This qualitative study aims to describe the trajectories of female victims of gender violence in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. The methodology included in-depth interviews with women and staff, attempting to map the critical paths of women when they made the decision to seek professional help. We interviewed 21 women victims of gender violence and 25 professionals, including law enforcement officials, health and social workers, and nongovernmental organizations. The women's trajectories in the services were mapped, identifying facilitating factors and obstacles in the process of breaking with gender violence. The victims reported: pressure by professional staff to return to their marriages and police inefficiency in providing protection. The discourse of law enforcement officials and health and social workers showed a range of different concepts regarding violence, medicalization of violence, and network fragmentation.
Violence Against Women; Domestic Violence; Critical Route