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Abstract

While in general, the family is a synonym of intimacy and trust, it can also be a place of abuse, control, and violence. Since the 1970s, the various forms of violence that take place in private have been denounced by feminist movements and have been the subject of various policies and state actions whose general goals are to defend and assist victims, punish and treat perpetrators, and re-establish broken family relationships. This article examines how domestic violence has been defined in different cultures—in Europe, North America, and Latin America— in order to reveal the various perspectives covered by categories of state action as diverse as conjugal violence, domestic violence, intra-family violence or even femicide or feminicide, and the consequences that these different visions of the problem have on how it is dealt with. Broadly influenced by gender studies and the sociology of public issues, this article investigates—in particular through contributions that make up this issue of Enfances Familles Générations—notions of gender violence within the family, the boundaries of which fluctuate and are variously encompassed, as well as the forms of institutionalization of the problem and possible solutions.

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