Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science (International Relations) and Human Rights (Gender Issues)

First Advisor

Benjamin Carbonetti


This research seeks to outline the current understandings of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in academic literature and how it contrasts from the ways governmental and non-governmental bodies interpret and address GBV. A little more than a yearlong investigation in Chile, Nepal, Jordan, Spain, and the United States serves as the foundation of the research. The researcher uses the ethnographic method (Draper, 2015) and the interpretive approach (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012) to interview individuals successfully and to comprehend better how GBV operates within each of the countries. The study focuses on answering the research question: How is GBV understood, and do current understandings capture the experiences of historically marginalized individuals? A thorough study of the data concludes that GBV is institutional violence: a comparison that is not yet grasped amongst many governmental and non-governmental bodies. This lack of a multifaceted understanding by formal institutions is limiting agencies’ ability to address the violence, generating hegemonic discourse, and excluding certain groups who should be receiving services. Social movements against GBV and acts of resistance amongst survivors demonstrate the need for a paradigmatic shift in how GBV is understood and conceptualized, specifically amongst women’s organizations, NGOs, courtrooms, and governmental institutions. Additionally, I argue that these new understandings of GBV must expand beyond the theory of “modern-day intersectional feminism” and that of current hegemonic discourse (Gordon, 2018).


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (International Relations) and Human Rights (Gender Issues).