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South Asian women: exploring systematic service inequalities around attempted suicide and self harm

Batsleer, Rosemary E. and Chantler, Khatidja and Burman, Erica (2003) South Asian women: exploring systematic service inequalities around attempted suicide and self harm. European journal of social work, 6 (1). pp. 33-48. ISSN 1468-2664

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Abstract

This paper reports on a 10 month British study completed in April 2001 investigating service responses to women of South Asian background who have attempted suicide or self-harmed within the Manchester area of the UK. After outlining the scope and design of the study, the paper focuses on the survivor perspectives documented within the study. The findings and analysis presented here aim to unpack key elements of the complex and layered dynamics at play in working with issues of attempted suicide and self-harm in South Asian women. More specifically, we explore the following five issues: factors contributing to South Asian women's attempted suicide and self-harm, the ways in which personal distress are created and perpetuated by structural inequalities, the mirroring processes between helping agencies and families, survivors' experiences of helping agencies, and survivors' ideas about what would be more supportive to them. While there are connections with white women's experiences, the specific experiences of South Asian women are highlighted in the hope that understanding of the issues they face is increased and appropriate measures taken to develop services which are both gender sensitive and anti-racist.

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