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Consultant: Silvia Chejter, with a consulting team composed of Beatriz Ruffa and Paula Flores.


Data corresponds to the city of Buenos Aires, certain areas in the province of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Chaco, Misiones, Neuquén and Santa Fe. The report focuses on violence against women and is based on information collected in a questionnaire pre-designed for this investigation, open-ended interviews with GO and NGO representatives, a workshop held for the purpose of information exchange, and document production and review.


Domestic Violence:

  • According to data from the Judicial Computer Center of the Civil Chamber, 1,009 cases were filed in 1995. In 1996 this number increased to 1,601 and in the following year there were 1,820 cases.
  • The average number of assaults on partners attended at the Vicente López Municipal Women's Center is 3,500.
  • Approximately 5,000 persons per year- most of whom are victims of marital violence and sexual abuse- are attended at the Victim Attention Center in Córdoba.
  • In 1995 and 1996 there were an average 25,000 calls per year to the DGM crisis hot line in the city of Buenos Aires.
  • In 1998, 1,700 persons were attended by the family violence service at Alvear Hospital: 1,200 of these cases involved marital violence.
  • Around 5,000 people were attended in 1998 by the Argentinean Association for Prevention of Family Violence.


  • An estimated 5,000 to 7,000 cases of rape are reported in the country each year.
  • Numbers of convictions for sexual crimes range from 400 to 500 per year.

 Mistreatment, Sexual Abuse of Children and Incest

  • Between January 1, 1994, and June 6, 1997, 196 forensic examinations were performed of supposed victims of sexual abuse.
  • 135 of these cases were confirmed; 73% of the victims were girls and 27% boys: 75% corresponded to sexual offenses and 25% to rape. The majority of the perpetrators were family members or otherwise known to the victims.
  • 76% of the sexual crimes reported correspond to minors under the age of 21.
  • Women accounted for 87% of all sexual crimes.
  • School-age children in the cities of Buenos Aires and Avellaneda were found to be suffering abandonment and negligence (33%), emotional mistreatment (23%), physical mistreatment (18%), mendicancy (25%) and sexual abuse (1.5%).
  • During 1997, 13,376 calls were made to the help-line " Teléfono Te Ayudo." An examination of 2,415 calls revealed that the majority of child abuse and mistreatment takes place in the home, and that most of the assaults are made by an adult male, with 20% by the mother.
  • Fifty-one percent of the aggression reported involved physical mistreatment, 29% emotional mistreatment, 8% negligence and 12% sexual abuse. Fifty-two percent of the victims of these abuses were girls and 41% boys.

Prostitution and Trafficking of Women

  • While no reliable numbers are available on this problem, the report indicates that child and teenage prostitution of both sexes has risen notably, and indicates trafficking of women, most of them young or very young, is occurring fundamentally in the Dominican Republic, Central America and Paraguay.
  • In the city of Buenos Aires, in 1997, there were 10,000 women prostitutes; 3,000 were working in the street and 7,000 within establishments. Of the latter, 82% involves exploitation by third parties; there are 500 private apartments and 300 clandestine saunas in the city.

The report also mentions other types of less quantified but equally revealing gender-based violence, such as institutional violence; violence by health agents, judicial agents and prison staff; and violence for reasons of sexual preference.


With respect to legal protection, Argentina has the following special juridical instruments for situations of gender-based violence:

  • National Law Against Violence Within the Family, N. 24.417
  • National Decree No. 2385 (1993) against sexual harassment in government offices
  • Law N. 4377, Province of Chaco, which created the provincial Prevention and Comprehensive Assistance Program for Victims of Domestic Violence.
  • Law 2212, Province of Neuquén, on violence within the family
  • Law 11529, on domestic violence in the province of Santa Fe

Governmental Response

By Sector

- Ministry of the Interior. The Undersecretariat for Human and Social Rights launched the Women and Human Rights Program in 1998.

- Ministry of Health and Social Action. National Program on Violence, created by Decree 31-95 under the Promotion and Protection Department, a dependency of the undersecretariat for prevention programs. Implementation is pending.

- Ministry of Health and Social Action. Pilot Prevention and Assistance Program for Violence Against Women (1997). This program is being carried out in Maipu and Guaymallèn, province of Mendoza

- Ministry of Education. National Program to Promote Equal Opportunity for Women in the Area of Education.

 Response from Civil Society

Response by the civil society is as historical and diverse as the services this sector offers the population. (See following section.)

 State Services

Violence Within the Family

- Telephone line for information about violence against women. Ministry of the Interior, Undersecretariat for Human and Social Rights. In 1998, this undersecretariat launched the Women and Human Rights Program.

- City of Buenos Aires

- Municipality of Buenos Aires. Crisis phone line

- Network of government hospitals

- Public Ministry. Office attending victims of crime

- Province of Buenos Aires

- Family Violence Program. Provincial Council on Family and Human Development

- Municipal programs

- Province of Córdoba

- Assistance and Prevention of Family Violence, Secretariat for Human Promotion.

- Help Center for Crime Victims. Ministry of Institutional Affairs and Social Development

- Province of Chaco

- Solidarity Network Program. Secretary of Social Development

- Inter-Ministerial Commission on Human Rights, Human Rights Program

- Province of Neuquén

- Attention Center for Victims of Crime, Ministry of the Government.

- Department of Prevention of Family Violence. Undersecretariat for Social Action, Ministry of Social Welfare

- Province of Misiones

- Department of Family Violence, Ministry of Social Welfare for Women.

- Family Violence Program. Mental Health Service, Madariaga Hospital

- Province of Santa Fe

- Family Violence Team, Provincial Office for Minors and the Family

- Gender and Development Program, Secretary of Social Promotion.

Sexual Violence

- Office of Comprehensive Assistance for Victims, Public Ministry.

- Attention Service for Victims of Sexual Assault, Federal Police


Violence within the family

Different types of public services are offered by the following NGOs, as well as others not mentioned here:

- Prevention and Assistance Program for Battered Women

- Argentinean Association for the Prevention of Family Violence

- Argentinean Association for Comprehensive Development of the Family

- Fundación Propuesta

- Support Center for Mistreated Women

- Grupo Ser Mujer

- Casa de la Mujer Azucena Villaflor

 Sexual Violence


- Network of Institutional Resources for Attention of Sexually Assaulted Women

 Women in Prostitution

- Hermanas Adoratrices

- Hermanas OblatasTop of Page


UNDP Against Violence Home Page

For more information, please contact Aparna Mehrotra, Focal Point for Women, Tel: (212)963-6828 Fax: (212) 963-9545,e-mail: mehrotra@un.org

Management and direction: Aparna Mehrotra
Website  design
: Lola Salas
Writing, editing& proofing: Aparna Mehrotra, Dana Burde, Rini Banerjee and Tanaz Pardiwala
Graphic: Joan Miró
(detail) from folder by Isis International