Poverty, structural violence, and harm in Ontario
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This study examined the experiences of those living in poverty in Ontario through the lens of social harm and structural violence. This research revealed that the experience of poverty is characterized by material hardship, chronic stress, poor physical and mental health, inadequate and unsafe living conditions, hunger, social exclusion, and violence. I argue that these conditions are largely the result of the structural violence, brought on by what may be described as criminal social systems. This argument is built up from the qualitative data collected through in-depth interviews and focus groups with people living in poverty and those who service them through frontline social and health service organizations. By engaging in qualitative analysis, I am better able to give voice to these experiences, helping to develop a more robust and accurate picture of poverty and the violence wrought on the lives of individuals and families.