Home Institution

Washington University in St. Louis

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Program Name

Chile: Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Community Empowerment


Background: Battery intervention programs are an important domestic violence intervention method to study because they focus on understanding the perpetrator’s side of domestic violence and can shed light on the cultural and social forces that maintain domestic violence within society. Objective: This study explores Chile’s newly initiated battery intervention program, “Hombres por una vida sin violencia,” or “Men for a life without violence,” by documenting its implementation in the city of Arica, Chile through an investigation of both the program’s functioning and the perception of domestic violence within the greater community. Methodology: Interviews were conducted with professionals who work in the Center for Men, where the program is centered, and in other areas related to the program. Interviews were also conducted with men enrolled in the program, and 100 people in the population of Arica were surveyed about their perception of domestic violence and the services offered for its prevention and intervention. Results: Interviews with the professionals showed that the Center for Men coordinates community responses with the network other intervention and prevention services, but has limited communication and coordination with the legal and judicial system. Coverage (aggressors approaching the program) and attrition rates are also challenges for the program. The men enrolled in the program reported that their perception of domestic violence and women, as well as their behavior within intimate relationships has changed since entering the program. The sample surveyed had a level of awareness about the problem and reported that there is a need for more efforts from the government and the judicial system to prevent, intervene, and reprimand domestic violence. However, they lacked awareness about prevention and intervention services. Conclusions: While more research needs to be done on the implementation of this young program, the problems with coverage and attrition could be attributed to a lack of desire among aggressors in the community to change, due to the overall social perspective of domestic violence which is influenced by the Latin-American machismo within the community. A greater presence of the legal system within the intervention of domestic violence, along with more education within the community about gender roles and domestic violence could help change this perspective, spark more of a desire among aggressors to eliminate their violent behavior, and increase knowledge about the program within the population.


Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Research | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Politics and Social Change | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance | Social Welfare


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