Project Title

State Reactions to Domestic Violence in Costa Rica and Norway: A Comparative Analysis

Date of Award


Degree Type



Comparative Global Inquiry


This thesis examines the reaction of the Norwegian and Costa Rican governments to advocacy regarding genderbased violence by women’s organizations and movements. Examining the reactions to genderbased violence and analyzing why reactions by the government occurred are central to understanding the prevalence of violence within the country and the levels service provided for victims. Previous research has not applied a gendered lens to the cultural, economic, and historical aspects that have created two different models of countering genderbased violence in Norway and Costa Rica. This project compared qualitative primary data, including interviews and observations, and quantitative, secondary data specifically statistics of violence, to explore how these nations counter genderbased violence and promote justice for citizens. Field research and country residence in conjunction with secondary data established a cultural understanding of violence and the preventive measures by governmental and nongovernmental organizations. This new approach in examining genderbased violence takes into account cultural views of gender, especially the belief of equality in performance versus essential difference, and the effects of these cultural beliefs on levels of violence.