Prejudice-Based Violence

  • María Mercedes Gómez
Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 24)


This chapter provides a theoretical framework of this particular type of violence. The chapter shows how violence against certain individuals that do not fit the heterosexual norm surpasses its individual dimension and acquires the quality of a message. After making a conceptual contribution on violence, sexual prejudice, heterosexuality as a rule, and the allocation of value to the difference, the chapter carefully examines the normative aspects of violence based on prejudice. The legal issues that arise from violence based on prejudice are illustrated by analyzing three different problems: the invisibility of the homophobic motives behind violence, which many times don’t make it into the official facts as constructed by the police and prosecutors; the risks of the double victimization; and the risks derived from the excessive emphasis on the difference or discretion in the application of the homosexual categories such as sexual orientation, gay or lesbian, among others. The chapter also deals with the concealment of extenuating factors such as ire and intense pain through the use of the so-called category “passion crimes.” The chapter ends with a reflection on the tensions between the private and the public spheres generated by expressions of non-normative sexual practices.


Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Physical Violence Secondary Victimization Hate Crime 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Los AndesBogotáColombia

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