Health, Education and Justice, together with other social actors, must coordinate attention to gender violence
Insufficient and fragmented responses of the system prevent adequately addressing the problem
Santo Domingo. Integrality in the system of attention to violence against women is the main challenge to overcome from the State institutions with responsibility in the attention to this social problem, mainly in the Health, Education and Justice sectors.
This is stated in the analysis document “System of attention to violence against women: Scope and Challenges”, prepared by the Center for Gender Studies of the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (CEG-INTEC), which evaluates actions in this regard, published on the occasion of International Women's Day, in which violence and feminicides are considered as one of the main problems that affect it at the moment.
"For more than five consecutive years the country has registered an average of 200 femicides per year, which, added to other evidence regarding the murders of women committed within and in the domestic environment, positions the Dominican Republic as the greater prevalence among forty countries of the American continent ", explained Lourdes Contreras, director of the CEG, who in that order cited a study of the Reina Sofia Center Institute of Spain.
The country registers advances in assuming the issue as part of the public agenda, but delays in the integral attention to it.
Some 15 ago that the National Commission for the Prevention and Fight against Intrafamily Violence (CONAPLUVI) was created and a little more than a decade ago, a National Model for the Prevention and Attention of Intrafamily Violence was defined, but we are still far from prevention and the promotion of a life without violence.
Violence against women is a public health problem, declared as such by the Pan American Health Organization in the nineties. Since the 2001 year there are the National Standards for Comprehensive Health Care of Intrafamily Violence and Violence Against Women, but in 2012 only 60 doctors were trained in them.
"Despite all the regulations and that the attention model aims at comprehensiveness, the actions of the system are insufficient and fragmented, which prevents solving the problem," said Contreras. "It is undeniable that we are facing a problem that has long since become part of the" Public Agenda ", which was a first step; but the slowness and weakness in the articulated action of the guarantors of women's rights, calls into question whether violence against women is really part of the "Government Agenda", understood beyond the presidentialist rhetoric and materialized in a set of actions articulated, prioritized and aimed at impacting on the phenomenon. The action of all the institutions must be articulated around each case but also of the problem, with the corresponding allocation of resources for its execution ".
The document will be downloadable through the INTEC website www.intec.edu.do
The scope in addressing the phenomenon of violence by the education sector results in a negative balance in that it reproduces the stereotypes that perpetuate violence against women and contributes to our new generations not transcending the androcentric vision and there is no dismantling of aggressor masculinity.
Women do not have comprehensive care services that assume violence as a cause of deterioration in the health of people. The health system generates lost opportunities to intervene with preventive actions, detecting, registering, notifying the cases and offering the attention and / or reference according to what is established in the corresponding norms and protocols. Institutional violence is present, especially in the field of sexual health and reproductive health, obeying the social norms of the patriarchal system that establishes the control of women's bodies, undermining their physical autonomy. Violence against women is not recorded in health services, nor diagnosed; therefore for statistical purposes it does not exist.
The justice sector offers women limited access to exercise their right to access services and judicial protection. Proof of this is that a national average of about 60 thousand complaints of gender violence are received annually and only around the 4% reaches the courts. Women are compelled to abandon the legal process due to multiple factors, among which are the barriers of the sector itself to access services. Inside the Public Ministry, when women give up, there is an inability to give continuity to the reported cases, something mandatory because they are facts of public order, in which legal actions must be continued until a sanction is taken against the aggressors .
The main challenges to overcome, according to the document, which includes a series of recommendations, are:
Promotion of forms of social relations based on policies that promote equality
Timely detection and health care for victims of violence against women
Information systems, monitoring and evaluation, with the establishment of a unique national system of information and statistics on violence against women, which allows obtaining information for decision making, with indicators and goals that allow joint monitoring of implementation of the policies referred to this type of violence by the different sectors and institutions.
Persecution and punishment of crime
• Ensure women due access to justice, not limited to the formal existence of judicial remedies, but also that they be simple, prompt, appropriate and impartial, in a non-discriminatory manner, to investigate, punish and repair these acts, and prevent impunity.
• Incorporate procedural safeguards for women facing acts of violence, such as gratuity . of legal services, protection of privacy and confidentiality, the right to obtain a timely response, and to receive humane treatment, facilitate the processes of reporting and imposing urgent security measures and citations, among others.
• In this order, the adequacy of the regulations in force is required to establish protection measures in favor of the victims, including urgent security measures and measures of a precautionary nature, as appropriate.
Surveillance and sanction to institutional violence
• Establish mechanisms for monitoring and sanctioning sexual harassment in schools, and violence in general, in education.
• Review and adapt procedures and sanctions in cases of workplace harassment, under the coordination of the Ministry of Labor.
• Modify regulatory frameworks
Inter-sectoral and inter-institutional coordination
• Strengthen the role of the Ministry of Women, as the governing body of gender equality policies, and particularly in its role as coordinator of CONAPLUVI.
• Encourage the municipalities to assume the function established in the 176 Law for attention to violence, and assign a percentage of their budget to this work, together with other participatory budget allocations
Promotion of institutional and legislative changes
• Review the current legislation in criminal matters and promote a legal framework that promotes integrality in the care system, so that the country has a special law with inter-institutional commitments.
Tuesday, March 05 2013