A Study in Social Change
The Domestic Violence Prevention Movement in Taiwan
Taiwan has dramatically improved its response to domestic violence
within the last fifteen years, becoming the first East Asian country to
pass major legislation criminalizing domestic violence. Ethnographic
research on the origins, development, and operations of the domestic
violence prevention movement shows how individuals from diverse
backgrounds acted collectively to achieve this social reversal.
Activists have profited from feminist social networks, the growing
economic and political power of women, domestic violence models from
other countries, a unified vision of creating new legislation, and an
atmosphere open to change. Their efforts were catalyzed by three widely
publicized cases regarding violence against women and culminated in the
passage of the Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Act in 1998.
The domestic violence prevention movement in Taiwan provides a valuable
case study of social change and a model for other East Asian countries
interested in passing similar legislation.
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