Photovoice and Migrant Women: Survivors of Domestic Violence Tell Their Story

NNEDLearn 2013 Participant: Family Service of El Paso

Other Participants: Familias Triunfadoras, Inc., Consulado General de México in El Paso

Description: The University of Texas at El Paso College of Health Sciences Department of Social Work implemented the intervention with 22 Mexican migrant women who were survivors of domestic violence, participant ages were 16-72 years. The program used group discussion and photography to help the women create a narrative, or descriptions of photographs on migration, domestic violence and sexual reproductive health. The process helped women reflect on their situations. A Call to Action was developed by the project participants and presented to policy and decision makers advocating for visibility, gender equality, legal support, education as well as sexual and reproductive health services for all.

The photograph gallery has been presented in local, state, national and international forums. Seven of the project participants went on to become community health workers (Promotoras de salud).

The intervention found the women felt fear, shame and stigma for being abused by a partner. They feared approaching and reporting abuse to the authorities and opening up to the support system. They also acknowledged a lack of access to health and human services.

Population of focus: Mexican migrant women who were survivors of domestic violence

Setting: Community-Academic partnership. IRB Approved

Level of intervention: Individual, Community

Links to resource:

Background: The concept of participatory photography emerged in the 1960s and evolved into Photovoice in 2000. The phenomenon was used widely in the areas of education and therapy and was found effective with groups of 5-16 participants.


Dr. Eva M. Moya
University of Texas at El Paso
College of Health Sciences