Marital Violence: Stating the Problems of Women Victims of oppression under a Gender View.


Violence against women
gender and health
gender identity

PlumX Metrics


This study is intended to enlarge the understanding of marital violence. It was made with two complimentary points. In a quantitative analysis the characterization of the social demographic profile of the women who reported violence helped extend the dimension of the problem in João Pessoa-PB. The samples for the social demographic profile were constituted of 480 recorded cases at the Women Police Sation from 2002 to 2005 the following variables having been collected: gender, age, marital status, number of children, occupation, schooling, aggressor and aggression type. The social demographic profile reflects a typical picture of marital violence, with the following caracteristics: the age of most victims is between 20 and 40 years old with some affective link with the aggressor that, most of the time, is their partner or husband; most have a paid job predominantly in occupations culturally recognized as female ones and regarded as under-employment. In spite of reaching women in every level of education in this study half of the victims didn´t attend high school. We can also state that reported violence is characterized by serious and recurrent episodes and that physical violence is the main reason of indictments at the Women Police Station. In a qualitative analysis the research investigated what marital violence does mean to women victims of this kind of violence and how it affects their bological, emotional and social life. The results of the qualitative material in this research were achieved through interviews with women in situation of reported violence1 whose speeches were analyzed under the perspective of Fiorin2 The analysis of the speeches showed that marital violence is a manifestation of the power asimmetry present in the relation of the genders; the recognition by women of men´s power over them evidenced by fear and subordination in the marital relationship where violence occurs and that such control represents a kind of tutelage built and legitimized by the patriarchal and male chauvinist culture which is necessary in the positivist idealism of the dominant ideology to manage the excessive passion which is part of the female nature. Women´s emotional feelings as well as their standard idealized profile as woman3, wife and mother turned out to be a strong hidrance to their liberation from that violent relation and oppressive condition. The difficulty to face such a condition results in women having to go on living with their aggressors, which makes marital violence a recurrent, multifaceted phenomenon affecting their physical, mental and social health. Problems such as hypertension, heart diseases, anxiety, sleep and alimentation disturbance, depression, stress, vascular encephalic stroke, facial paralysis and the jeopardizing of sexuality were mentioned by the participants in the study as direct consequences of violence in women´s health. Key words: Violence against women, gender and health, gender identity, power.