30, June, 2016

Beyond Domestic Violence Laws in Latin America: Challenges for Protection Services for Survivors

This research reviews the response to Domestic Violence in Latin America, focusing in on Mexico, and uses a series of in-depth interviews with survivors of domestic violence living in a shelter in Mexico City, to review their experience of the protection services that they received.

The feminist and human rights movements in the Latin America Region have made public the discussion of violence against women as a social and multifaceted problem embedded in the private, public and collective spheres. Violence against women perpetuates gender gaps, highlighting the vulnerable situation of exclusion women face. In response, Latin American countries have put in place a variety of legislative and institutional mechanisms inspired by the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (Belem Do Para Convention), the first binding regional treaty that proposes a liberal and individualistic approach to dealing with violence against women, and establishes a variety of measures that states should adopt to prevent, protect and sanction this phenomenon.

This study uses a series of in-depth interviews with survivors of domestic violence living in a Mexico City shelter, as well as with its staff, to analyse how survivors experience protection services. Although it only covers one shelter and thus constitutes only a partial analysis, it represents an innovative effort to understand a protection model from the perspective of the survivors. We look at the trajectory of survivors from the moment they decided to seek help from the institutions, to the period at the shelter itself, and finally the period after which they have left the shelter.

Cecile Lachenal
Cecilia Toledo
Tom Bakker

The authors of this research work at Fundar, Mexico


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