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"A LIFE FREE OF VIOLENCE: IT’S OUR RIGHT"

"UNA VIDA SIN VIOLENCIA ES UN DERECHO NUESTRO"

"UMA VIDA SEM VIOLENCIA E UM DIREITO NOSSO               
"UNE VIE SANS VIOLENCE C'EST NOTRE DROIT"


UNITED NATIONS INTER-AGENCY CAMPAIGN

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CHILE

 

Consultant Cecilia Moltedo
Coverage
National
Prevalence

1. Intrafamiliar Violence

"Carabineros de Chile" National Police Unit – 48ava. Police Station, Santiago: 2,871 reports of violent crimes were received in 1998. 84.22% of these cases were reported by women between the ages of 18 and 65 years old. The number of men within this same group who filed reports and made accusations is 10%, corresponding to only 2.6% of the reports filed on behalf of minors under the age of 18.

NUMBER OF REPORTS AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL
PRESENTED TO THE CARABINEROS IN 1998

Assaulted

1995

1996

1997

1998

Women

25,335

34,094

38,671

39,394

Men

997

1,228

1,553

1,574

Children (less than 18 years old)

683

671

851

688

Seniors (over 65 years old)

181

220

181

190

Total

27,196

36,213

41,256

41,846

TOTAL NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS APPREHENDED FOR INTRAFAMILIAR VIOLENCE BY THE CARABINEROS, BROKEN DOWN BY THE YEAR, SEX, AGGRESOR AND THE VICTIM.
(Numbers).

 

1995

1996

1997

INTRAFAMILIAR VIOLENCE

Total

Men

Women

Total

Men

Women

Total

Men

Women

Against Women

4,762

4,440

322

4,813

4,484

329

4,965

4,636

329

Against Men

398

243

155

530

346

184

480

295

185

Against Children

266

178

88

208

133

75

183

110

73

Against Seniors

22

17

5

21

20

1

11

11

-

Others

126

94

32

94

71

23

60

47

13

Total

5,574

4,972

602

5,777

5,054

612

5,699

5,099

600

Source: INE. Police Statistics from Carabineros of Chile, 1995, 1996, 1997.

Apprehensions made for committing acts of intrafamiliar violence: 89.2% men in 1995; 87.5% in 1996 and 89.5% in 1997, which confirms the research on this subject which shows that men are the aggressors in the majority of these cases.

Ministry of Justice: in 1997, 5,526 telephone calls were received and recorded by the emergency phone line and in the first 3 months of 1998, 1, 363 calls were made.

NUMBER OF CASES PROCESSED IN THE OFFICE OF THE COURT OF APPEALS

Date/Year

Number of Cases Filed

From 8/28/94 to 12/31/94

1,419

1995

9,433

1996

12,545

1997

14,045

1998

12,816

Total

50,258

Source: Office of Receipt and Distribution of Reports of Intrafamiliar Violence for the Court of Appeal of Santiago.

The information does not appear to be disaggregated by sex; however, one opinion by officials at the Office for Intrafamiliar Violence estimates that 95% of the cases received are from women. The number of offences received annually from this office is important as it demonstrates an increase of cases filed since 1994, when the law was implemented.

In 1997, the Centre for Prevention of Intrafamiliar Violence of the Municipality of the Santiago conducted a systematic study using the first 3,000 records of women that used the Centre, corresponding to the first 3 years of its operations (1990-1993). Taking into account that from the beginning of 1992 the centre began accepting reports filed by men, the numbers demonstrate that the breakdown of total users is as follows: 95% women and 5% men. The women seeking counseling fall between the age group 21 to 50 years old, of which 85.7% of those are married. 47.2% are women that report having some education; if you include the number of women who have some level of higher education and the women that have received technical training, the number reaches 66.5%. 43.4% of the women are the heads of the household and 48.6% are in the labour force. In 76.2% of the cases, the aggressor is identified as the husband and 13.3% as living with the victim. With relation to the type of violence suffered, in 12.2% of the cases it is psychological, 54.7% physical violence and 33% of the cases both physical and sexual violence. In 56.7% of the cases women reported being economically abused, and amongst these the husband not contributing financially to the household was the most common made complaint.

