Onda Latina

The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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The Battered Wife
Program #
Identity, Society

Social Issues
Linda Fregoso
Rosa-MarĂ­a Cervantes
Mar 1, 1980

The Battered Wife

Rosa-Maria Cervantes discusses the problem of domestic violence within Chicano families and the resources available for victims. Cervantes suggests that Chicanas may face slightly higher levels of abuse than other women and are more hesitant to leave because of religious mandates against divorce and the cultural emphasis on the extended family. Further, the idea that women are not equal to their husbands is reinforced in all areas of society from the workplace to the legal system and even in the movies. Cervantes also summarizes the findings of scholars who have argued that men turn to violence because they are frustrated in their jobs and in society.

Cervantes explains that women who experienced domestic violence in their childhood have a harder time leaving abusive husbands than women who did not. Cervantes then describes the resources available to support victims of abuse, and she explains some of the cultural barriers that make it difficult for Mexican-Americans to seek counseling. She also discusses the danger of children repeating the violence they have witnessed.

She finds that almost 60% of the women in her shelter return to their husbands and she explains that those who confront their husbands about violence tend to see changes. Cervantes says that while husbands can also be victims of abuse, few seek help, and she urges them and all victims to stand and be counted so that we can begin to end domestic violence.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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