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From Assault to Complaint:

Analysing the Routes Women Take

Maria José Arthur and Margarita Mejia

 

Published in: Outras Vozes, Suplemento do boletim n° 13, November 2005
 

Based on victims’ experiences and perceptions, we intend to discuss and analyse experiences of violence to reveal what these women perceive as violent acts committed by their husbands or partners, and to identify the various ways in which they cope with the situation and protect themselves. We propose to explore women’s perceptions of their rights as wives and mothers, the limits of their husbands’ or partners’ authority and the kinds of domestic violence that they are subjected to.

This article is based on research where victims were interviewed in two different contexts in Help Centres or other local conflict resolution services such as neighbourhood organisations, OMM or victims’ associations. In addition to conducting interviews with victims, we also observed interviews at Help Centres, which was important as a way of seeing women interacting with their aggressors and relatives on both sides of the family.

The women interviewed in the Help Centres or observed while being served there are between 20 and 55 years old, although their are significantly more women in 20 to 30 age group (13 in this group, and 9 in the other groups). It is worth noting that the women who seek help at the Help Centres tend to be younger than those who go to local structures such as OMM or the community courts. Educational levels vary from illiterate (one person) to 10th grade (one person). Most women have from 5th to 8th grade, with more highly-educated women seeking local resolution for their problems. Most of these women work in the home, while a very small minority have jobs (always in the informal sector) and an independent income.

It is important to bear in mind that all the cases brought to the Help Centres or other conflict-resolution services are already on the brink of break-up (although sometimes it is the health services that refer the women to these services). For various reasons, which we will attempt to analyse below, these women seek support to contain situations that, for them, already constitute ‘excessive’ displays of power on the part of their husbands or partners. In reality, at the time of complaint, all the victims interviewed carry with them years of cohabitation with a husband or partner who has systematically assaulted them, whether physically, psychologically or economically. For this reason, these female voices, heard in a situation of open conflict, are all critical of mal power in the family. Most of them, however, criticise what they perceive as injustice rather than contesting the grounds of male power. It is clear that the limits of ‘excessive’ behaviour vary from woman to woman. The reasons for this are closely related to the women’s work situation, income, family situation and educational level.

As this study focuses on women’s experiences, it is necessary (as it would be with any other social agent) to take into account the fact that these women are formed by the structures that organise society and give meaning to its practices. Women’s lives are intelligible as a result of the ways in which sense is produced in a particular historical context. Common sense, i.e. the values and beliefs shared by society, and often naturalised, are implanted through a process imposed by the dominant group. In this way, the authoritative and coherent discourse that comprises common sense is forged out of an ideological struggle. It is the nature of dominant ideology which, in reality, represents the imposition of one group over others, which means that nothing can be imposed without contradictions, and which leads to cracks and weaknesses that are revealed in the discourse of the excluded (Henessy, 1995).

By focusing on the perspective of marginalised groups, it is possible to expose the distorted way in which the dominant groups conceptualise policies, resistance, communities, etc. Women’s lives and experiences, which are always diverse, are thus a starting point, although women’s knowledge is inevitably socially conditioned. With a subject such as domestic violence, the structural nature of which is constantly ignored, it is important to take a perspective that emphasises women’s voices. This is particularly true today when authoritative and patriarchal discourse feels a pressing need to legitimise itself because of the discrepancy between the democratic promises of equality and justice and the subordination of women in all areas of social life.

We centre our discussion on two issues, namely i) the concrete forms of domestic violence and how the victims perceive such violence; ii) how women manage to counter such violence.

Domestic violence and victims’ perceptions

It should be noted that all interviews were conducted under specific conditions: all the women were victims of domestic violence and were laying complaints against their husband or partner during the interviews. All the respondents stated that, in their view, violence against them was unjustified and the behaviour of their husband or partner was irrational. Many of the respondents felt perplexed by their husband’s excessive control, for which they could find no rational explanation.

When making value judgements about their violent partner’s behaviour, the respondents did not question the marital prerogative of using violence to resolve domestic conflicts or to ‘correct’ their wife or partner. Instead, they criticise the lack of justification for violence. None of the women acknowledged that their husbands or partners had good reason for using violence against them. Analysing the women’s statements as a whole, we find that although limits vary, the women do not question their husband’s or partner’s right to use violence when women have done something to deserve it, i.e. when they fail to fulfil expected roles and models of behaviour. According to this line of reasoning, aggression is seen as legitimate when wives or partners fail to fulfil their allotted tasks or to behave in the expected manner.

