Engendering Battered Women’s Sense of Rights

  • Cecília MacDowell Santos


In the beginning of my field research, I focused my attention on how feminists and policewomen were “constructing” violence against women and gendered citizenship, not taking seriously the complainants’ perspectives on the women’s police stations. It was only after conducting my first interview with a woman who had complained about conjugal violence that I “discovered” how I was underestimating the importance of the women’s police stations in complainants’ lives. The quotes above illustrate some of the effects these stations have on battered women who take the initiative to break from enduring situations of conjugal violence and go to the women’s police stations. As noted in the previous chapter, the majority of the cases reported to the women’s police stations have continually concerned (heterosexual) conjugal violence. Moreover, the number of complaints has dramatically increased over the years, indicating that the establishment of hundreds of women’s police stations in São Paulo and throughout Brazil has contributed to the expansion of women’s rights and has encouraged women in violent heterosexual love relationships to report the violence they had been suffering in silence.


Police Station Police Officer Male Partner Criminal Justice System Battered Woman 
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Copyright information

© Cecίlia MacDowell Santos 2005

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  • Cecília MacDowell Santos

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