SOME INSTITUTIONAL EXPERIENCE REGARDING GENDER BASED VIOLENCE

CEMUJER, began the 17th of August of 1990. From that moment, it started its work regarding gender based violence against women, children, and adolescents; it created the Program for the Right to a Life without Violence, inaugurated the Integral Attention Clinic for Abused Women, Children, and Adolescents, opened the Accessible Legal Consultancy, organized Reflection Circles and promoted the “Línea En Confianza” hotline. In conjunction with this, the project “the Permanent Policy Work Desk” began.At the beginning, the women and children who would frequent the clinic, cried and demanded that we would go to their homes to talk to their life companions, husbands, or fathers. The tears accompanied them. Many times these women would threaten or insult us. Terrified by their situation, they would make us responsible for their problems. Little by little and through psychological and legal counseling as well as the training they received in their reflection circles and the exchanges that they had with other women who were in the same situation, they would overcome their way of relating to others; they learned what their rights were. It is worth saying that at this time those who file a report do it, even if they are choked up with tears, with a different attitude. “I know that I have rights”, “I’m afraid, but I cannot continue in this situation”, “the Interfamily law says”, “In the Family Code”.

Many of them, when CEMUJER took on the role of Legal Representative, have decided to talk for themselves, defend themselves, and face with bravery, their aggressors, in spite of the terror.

Of course laws do not suffice, nevertheless, it is important that women know that laws exist that favor them, and that they know the instances in which they can seek help and that they know that organizations like ours exist to which they can go to file an accusation and look for counsel.

Furthermore, CEMUJER, has worked ardently so that the Legal Framework in favor of women’s right will not only be known, but that it will be implemented, as well as contributing to making that Legal Framework a reality.

In 1990 uniting 15 non governmental organizations as well as representatives of churches to study the draft of the family code was how the Permanent Policy Work Desk came into being. Not long after the government organized its own permanent policy desk and at times they work together for the same objectives, with 31% of the proposals being taken into consideration. Once the codes are approved, subsequently we turn to presenting reforms to those same codes. We consulted in the elaboration of the Law against Inter-Family Violence; we introduced, the idea of “Sexual Harassment”, into the ‘ordenanza contravencional’ (Social Conduct Ordinance) for the municipality of San Salvador. We have taken top leadership from the National Civil Police to court, for the crime of sexual harassment. We were also complainants in the cases of 6 minors who had suffered sexual abuse from a Porn Lawyer who was on his way to become a magistrate in the Supreme Court of Justice, being the first women’s institution to face penal cases, leaving an important precedent at the core of society. The victims and their families were not only given legal counsel and representation but were accompanied through the process.

In 1993, CEMUJER participated in the World Summit for Human Rights that was held in Austria, where an intense lobbying work was launched about violence as a human rights problem.

The Institution has been at the United Nations on 3 different occasions, presenting Alternative Reports; the National Report on the Prevention of Violence and a Balance Document about Beijing +5 among others.

The 19th of July 2006 CEMUJER participated in the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights in the Regional Audience about Domestic Violence held in the city of Guatemala. “The Alternative Report on the Family Violence Situation in El Salvador” is developed as a country in the name of the Feminist Network against gender based violence, was done with the consultation of the Center for Justice and International Law.

CEMUJER, Is the founder of 2 important Work Teams:
1. The Campaign for the Prevention of Gender Based Violence
2. The Feminist Network of El Salvador against violence against Women

San Salvador, Casa Morada de la Mujer, Año 2008

National Policy for the Eradication of Human Trafficking in El Salvador

PDF Document (Spanish)

PDF Document (Spanish)

Politica Nacional para la Erradicación de la Trata de Personas en El Salvador PDF 519.86 KB

CEMUJER, May 2008

Combating Human Trafficking in El Salvador

PDF Document Human Trafficking

PDF Document Human Trafficking

 Desplegado Contra la Trata de Personas con Fines de Explotación Sexual Comerical PDF 1.78 MB

CEMUJER, 2008

CEMUJER Press Conference, October 5

We Denounce and Condemn the Persecution by the Government of Daniel Ortega against Feminists and Defenders of the Human Rights of Women

The Institute for Women’s Studies “Norma Virginia Guirola de Herrera” CEMUJER, the Institute for Human Rights of the Central American University (IDHUCA), the Feminist Collective for Local Development, Women Transforming, Las Dignas, AMUSAMECO, Las Mélidas, Economic and Social Micro-region and independent feminists of El Salvador, denounce and condemn the systematic campaign and persecution with threats, and false accusations that have been faced for several months by the Autonomous Women’s Movement of Nicaragua, the Network against Violence against Women of El Salvador, women activists and feminists and the International Cooperation by the government of Daniel Ortega.