Women who lay complaints about assaults by their husband feel that they have been treated unjustly because they have not failed in their duties. If they look after the house and children well, if they behave as they should, then why are they being punished? At the same time, women almost always point out that their husband or partner has not fulfilled his duties, particularly in providing for the home and children. The accusation that their men have lovers and other sexual partners does not constitute, in itself, a reason for complaint, but serves to explain why the men leave home, stop providing money and, on occasion, steal the couple’s goods to take to their new house.

This is the general model for the presentation of cases of domestic violence: a complaint is only legitimate when the woman who has been assaulted fulfils all her duties, respects her husband and family and has done nothing that needs to be punished. These are also the criteria used by the social actors in various conflict resolution organisations when deciding whether the assault is justified or not.

The victims’ complaints in the Help Centres focused mostly on socially acceptable issues such as the right to maintenance, the requirement to return the children to the mother, or the right to share the couple’s material goods. Only when the women had the chance to expand on these statements in interviews did they reveal that they were living in an environment of continuous physical and psychological violence.

After talking to various agents, it is possible to conclude that complaints are considered to be less legitimate if the women do not fulfil their traditional female roles, thus ‘giving’ the husband or partner grounds for aggression. For example, women may arrive home late (later than the husband thinks is reasonable), they might not treat the husband in the way he thinks he deserves, they might not cook a meal or not have the meal ready on time, or they may have a lover. The general acceptance of the family hierarchy and the male prerogative to use violence within certain limits can be observed.

It was unusual to find a respondent who contested this model and questioned whether there might not be other possible ways for a couple to relate to each other. On the one hand, we found women who, although they subscribed to the traditional gender hierarchy and the inequality of women and men’s positions, set limits and demanded behaviour from their husband that was consistent with their role as a man. They rebelled against what they believed to be gratuitous and unjust acts of violence. On the other hand, a minority of women demanded equal treatment in the family and spoke of ‘rights’, refusing to accept the male prerogative to control their lives and exercise unilateral decision-making power.

In the struggle against domestic violence, human rights in general and women’s rights in particular need to be publicised. In a patriarchal society constructed on the basis of male domination, the ideological work of legitimising the situation is to convert the victims into people who deserve the violence they are subjected to, and create feelings of guilt in them that prevents them from reacting. Women’s resistance to acts of violence, particularly those perpetrated by husbands or partners, will depend on the perception that women have of these acts as being violent. It will also depend on their recognition that they have the right to a life without violence: the realisation that women actually have rights (Lourenço et al., 1997).

We wish to continue by discussing the types of violence recorded in the cases studied, focussing on those that are considered to be more and less acceptable. An initial finding based on the victims’ testimony is that, rather than being an isolated occurrence, women experience constant physical and psychological violence. We are not speaking about women who suffer one violent attack, but about women who live their lives in violent relationships.

Among all the forms of violence listed, which are not experienced in isolation, the most common is physical violence. This term covers a very wide range of violent acts, from relatively minor acts to the most serious, which threaten the physical integrity of the victims. No minor acts of violence were the subject of complaint in any of the observed cases. These were included later when the victim was asked to describe the violent relationship with their husband or partner. The most serious case of violence resulted in injuries that required urgent medical treatment. This particular victim was probably persuaded by the health services to complain about her husband’s behaviour1.

Victims never complain about sexual assault, which is not classed as a crime in law when it occurs in a conjugal relationship. This kind of violence is rarely mentioned by women when they lay complaints against their husband or partner, unless implicitly to add weight to another complaint. The fact that sexual violence does not appear as a motive for complaint has little to do with the fact that it is not covered by legislation (of which most victims are unaware). It has more to do with the reality that women do not contest their husband’s or partner’s right to obtain sexual services from their wife or partner whether she is willing or not. An exception to this rule is the case of a woman who complained that her husband, who is HIV positive, refused to use any kind of protection during sexual relations and forced his wife to have sex against her will.

The relationship between violence/sexual violence and HIV/AIDS has been clearly identified. This is a violent act of dominance, which goes unpunished: a flagrant violation of the fundamental right to life. In these cases the wife or partner does not have the right to life, or loses the right because the husband’s death is imminent. This demonstrates the high risk of women’s subordination within the family, which is viewed as a private space where laws and state responsibility to not appear to hold sway.