In 1992, with the assistance of the Pan-American Health Organization, Soledad Larrain conducted a study entitled, "Intrafamiliar violence: the situation of the woman in Chile" (Larrain, 1994). The results show that in one out of every four homes the woman is hit by her partner and that, in one out of every three homes the woman is assaulted, including psychological abuse. According to the study, physical violence is present five times more often in the lower levels of the socioeconomic stratum. This figure increased to seven times more when relating to severe physical violence. The research method used to gather this data incorporated a number of social factors - demographics such as, scarce resources, low levels of education, population growth. As well, the investigation found that lower levels of violence correspond to: greater levels of education for women, increased incorporation of women into the paid work force, as well as, women with fewer number of children. The study concludes that 57.5% of the aggressions occurred during the first three years that a couple was living together.

Maltreatment of children

In 1994, UNICEF completed a study using a sample size of 1,533 children in the eighth grade from 103 educational establishments in the six regions, with ages ranging between 13 and 15 years old. The results show that 63% of the sample experienced physical maltreatment from their parents, of which 33% of these experienced severe physical violence. In 10% of these instances, the child has reported to have been beaten until the point of bleeding, 3.5% were attended to by Health Workers and/or hospitals due to the beatings, and only 1.6% of the cases reached the Tribunal and Carabineros.

During 1997, 1,451 calls were taken in relation to the maltreatment of children by the phone line of the Ministry of Justice. In the period January to March 1998, the number of calls reached 412.

Sexual Offences

In 1992, the Direction of Sociological Studies of the Catholic University in Chile, in an investigation conducted by SERNAM, estimated that there are approximately 20,000 instances of sexual crimes, however, reporting of the crime only occurs in 15% to 20% of the time. Of 10 cases, 9 correspond to women, and the majority of victims fall between the ages of 5 and 14. More than 70% of the aggressions are made by people known to the victim and/or by family members. (SERNAM, 1992)

The Centre for Victims of Sexual Abuse (CAVAS) of the Investigative Police of Chile, conducted an analysis of the cases attended to in the first semester of 1993, of which the aggressor  was the father or another family member living with the victim. In this study, they determined that 82% of the victims were women and 72.72% were over the age of 15. 76% appeared to be emotionally and mentally healthy; 12% suffered from mental sickness (neurosis) and another 12% suffered from severe mental sickness. In 30% of the cases, the victim had been abused in a consistent regular manner; in another 30% of the cases it had been more sporadic; 3.03% of the cases indicated that the abuse occurred on two occasions and in 24% of cases the abuse occurred only once. 42.42% of the victims had been assaulted for years; 12.12% for months, and in 12% of cases it had been only a matter of hours or days. 57.6% stated that the aggressor did not use any type of weapon. Only 33% of the cases ratified the tribunal decision. In one third of the sample, some other family member had already suffered from sexual assault at some point in their life. 84% of these cases occurred in the home that the aggressor and the victim shared together, of which 50% of the instances the aggressor was the father, 21% the step-father, 10% an uncle, 3% the grandfather and 3% a cousin. (Escaff, 1986)

In the following chart, the number of cases attended to by CAVAS.

Patients brought to C.A.V.A.S. during the period 1987 – 1998(Number and percentage)

Year

Number

Percentage

1987*

50

0.8

1988

360

5.6

1989

393

6.1

1990

304

4.7

1991

350

5.4

1992

395

6.1

1993

602

9.3

1994

632

9.8

1995

732

11.3

1996

721

11.2

1997

908

14.1

1998

1.015

15.7

Total

6.462

100.0

* Period between November 20 and December 31. Source: Centre for Victims of Sexual Abuse, 1998.

The above chart demonstrates a notable increase in the calls made to the centre throughout the years. This indicates the increasing awareness and consciousness amongst the population regarding the existence of the problem and the availability of help.

PERSONS ATTENDED TO IN 1997 AND 1998
ACCORDING TO THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PERPETRATOR
(Number and Percentage)

Relation

1997

1998

Total

Family

339

37.3

345

34.0

684

35.5

Acquaintance

470

51.8

535

52.7

1,005

52.3

Stranger

99

10.9

135

13.3

234

12.2

Total

908

100.0

1,015

100.0

1,923

100.0

Source: Made up from the data base of the Centre for Victims of Sexual Abuse (C.A.V.A.S.), 1998.

