A Study in Social Change

The Domestic Violence Prevention Movement in Taiwan

Author: Elaine Chao

Abstract:

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.
Regions: East Asia
Countries: Taiwan

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March 2005
© FAO/Asim Hafeez