Psychological violence is the backdrop to violent conjugal relationships, and is associated with all forms of violence. In the presence of psychological violence the victim feels permanently tense, fearful and insecure. This type of violence does not hurt the body but harms the emotional health of the victim. Suffering humiliation and disrespect, the victim can carry the burden of this trauma for the rest of her life. In the list of complaints that women present at the Help Centres, psychological violence appears particularly in the form of humiliations inflicted by the husband or partner to create confrontational situations with another woman they are involved with.

The existence of other women is not presented as the principal cause of complaint, but is mentioned as contributing towards the continual devaluation of wives and partners. According to nearly all the respondents, it is one of the factors that mark the beginning of violence in the home.

It is interesting to note that victims do not present some forms of psychological violence, such as public insults or demeaning comments, as violence as such, although all respondents said that this type of comment was common and had begun before the onset of physical violence. We feel it is important to recognise that the impact of this kind of violence (such as the loss of self-esteem and sense of security) may explain, at least in part, women’s delay in laying complaints regarding domestic violence.

Another set of complaints has to do with economic and material problems such as the failure to contribute to household expenses, failure to support children, the removal of goods belonging to the couple from the home or even the appropriation of all household goods, and the expulsion of the woman from the home. This usually happens when the husband or partner has found another woman and wants to leave the family home, when he has already left, or when he plans to turn out his wife so that he can bring his new woman to live in the house.

The interviews reveal that one of the most common consequences of husbands or partners taking up with another woman is economic abandonment, given the victim’s dependence, which is constructed within the family. Very often, when the husband or partner sets up another home, they not only withdraw economic support but also remove the goods they consider to be theirs, which may also affect the children. It was observed that violence escalates when the husband or partner takes up with another woman. This may be connected with the reactions of some victims to their husband’s absences, when they complain or simply ask where the husband has been. It has been found that this type of response is enough to warrant a violent response from the husband or partner, consolidating the cycle of violence-reaction-violence. In some cases, the countless episodes of psychological violence that occur when the husband or partner finds another woman force the wife to leave the family home.

Another form of domestic violence results in the isolation of the victim and the creation of extreme dependence on her aggressor. This type of violence is present, to differing degrees, in nearly all cases analysed. Firstly, the husband or partner prohibits or shows disapproval of his wife or partner having paid work outside the home, i.e. work not controlled by the husband or partner. When this happens, nearly all the women leave the job that represents their only source of income and the possibility of an independent life. Secondly, women’s activities outside the home are monitored, including the time she arrives back home, and she is then required to justify her absence. This is a normal part of everyday life for the respondents, although levels of control sometimes reach unusual extremes, such as locking women up and destroying the clothes and shoes they wear to go out. Thirdly, as an extension of this type of control, the husband or partner imposes a limit on the relationships his wife or partner is allowed to have with people outside the home, whether these are male or female friends or relatives.

These types of control lead to the isolation of the victim whose life increasingly revolves around her aggressor. In the face of these types of systematic and chronic violence, how do women come to lay complaints against their husband or partner? This is the question we will discuss below.

Resistance or Consent?

As a way of minimising the import and gravity of domestic violence, patriarchal ideology has advanced the idea that “getting hit by your husband is proof that he loves you”. Another idea promoted by this ideology is that as laws exist to criminate domestic violence, it is simply up to women to put an end to the situations they are facing in their home. In view of the changes that have been brought about in recent years, where ideas such as justice and equality have started to be heard in public discourse, there is no longer any scope for legitimising domestic violence as arising from ‘naturally’ unequal gender relationships.

In this context, the so-called consent of women gains weight as an argument to press on with the policy of non-intervention in family relationships to protect women’s rights. For this reason, our interviews focused on the victims’ forms of resistance to domestic violence. Our aim was to gather a wide range of reactions, gain an understanding of the different everyday responses and discover what impels women to lay complaints against their husband or partner.