The head of state of the Nicaraguan Government discredits and disrespects organisms defending the human Rights of women and continues its attacks against the International cooperation, referring to it with insulting phrases such as: “the flies stand in the filth” “go somewhere else with your crumbs”. The head of state of Nicaragua, has induced irregular judicial processes not in tune with justice against the feminists, on the other hand with his aggressive speeches he has provoked his supporters to massively violate, lynch, and attack the women of the movement on the street. Furthermore, September 26, there was a call to the “divine mobs” to organize forceful confrontations, armed with sticks, rocks, machetes, and mortars, mobs who gave themselves the right to carry arms, detain and search vehicles to impede or prohibit the circulation of anyone without justifiable motive. Moreover, the President of the Republic Daniel Ortega attacked the media and journalists calling them ‘puppets of the empire’, “children of Goebble” and, finally making use of the power that blinds and darkens promised to bring war against all autonomous civil society.

All of this panorama gives us the measure of a government that is intolerant and incapable of dialoguing with his adversaries, and launches a machinery of persecution and by considering that all the people who dissent are their enemies and therefore they must destroy them. The message being sent to the nation is to instill fear and quiet the protesting voices of the feminists and women’s organisms, isolating the women’s movements and putting in question their credibility.

In this setting of insecurity for the Nicaraguan feminists, Zoila América Narváez must desist her lawsuit against the state of Nicaragua for the lack of access to justice with Daniel Ortega remaining in impunity for the crime of sexual abuse which he committed against her, during her childhood and her adolescence.

For the feminists and women of the Autonomous Movement and the Network against Violence against Women, they have begun a witch hunt, an extremely dangerous environment has developed for their own physical safety generating conditions favorable to Femicides and Disappearances of women.

Before this grave and alarming situation, CEMUJER, the IDHUCA, the Feminist Collective for Local Development, Women Transforming, Las Dignas, AMUSAMECO, Las Mélidas, Economic and Social Micro-region and independent feminists of El Salvador are showing solidarity with their Nicaraguan sisters and also condemn the repressive and misogynist measures used by Ortega, therefore they respectfully request that Amnesty International will communicate the current oppressive conditions in Nicaragua to all the member states so that they may join together in solidarity with the Autonomous Women’s Movement, the Network against Violence against Women of El Salvador, the Feminists and with the International Cooperation, sending letters to the President Ortega demanding: Cease the Repression against women and the Cooperation.

San Salvador, October 5, 2008

Dialogue and Compromise, a Basic Premise for a New El Salvador

Instituto for Women’s Studies
“Norma Virginia Guirola de Herrera”
CEMUJER

The strengthening of justice means democratizing society and this cannot be done without everyone’s participation, from every space that every group establishes as an opinion. Nevertheless, it is necessary that we not fear changing the way we think and do about what seems normal, right, and politically possible. It is urgent that opinions are exchanged and process are started that will allow us to overcome traditional political semantics, in order to give a new meaning to fundamental concepts such as citizen participation and democracy.

It involves deciding about the future of El Salvador in its budding democratic life, in involves our general well-being, the human project, the destiny of each person and each family, which inevitably involves a common participation of women and men developing a new way of living together.

That is the way in which we create democratic processes, because any society that aspires to promote said model, needs to consciously acknowledge diversity, without subjecting itself to previously established models, necessarily looking for social cohesion that creates basic consensus without involving the loss of identity, autonomy, and creativity.

To acknowledge that El Salvador finds itself submerged in a socioeconomic, political, and cultural crisis does not mean that all is lost and that we are trapped, without a way out, quite on the contrary, we have before us a challenge, the biggest and most beautiful commitment of our lives: to consolidate the Social Peace that we desire so much. To consolidate the Social Peace that we so desire, implies giving up the culture of violence to cultivate a culture of dialogue and compromise, in order to lay the foundation for a new El Salvador that is more committed to respect human dignity in the which political institutions should have the capacity to address the different social needs that are presented to them, with mutual respect prevailing in said interaction.

