Family Closeness and Domestic Abuse among Caribbean and South American Women in South Florida

Maria Aysa, Florida International University
Patria Rojas, Florida International University
Frank Dillon, Florida International University
Mario de la Rosa, Florida International University

This paper focuses on the importance of family member closeness as a protective factor against domestic abuse. We explore the link between long-lasting relations within the family and intra-familial violence perpetrated against women in Latino households in South Florida. Our results indicate that long-lasting family relations are protective against domestic emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Long-lasting relations with parents are only marginally more protective against domestic abuse than relations with siblings and partners. Among abused women, the effects of long-lasting relations within the family differ depending on the type of relationship between the abuser and the victim and the degree of closeness the victim feels towards other family members. Our analysis shows that long-lasting relations with fathers serve as both protective and risk factors for domestic abuse during the lifetime. Given these findings, there is a need to further study daughter/father relations in Latino households.

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Presented in Session 31: Gender Based Violence