U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Family Violence in Chile: Political and Legal Dimensions in a Period of Democratic Transition

NCJ Number
Violence Against Women Volume: 6 Issue: 4 Dated: April 2000 Pages: 427-448
Gonzalo Bacigalupe
Date Published
April 2000
22 pages
This study analyzes how social scientists and clinical practitioners understood family violence in Chile during the period of the transition from a military dictatorship to a democratically elected government.
The author explores prevalent themes and assumptions in the Chilean family violence literature that was available to policymakers and clinical practitioners when Chile was in transition from a military dictatorship to a form of democratic government. Two areas of research were prevalent: child abuse, and violence against women. Many early observations about child abuse in Chile were made by nongovernmental organizations and professionals, who explored the consequences of the dictatorship's authoritarian measures and the economic hardships they imposed on low-income families. Subsequent studies on child abuse in the late 1980's and early 1990's were conducted by master's-level students who were influenced by U.S.-based research on child abuse conducted a decade earlier. Studies about the victimization of women followed, first through women's grassroots organizations, and later with the support of the newly elected democratic government in 1989. Also included in this study are transcripts from the family violence legislation that was finally put into place in 1995. The author concurrently interviewed interdisciplinary teams of practitioners to uncover extant and changing family-violence discourses. These in-depth interviews explored practitioners' personal, professional, and political views about family violence. This study contributes to the field with a contextual and historical analysis of domestic violence interventions in Chile and "decenters" the idea that one context-free method or epistemology can be used to intervene in domestic violence. 68 references


No download available