Violence against Women in Latin America

Authored by: Tamar Diana Wilson

Categories: Human Rights
Sub-Categories: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Region: Latin America and the Caribbean
Year: 2014
Citation: Wilson, Tamar Diana . “Violence Against Women in Latin America.” Latin American Perspectives 41, no. 1 (2014): 3-18.

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Executive Summary

"Violence against women is worldwide in scope. It occurs in both developed and developing countries and regardless of the dominant religion or political ideology. Among the forms it can take are intimate-partner (or domestic) vio- lence, rape (whether by acquaintances or family members or during war and civil strife), trafficking for purposes of prostitution or other forced work and debt bondage, physical and sexual injury of prostitutes, sex-selective abortion and female infanticide or neglect of girls (Watts and Zimmerman, 2002), and female genital mutilation. García-Moreno et al. (2005: 1282) write, “There is a growing body of evidence from research that suggests that violence against women is highly prevalent, with an estimated one in three women globally experiencing some form of victimization in childhood, adolescence, or adult- hood.” UNICEF (2000: 3), while observing that reliable statistics are essentially unavailable, estimates that from 20 to 50 percent of women and girls experi- ence violence of some kind, including “the denial of funds, refusal to contrib- ute financially, denial of food and basic needs, and controlling access to health care, employment, etc.” The incidence of violence against women and girls is underreported, according to this report, because police and health service per- sonnel have not been trained to keep adequate records and because of wom- en’s “shame, fear of reprisal, lack of confidence in the legal system, and legal costs”."