Although the recognition of their rights would be the first step in women’s struggle against domestic violence, this is not the route that most of the victims choose. The force of the model that subordinates women puts innumerable obstacles in their way and these are extremely difficult to surmount. For us, the discussion of women’s consent must consider the concept of power, as defined by Foucault (1975, 1988), which states that power is not sated through repression (exclusion, reprimand or punishment). On the contrary, it becomes increasingly perverse, penetrating more and more deeply, “creating desire, provoking pleasure and producing knowledge” (1975:772): “Power provides sovereignty over the body, making itself present in behaviour, mixing with desire and pleasure”. In this sense, E. País (1996, cited by Lourenço et al., 1997) showed that socio-cultural values promote life-long marriage as part of the female identity, and in some social contexts this makes it very difficult for women who are the victims of violence to denounce an aggressive husband or partner. They would rather suffer in silence than seek a solution that would break up the marriage, lead to the loss of social position and put them in an extremely weak and vulnerable situation in their society.

The statement below corroborates these observations: “I want my husband to come back because it wasn’t me who left him. He can hit me. He’s been hitting me for a long time, but I stick with it anyway, with the children, because I can’t leave the children. He’s my children’s father and I really love him” (40-year-old respondent).

Although the social and ideological structure of patriarchal institutions curtails women’s behaviour and negates their right to equality, we cannot say that women submit to this situation passively. As Cabañas and Subiria (2001) state: “On the contrary, many women fight against oppression using innumerable strategies. In fact, we could even argue that if women did not have this attitude, the complex mechanisms of male control would be superfluous”.

Psychological research has attempted to shed light on women’s apparent passivity in the face of domestic and conjugal violence. In 1990, a Canadian court recognised the “battered woman syndrome”, defined as a set of clinical symptoms, which are manifested as a post-traumatic state caused by violence endured over a long period of time. The person suffering from this syndrome feels trapped and develops a real fear of death (Carrier, 2003). The statement of a doctor who was called as a witness in the court explained, “This is a persistent syndrome that intensifies with the acceleration of violent acts by the aggressor. The female victim of abuse feels isolated and impotent. She believes that her spouse is all-powerful and submits to him passively. Her perceptions are restricted and all her energy is concentrated on short-term survival strategies. She is constantly alert to her spouse’s behaviour and his smallest mood changes. In this context the woman develops a learned impotence which prevents her from finding solutions to escape from her abusive situation, such as fleeing to a women’s refuge or simply leaving her spouse (quoted by Carrier, 2003)2.

This framework, together with the approach that considers power in its structural, rather than simply repressive, dimension, is important in understanding some of the reactions of the victims of domestic violence who we interviewed. The attitudes analysed during the study varied considerably, ranging from apparent submission to a situation over which women felt they had no control, to taking measures to protect themselves, such as laying a complaint or even to complete despair. However, as we were working through formal and informal conflict resolution structures, all of the women had sooner or later opted to complain, having reached their breaking point. Conrad (undated) defines this point as “an intolerable situation that impels the victim to have the event recorded”. We may also say that, by choosing to resort to these non-family structures, women show their recognition of their incapacity to resolve their problems themselves. The victims had used other strategies before this point, which, if not combative, were at least aimed at self-protection. Most of the measures taken by the women who suffer this type of violence may not be sufficient to put an end to the violence, but are mainly aimed at self-preservation and survival. For example, remaining silent can be a deliberate strategy to interrupt escalating violence during a violent outburst.

Other more active strategies were observed, where women make an effort to escape from the insecurity forced on them by a violent relationship. For example, one victim said: “I bought a plot of land without saying anything [to her husband] because of the situation I was living in. I had to organise a place to stay with my children because he didn’t want me any more” (35 years old, being served at a Help Centre). The husband, who felt offended that he hadn’t been informed, complained about his wife’s behaviour.

In an extreme case, we observed two opposing reactions from the same victim, which can only be understood in the context of continuous and systematic violence. First, this victim attempted to commit suicide:

“I reached a point when…. It was in 1991: I got some kerosene and poured it over myself because I wanted to die, I didn’t have any other solution. I really didn’t have a way out. Who was I going to tell? Because for me, when I have problems, I don’t have anyone to talk to. (…) I just thought that it was worth killing myself because I don’t have anyone to turn to. You see, I used kerosene and got some matches. I started to light the matches, but I finished the whole box and not one of them lit. The children broke down the bathroom door and pulled me out, all wet with kerosene” (49 years old, interview).

