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

Fighting Families: Family Characteristics Associated With Domestic Violence in Five Latin American Countries

NCJ Number
Journal of Family Violence Volume: 21 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2006 Pages: 19-29
Dallan F. Flake; Renata Forste
Date Published
January 2006
11 pages
Data from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHSs) conducted in Colombia (1995), the Dominican Republic (1999), Haiti (2000), Nicaragua (1998), and Peru (2000) were used to examine the relationship between family characteristics and the likelihood of experiencing domestic violence.
The study found that if a woman cohabited with rather than married a partner, had a large family, had a partner who got drunk, did not share decisionmaking with her partner, or did not have the same education level as her partner, she was more likely to experience domestic violence if she lived in one of the countries included in this study. The profile of the abused Latina is apparently similar to the profile of abuse victims in the United States, Great Britain, Switzerland, and other Western countries. Still, the authors caution that the entire ecology of the individual must be considered in order to understand differences in abuse victims. These include home environment, workplace conditions, church involvement, family and community roles, and cultural patterns. The DHSs are nationally representative household surveys with large sample sizes of women ages 15-49, which provide data for a wide range of monitoring and impact evaluation indicators in the areas of population, health, and nutrition. The datasets do not include all factors that previous research has linked to different rates of domestic violence; however, they do contain measures of several significant family characteristics related to domestic violence. The samples sizes were 6,082 in Colombia, 588 in the Dominican Republic, 2,275 in Haiti, 6,728 in Nicaragua, and 15,174 in Peru. Sample cases were weighted to adjust for oversampling of particular regions and to compensate for differences in response rates. 2 tables and 56 references


No download available