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Gender and Violence in Haiti

Women’s Path from Victims to Agents

Benedetta Faedi Duramy

Publication Year: 2014

Women in Haiti are frequent victims of sexual violence and armed assault. Yet an astonishing proportion of these victims also act as perpetrators of violent crime, often as part of armed groups. Award-winning legal scholar Benedetta Faedi Duramy visited Haiti to discover what causes these women to act in such destructive ways and what might be done to stop this tragic cycle of violence.

Gender and Violence in Haiti is the product of more than a year of extensive firsthand observations and interviews with the women who have been caught up in the widespread violence plaguing Haiti. Drawing from the experiences of a diverse group of Haitian women, Faedi Duramy finds that both the victims and perpetrators of violence share a common sense of anger and desperation. Untangling the many factors that cause these women to commit violence, from self-defense to revenge, she identifies concrete measures that can lead them to feel vindicated and protected by their communities.

Faedi Duramy vividly conveys the horrifying conditions pervading Haiti, even before the 2010 earthquake. But Gender and Violence in Haiti also carries a message of hope—and shows what local authorities and international relief agencies can do to help the women of Haiti.

Published by: Rutgers University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

This book could have not been either started or successfully completed without the support and contributions of several people to whom I am therefore profoundly grateful. My deepest gratitude goes to Deborah Rhode, whose encouragement, remarkable expertise in gender discrimination, and genuine devotion to women’s rights have been an incommensurable source...

Acronyms and Organizations

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pp. xi-xiv

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pp. 1-17

Current scholarship as well as international policy studies focusing on civil conflicts and armed violence have construed women as victims and men as perpetrators of violence. This prevalent interpretation tells part of the story, but it leaves out an equally important dimension: women as participants in violence and men occasionally as victims. This book joins...

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1. Gender-Based Violence and Women’s Violence in Context

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pp. 18-33

The Republic of Haiti is located in the Caribbean between Cuba and Puerto Rico and shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. Separated from the Florida coast of the United States by only one hour by air, Haiti has a unique historical heritage. No proper analysis of gender-based violence and women’s violence in the country is possible...

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2. Gender-Based Violence in Haiti

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pp. 34-57

Many studies have thoroughly documented the prevalence of violence against women in both industrialized and less-developed societies. A population-based survey conducted in ten countries, including data from over twenty-four thousand informants around the world, revealed that the lifetime chance of physical violence affecting a woman over the age...

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3. Understanding Women’s Violence in Haiti

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pp. 58-77

It is conventional wisdom that women are less violent than men in conflict settings. This view draws on biological evidence and on the way in which women are socialized beginning at an early age. Various scholars have, therefore, explained women’s aversion to violence by emphasizing either their social role or their childhood socialization.1 Consequently, when girls...

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4. Legal Frameworks

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pp. 78-98

This chapter examines the international legal norms addressing practices of discrimination and sexual violence against women under international human rights and humanitarian law. It discusses the shortcomings of these laws in responding to such violations and effectively protecting women and girls. The chapter also examines UN resolutions on women,...

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5. Victims’ Help-Seeking and the Criminal-Justice Response

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pp. 99-115

In spite of the commitments to the international community by the Haitian government and the efforts undertaken by the national legislature, sexual abuse and rape are still widely and systematically perpetrated throughout the country across social and economic lines. The underreporting of women’ rights violations, the loss of rape cases at various stages...

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6. Strategies for Action

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pp. 116-136

Despite the pervasive structures of gender inequality in Haitian society, some women actively resist subordination and violence. By presenting an account of their efforts to counter gender-based violations and to reclaim equality and protection for their daughters and themselves, the following analysis identifies promising approaches and programs employed by the...

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7. Women in the Aftermath of the Earthquake

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pp. 137-152

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, devastating the capital of the country, Port-au Prince, and several other cities. Hundreds of thousands of Haitians died, approximately the same number were injured, and more than a million lost their homes and have been living in the 1,300 displacement camps around the country ever since. Extreme ...


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pp. 153-156


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pp. 157-166


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pp. 167-172

About the Author

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pp. 173-174

E-ISBN-13: 9780813563169
E-ISBN-10: 081356316X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813563152
Print-ISBN-10: 0813563151

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 878263253
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Gender and Violence in Haiti

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Family violence -- Haiti.
  • Abused women -- Haiti.
  • Sex crimes -- Zimbabwe -- Mbare.
  • Girls -- Violence against -- Haiti.
  • Women -- Violence against -- Haiti.
  • Female offenders -- Haiti.
  • Women -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- Haiti.
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