Providing sanctuary for battered women: Nicaragua's casas de la mujer

Lois Wessel, Jacquelyn C. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A combination of participant observation and indepth interviews (10 with key informants; 21 with battered women) was used to investigate wife battering in Nicaragua and the casas de la mujer, or women's centers, that have been established to help abused women. The results are presented within the context of the historical and structural realities of women's lives in Nicaragua and the sanctions and sanctuary framework of cultural analysis of wife battering. Nicaraguan wife battering is exacerbated in the context of cultural traditions of acceptance of wife beating, machismo, and the recent history of warfare. Findings about the relationship context and intervention outcomes were similar to those found in studies of battered women and shelters in the United States. The results were generally supportive of the framework, demonstrating the importance of women's solidarity groups, community sanctions against domestic violence, and sanctuary for battered women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-476
Number of pages22
JournalIssues in mental health nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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