Likewise, we should promote civic culture as a dimension of collective action through the respect for the responsible manifestation of citizens, which constitutes a fundamental premise for the transformation of society.

We should not look for ghosts where they do not exist and should not start a witch hunt that could lead us to more pain and exacerbate our spirits. We know that violence is the shared evil that follows us with tireless insistence, strengthening intolerance of ideas, lack of respect, and uncontainable hate, lies… the loss of values.

Let us look for a productive debate that will have to be directed to the discussion of other ways of doing politics that are not exclusive in the formation of new leadership, capable of creating alternatives that are not polarizing and create en the citizenry a critical and reflexive spirit. Only in that way, rejecting the mental barriers that had traditionally characterized political action, we could say with exactness that El Salvador is headed towards a real process of National Reconstruction.

Today, as we did yesterday, we reiterate our vocation and commitment towards the respect of human rights calling to those who make up this nation, to create a change of attitudes individually and socially that will completely change traditional behaviors and produce a movement in favor of Peace for our tormented People.

Certainly, our people are hungry and thirsty, not for blood but for justice. We are sure that none that is in their right senses desires in the very least to go back.

“We have before us a challenge, the biggest and most beautiful commitment of our lives: to consolidate the Social Peace that we desire so much and, to consolidate the Social Peace that we so desire, implies, giving up the culture of violence to cultivate a culture of Dialogue and Compromise, in order to lay the foundation for a new El Salvador that is more committed to respect human dignity”.

San Salvador, Casa Morada de la Mujer, July 2008

Legitimization of Impunity in the Protection of the Rights of Children and Adolescents

Instituto de Estudios de la Mujer
“Norma Virginia Guirola de Herrera”
CEMUJER

The Salvadoran family is living a dangerous stage in its history in which it senses the Legitimization of Impunity before the permanent violation of the human rights of children and adolescents.

It is difficult to understand that parents, grandparents, lawyers, religious leaders, educators, police officers, and others, would sexually abuse children and adolescents and then holding up the Bible, Constitution or Uniform perjure by saying that they are innocent and make the victims responsible, re-victimizing them, which is not only a disrespectful act and a public offences but, it represents a mockery to the state of justice by those who are protected by powerful and fatal interests in order to stop the sword of justice and turn it into the “center for sanctifying sins and crimes“.

CEMUJER acknowledges with shame, the indifference of a society that is still lethargic and many times tolerant, and does not understand nor accept that there are still functionaries within the justice system, that from the cultural-patriarchal scheme, act with lukewarm complacency in the prosecution, investigation, and sanction, of those responsible of violations of the rights of children and adolescents.

The State fails to fill its obligations when it does not guarantee and completely protect the rights of the general population and more specifically the rights of children and adolescents, as some of these functionaries do not know their obligations which come from our Constitution and the International Human Rights Treaties. This situation offends the state of justice, fracturing even more the frail governability of the country, increasing social discontent and the loss of confidence in reporting and in the institutions.

Does justice exist in El Salvador for our children and adolescents? Are the rights of this victimized and re-victimized population acknowledged? Are violators and murderers (those who commit femicide) condemned?

Enough with remembering certain emblematic cases such as the rape and murder of Katya Miranda and Brenda, just as the various commercial sexual crimes committed by the lawyer Nelson García, in which there was no and has yet to have been any justice, on the contrary, injustice predominates, and it is due not only to the dubious investigations and judicial resolutions, but also to the various re-victimizing and stigmatizing situations that the victims and their families lived and continue to live through, many of which in light of the insecurity and the fear of experiencing more violence, have been forced to leave the country… “to flee from the country to defend life.”

Recently, we have helped in an aberrant and repugnant event which was the rape of a 14 month old baby, who in her innocence still fiscally experiences the cruelty of her rapists, and we ask ourselves, when will she heal from her psychological wounds? Possibly the aftermath will be unimaginable, which is why CEMUJER, has established the contact with the mother of the girl so that after her physical recuperation, we can start the emotional recuperation. Meanwhile, once again, we demand justice; DO JUSTICE and that impunity will make way for a True Social Justice.

CEMUJER, respectfully, demands that the Salvadoran government will further the investigation of the crime and assume the responsibility of guaranteeing and protecting the fulfilling of human rights for children, adolescents, providing a safer climate that will allow for their holistic development.

¡THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN AND ADOLECENTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS, LET’S MAKE THEM COUNT!

San Salvador, Casa Morada de la Mujer, 2008



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