who batter. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved) (Source: chapter)