Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

David Cotter




domestic violence, abuse, women's rights, victims, abusers


Domestic violence has been an epidemic in the United States since the colonization era. Public chastisement was deemed acceptable by law and Church because patriarchal views allowed men to treat women as their property. It was not until the 20th century, during the women’s rights movement, that the law recognized public chastisement as an inhumane act therefore punishing any man who battered his wife. As the movement progressed, women began owning their own property and divorcing their abusive partners. The downfall in this movement was that the majority of the women who benefited from these changes were Caucasian women from the middle and upper class leaving those in the poor, minority groups with a problem to continue to face on their own, especially those in the Latino community. The majority of Latina women reside in poor, underprivileged neighborhoods (conditions are especially worse for Latina immigrants). These women lack the adequate economic resources, as well as suffer from cultural barriers (i.e. language), needed to escape their abusers – finding ways to escape can be even worse depending on the geographic location (Latina women living in suburban areas are isolated from family therefore it is difficult for them to find help). A domestic violence program director in Montgomery County was interviewed and a multivariate analysis of the 2010 National Crime Victimization Survey was completed to test the influences of geographic locations on domestic violence occurrences within the Latino community and whether the location impacted the Latinas’ choice to contact crime victim agencies. The chi-square test showed that there was a statistically significant relationship between ethnicity and geographic location in seeking help from victim agencies. These results are vital in notifying human service agencies on the importance of aiding Latina women in underprivileged and socially isolated regions.

Included in

Sociology Commons