Archive for October 16th, 2008

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

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