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Domestic Violence Against Women in Latin-America

NCJ Number
Crime & Justice International Volume: 17 Issue: 54 Dated: July/August 2001 Pages: 5-6,26,27
Robert Hanser
Date Published
4 pages
This article discusses domestic violence against women in Latin America.
Within many Latin American cultures the occurrence of domestic violence is fairly frequent. The article compares Nicaragua, Chile, Mexico, and Puerto Rico to demonstrate several beliefs held in common that play a role in the phenomenon of violence against women. The concepts of machismo and marianismo serve to organize gender roles within primarily patriarchal value systems. Machismo emphasizes self-respect and responsibility for protecting and providing for the family. But this value can become negative when it leads to possessive demands and expectations that the man has absolute authority. The concept of marianismo considers women morally and spiritually superior to men and capable of enduring all suffering inflicted upon them. These common aspects could serve to explain the domestic violence against women that occurs within Latin American cultures. In addition, the social changes occurring in many developing Latino cultures put added stress on the family system, increasing the likelihood of domestic violence. Within these changes is an emerging awareness that violence against women is a problem worthy of social recognition. The article observes that this has paved the way for both international research and local changes that could improve the outlook for victims of domestic assault. Table, references