Secondly, the same victim confessed that she wanted to kill her partner with his gun (he is a soldier):

“I reached the point when I too wanted to kill. I wanted to do it with his gun, because, well, I couldn’t see any other way. (…) Yes, Satan was with me and it was he who took the gun, wanting to shoot. Satan was inside my head and I didn’t argue with him any more…” (49 years old, interview).

This statement is important in revealing how the desire to commit suicide and to murder can be reactions to the same intolerable situation. Carrier (2003) reminds us that in situations of conjugal violence, women usually kill to defend themselves or escape their aggressor (preservation strategy) and/or to protect the children. Men, on the other hand, usually kill to prevent their spouse from escaping from them (an appropriation or control strategy), for example, when separation is imminent.

How then, do these women reach the point of laying a complaint? For us, the importance of accusations has to do with making the problem of violence visible, and is also necessary if the problem is to be analysed and combated. As Garcia and Bedolla (undated) confirm, denunciation, promoted by the feminist movement, can provide an indication of women’s levels of resistance to the violence which affects them and also offers indicators regarding the complexity and diversity of the problem that are essential if the problem is to be fought. The same authors speak of how difficult it is for the victims to denounce their aggressors. Socialised in a culture in which the highest attainment for women is motherhood and marriage, the victims tolerate violent situations in silence, not daring to endanger their “stability” by denouncing their aggressor. “I’m not going to complain. What would I say? Where could I go? He is my father. I was handed over to him by my father. Besides this, he’s the father of my children, and I like my home” (49 years old, interview).

Although efforts are being made to facilitate complaints, through, for example, the creation of Help Centres, the levels of complaint are far lower than the levels of violence. Experiences such as the police siding with the assailant, viewing the problem as a private one or discouraging the victim from instigating criminal proceedings have all contributed to this lack of confidence. As one respondent says: “It’s not worth going to the police. They’re not interested. If you go to the police station and say, ‘My husband beat me,’ they say, ‘Go and sort it out at home, not here at the police station” (39 years old, interview). It is important to mention that this victim was completely unaware of the existence of the Help Centres: a very common situation among women who seek help from other organisations. This victim’s statement referred to the police in general, which is probably a widespread view.

Related to the statement above, Lourenço et al. (1997) argue that women’s willingness to lay complaints against batterers may be discouraged by the many omissions in the law on such matters, which is tantamount to men being the only people with rights. This complements the view of Duran Febrer (2004): “When a woman makes an accusation, she breaks an archaic patriarchal rule that remains in our society, and which compels silence and forbids criticism of the suffering caused to them by violence”. In effect, most victims are conscious of these restrictions:

“If you go to make a complaint, you should know that as soon as you get to the police station, he’ll know it was his wife who complained. (…) The family will shout at you; ‘aren’t you ashamed? You went to complain about your own husband? If he goes to jail, who are you going to live with?’ (…) You don’t go and complain; you put up with it, you’re the wife; you’re a slave; you put up with it. But the husband wasn’t right to use his fists; why did he use his fists? But no, people don’t talk about this. They don’t even see that you’ve been battered. No! They only see the husband’s point of view, that you complained and that he’s in the police station. Only that.” (55 years old, interview).

In this statement, the respondent contests socially established sanctions, which is a step forward in questioning the norms that subordinate women.

At times, women make complaints against their men as a consequence of injuries that require hospital treatment. The hospital authorities are obliged by law to take the women to the police, even if this is against their wishes. Other types of violence, such as the withdrawal of support for the children (right to maintenance), taking the children away from the mother or removing goods from the family home for reasons unknown to the wife or partner are easier to lay complaints about as these are more socially acceptable issues which the police are likely to deal with more favourably.

Very often, women do not have a very clear idea of what to expect when they lay a complaint against the batterer. The victim may suddenly appear, having decided to press charges: “I want to take him to court. I won’t be beaten any more! He’s been told not to beat me I don’t know how many times but he won’t stop doing it”. But this same respondent’s resolve faltered a moment later: “It’s not that I don’t want him, it’s him who treats me like a slave. I didn’t come here to put him in prison. It’s just his behaviour I don’t like” (27 years old, being served at Help Centre).

These obstacles to making complaints and the fact that the victims are dependent on the batterer discourage the victims from pressing charges:

“When I decided that he really had to be arrested, I didn’t want him to go to prison because when he got out of there, I would have to go back to his house. And also I’d have to take food to the prison every day” (40 years old, interview)3.

