Home Institution

Washington University in St. Louis

Publication Date

Spring 2022

Program Name

Chile: Cultural Identity, Social Justice, and Community Development


This paper is an exploration of the rural Mapuche women’s opinions and history of intrafamilial violence. Through small group personal interviews this study seeks to consider the multiple lived experiences and opinions of rural Mapuche women as it relates to intrafamilial violence against women and the social and government support systems available to both prevent it and support victims. Intention of this investigation was not to seek out personal stories of violence, instead focusing on community-wide held perceptions, opinions, and beliefs about where violence in their community comes from, how its perpetrated, and how it is responded to or prevented. Adding to a field of literature on Chilean governmental violence against Mapuche people and violence against women in general, this study focuses specifically on the unique experience of Mapuche women living in a rural context through the theoretical perspectives of intersectionality and gender-based violence. The findings of this study illuminate the unique lived experiences and realities of these women, from the perplexing and complex prominence of the Evangelical church to the importance of economic empowerment and independence as a mechanism for preventing and fighting intrafamilial violence. The rural Mapuche women interviewed for this investigation are the core of the study, providing brave and insightful opinions and anecdotes about their communities, lived experiences, and unique cultural worldviews.


Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence | Gender and Sexuality | Indigenous Studies | Inequality and Stratification | Latin American Studies | Politics and Social Change | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Sociology of Culture | Women's Studies


Article Location