• community-based nursing;
  • context;
  • domestic violence;
  • Latinas;
  • listening sessions

ABSTRACT Objective: To use listening sessions with groups of Latinas to develop a contextual understanding of the lives of immigrant women to inform program development and ultimately better serve the community's needs for domestic violence services.

Design and Sample: This study was exploratory and descriptive, mixing qualitative listening sessions with quantitative methods. Seven listening group sessions were facilitated with 63 women participating.

Measures: Data included information from a short demographic questionnaire, texts of narrative from the sessions, and tallies of thematic comments made during the listening sessions.

Results: Themes derived from aggregated data from the listening sessions included women's Unmet Needs, Responsibilities, Goals, Achievements, Help-seeking, and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Findings indicated that Latinas' comments were often family-focused and they have many unmet needs. Familiarity with community resources to meet needs was not consistent across groups, for example, women who had not utilized domestic violence services were unlikely to know where to obtain help for IPV problems.

Conclusions: The ease with which women shared knowledge of resources and offered emotional support to each other during listening sessions supports their use by bilingual public health nurses in communities for needs assessment, education, and networking among Latinas.