Department or Program



This community-engaged thesis focuses on people at the front lines of addressing violence against women (VAW) in African immigrant communities in Lewiston, Maine. I have worked in close collaboration with Fatuma Hussein, Executive Director of the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine (IRCM), along with faculty from the Bates College Anthropology Department and the Harward Center for Community Partnerships. This work has primarily grown out of my dual role as a student researcher and a volunteer with the IRCM, an ethnic- based community organization that offers a wide range of services, including domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and survivor support programs. My research draws upon my interviews with staff from both the IRCM and their American partners from the fields of social work and the criminal-legal system, all of whom partner and interact in various ways to address VAW (police, district attorneys, and social workers from domestic violence and sexual assault resource centers). By exploring these collaborations as the subject of my anthropological analysis, I consider the meaning of cultural sensitivity within these relationships, identify gaps in understanding, respect, and efficacy, and suggest paths forward for improved partnership in the ever-transforming city of multicultural Lewiston. These suggestions have especially drawn upon other anthropological scholarship focused on VAW, cultural sensitivity, and community-based and pluralistic approaches to social justice issues. With informed humility, I advocate for my research findings to be applied in the local sphere.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Danforth, Loring

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Community Engagement



Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.