The victims who are the most determined to break with their aggressors are those who, after laying a complaint against the batterer at the Help Centres or other informal structures, were persuaded to return to their husbands by the police and by the husband’s false promises to change. When they returned home, however, they found that nothing had changed: “I don’t want to go back to him. I’ve already said I can’t live with him because he beats me too much. He’s never going to change, because we’ve been through this lots of times” (statement at Help Centre). It should be noted that this situation arises when the police insist, yet again, that the victim must return to live with her husband. The police position is even more difficult to understand when we consider that this woman’s husband had AIDS and had sexually assaulted her.

On analysing the statements of those victims who are determined to break the silence, it is clear that the decision to denounce the batterer is often the culmination of an entire lifetime’s suffering. These women have no more energy to resist and they have nothing more to lose:

“I was tired of always getting a beating. I started putting up with it when we got together back in 1971. I’ve always been beaten. Our children have already grown up and now we have grandchildren, and he still keeps beating me. I’m tired of it, and now I have to go and complain. (…) And I started to tell everything, my whole story” (52 years old, respondent).

Very often, once the victims have made a complaint about the violence, they no longer wish to press criminal charges. This is usually because of the way the case is dealt with by the authorities. There is a strong preference for resolving the case through counselling, with a view to reconciling the couple in any way possible, an issue discussed below. Despite this kind of pressure, some of the victims remain firm in their decision to press charges, as can be seen in the following statement: “I’m scared he’ll do it again. (…) This is why I’m saying that I’m not willing to withdraw the complaint. I know that even if he says he’s sorry, (…) he’ll do it again. That’s why the authorities have to get involved” (51 years old, statement to Help Centre).

The violent experiences of the victims interviewed reflect a process that aims to make the victim submissive and obedient to the batterer, to make her submissive through force and ensure that she is dependent on her batterer. The patriarchal society creates all kinds of obstacles to prevent the victim from reacting but in practice it can be observed that these women are not passive, but react in various ways against the violence used against them. Gradually, the silence is being broken and these female voices are contributing towards destabilising the authoritarian discourse. This will pave the way to questioning the social order which tolerates violence against women. Once this research is disseminated, we hope that more victims will be encouraged to break with the models that oppress them, and that institutions will be even more committed to punishing the batterers.

Notes:

  1. The health services have to alert the police when a patient has been involved in a violent incident, particularly in the most serious cases.
  2. The “battered woman syndrome” is criticised by Dutton (1996) who alleges that it is impossible to advance a single profile for battered women, that the term is vague and that it runs the risk of creating a pathological image that may lead to the devaluation of the victim.
  3. Police sometimes inform victims that, as spouses or partners, they will have to take food to prison every day for the batterer who they are pressing charges against.

References:

CABANAS, Ana; SUBIRIA, Gisele (2001).- Mujeres contra la violencia: Una rebelión radical.- In: Isis Internacional, Costa Rica.-
CARRIER, Micheline (2003).- L’homicide conjugal au féminin, le droit au masculin.-
CONRADO, Mônica Prates (2000).- A fala de vítimas e indiciados em uma Delegacia da Mulher.- In: Diálogos 4 Nº 1
DURAN FEBRER, Maria; (2004).- El Projecto de Ley Orgánica de Medidas de Protección Integral Contra la Violencia de Género, Fundamentación Jurídico Feminista.- Madrid.-
DUTTON, Mary Ann (1996).- Critique of the “Battered Woman Syndrome” model.- In: VAWnet
FOUCAULT, Michel (1975).- Asiles, sexualité, prisons.- In: Dits et écrits, 1954-1988 (D. Denfert, F. Ewald, orgs.).- Paris: Gallimard.- pp. 771-782
GARCIA Y GARCIA, Blanca Elba; BEDOLLA, Patricia Miranda (s/data).- Las relaciones de Poder y la violencia vinculadas al hostigamiento sexual.- In: Isis Internacional, Refexiones/Violencia contra la Mujer
HENNESSY, Rosemary (1995).- Women’s lives/feminist knowledge: feminist standpoint as ideology critique.-
LOURENÇO, Nelson; LISBOA, Manuel; PAIS, Elza (1997).- Violência contra as Mulheres.- Lisboa: Presidência do Conselho de Ministros em Portugal.

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