Palestinian Women Attempted Suicide, Risks beyond the Experience A Descriptive Phenomenological Study

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Aidah Alkaissi / Supervisor
Dr. Sabrina Russo / Co-Supervisor
Dr. Gene Feder/external examiner
Dr. Jawad Fatayer/internal examiner
Dr. Aidah Alkaissi / Supervisor
Dr. Sabrina Russo / Co-Supervisor
Einas Abu Safa
Introduction: suicide is a major public health problem all over the world. It described as “intentional, self-destructive, and self-inflicted acts. Aim: The aim of this study is to explore the risks beyond the experience of attempting suicide among a group of Palestinian women. Design: The study used a qualitative descriptive phenomenological method to explore the experiences of Palestinian women attempted suicide, to capture as much as possible the way in which the phenomenon is experienced, and the risks lays beyond the experience. Data collection: Face to face, in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants – the women who previously attempted suicide. Sample: Purposive sampling was used; 20 women attempted suicide at least once. Setting: Interviews were conducted in a private place agreed for with the women. Data Analysis: The data was analyzed by using Giorgi’s phenomenological psychology method (1985). Results: From the interviews, Five themes and eighteen sub-themes emerged: violence (Sexual violence, domestic violence, collective violence, witnessing abuse, and child maltreatment); Losses (loss of parents, loss of cultural identity, loss of relation, and loss of security) ; psychological risk factors (Low self efficacy, Low Self esteem, Negative Self image, and Maladaptive coping mechanism); and Socio cultural factors (poverty, stigma, and dysfunctional family); Lack of support system (Non professional, and professional). Conclusion and Recommendation: The findings of the study demonstrate the importance of understanding the experience of the women attempted suicide, the risk beyond their experience, and the phenomena of suicide within the Palestinian community. It reflect the need for national prevention programs which include the implementation of national programs for mental health, recognizing the rights of females, tackling illiteracy among both males and females, prohibiting forced child marriage, providing economic and social support especially for young females, and promoting Islamic values rather than traditional customs. Key words: Attempted suicide, experience, risk, descriptive phenomenology. Definitions of Concepts: - Violence: is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against a person, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation. This definition associate intentionality with the committing of the act itself, irrespective of the outcome it produces (WHO, 2005). - Sexual violence: any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic, or otherwise directed, against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work(WHO, 2005). - Rape: Physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration even if slight – of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object(WHO, 2005). - Domestic violence: refers to a behavior by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, and psychological abuse and controlling behaviors (WHO, 2005). - Physical abuse: is an act of another party involving contact intended to cause feelings of physical pain, injury, or other physical suffering or bodily harm (WHO, 2005).
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