The above data once again indicates the high percentage of aggressors that are family members and/or acquaintances of the victims of sexual abuse. On this point, while it remains unlikely that a report will be effective in punishing the perpetrator, the impact on the victim remains great.

Data from the Legal Medical Institute indicates a greater percentage of victims of sexual crimes corresponds to boys and girls between the ages of 1 and 14, while noting the overwhelming proportion of girls (approximately 4 times more than boys).

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN VICTIM – PERPETRATOR 1996 – 1997
(Number and Percentage).

Relation Victim/ Perpetrator

Rape

Indecent Abuse

Sodomy

TOTAL

 

1996

1997

1996

1997

1996

1997

1996

%

1997

%

Father

43

44

140

164

2

3

185

12,0

211

11,1

Mother

0

2

0

1

0

0

0

0

3

0,2

Other family member

103

103

214

355

5

14

322

20,8

472

24,8

Neighbour

21

22

102

114

8

18

131

8,5

154

8,1

Acquaintance

186

213

308

425

36

54

530

34,3

692

36,3

SUBTOTAL

353

384

764

1.059

51

89

1.168

75,6

1.532

90,4

Stanger

215

197

135

150

27

27

377

24,4

374

19,6

TOTAL

568

581

899

1.209

78

116

1.545

100

1.906

100

Source: Statistics Section and Archives, Legal Medical Service.

On this point, girls, as much as boys, are sexually assaulted by acquaintances (35.3% as an average) or by family members (an average of 22.8% from the two years recorded). According to the experience of CAVAS, there exists a greater probability that the abuse will be repeated when the aggressor is a family member or is someone known to the victim. Amongst the cases that were reported to this institution, 60% demonstrated cases where the assault was repeated. (Fernández M.L, 1997).

Sexual abuse

Research undertaken in 1991, by the Centre for Women’s Studies, shows that of the 120 women workers interviewed in the area of Santiago, 84.3% believed to understand the issues and problems relating to sexual abuse, while 20% had already experienced an incident of sexual harassment in the workplace. A large percentage of women, 89.2%, believed that this type of behavior would occur only in the workplace. Of these women workers, 79.8% believed that sexual harassment is an expression of discrimination against the women in the workplace, and 78.4% stated that sexual harassment relates more to a social problem, even more than a personal problem. 88.3% of these women stated that they believe that harassment is distinct and different from seduction or attraction. 80.5% acknowledge that harassment exists and that it is hidden or covered up and that it is extremely difficult to prove. Amongst those women that indicated to have male bosses, 20.1% stated to have experienced sexual harassment. 84% of the sample agreed that sexual harassment creates prejudices, humiliation and places limits on a persons professional development. Of the sample of women workers who had experienced harassment from their bosses, 32.3% resigned from their workplace. The survey shows us that 42.3% of the victims suffered from sexual abuse from either their chief boss, from their direct boss or from the public institution. 21.3% of the victims stated that they chose not to seek counseling or advice from a third person, while another 32% stated that they did not know where to resort to for advice and assistance. (B Délano and R. Todaro, 1993)

Legislation

In relation to gender violence, Chile uses the following judicial instruments for protection and sanction:

Convention of Belem do Pará: ratified in October 1996.
Intrafamiliar Violencia Law: proclaimed in August 1994
Law of 19.324 regarding the maltreatment of minors
Law regarding sexual crimes
Law of 19. 409 that sanctions white slavery as a crime in the Penal Code.

State Response

1. Intrafamiliar Violence

National Politics

Interministerial Commission advising on the prevention of intrafamiliar violence created through the decree of May 13, 1992, addressing the issue with the participation of the Ministry of Justice, Health, Foreign Relations, Secretary General of the Government, Secretary General of the President, Institute of Minors, Network of Chile of Domestic and Sexual Violence, Judicial Power, National Service of Minors, Investigative Police, "Carabineros de Chile", and is coordinated by SERNAM (National Service of the Woman).

Political Sector

SERNAM: National Program for the Prevention of Intrafamiliar Violence
Ministry of Health: Unit of Women’s Health
Ministry of Education: Women’s Program
Carabineros de Chile: Police Protection for the Family (25 units)

Shelter - "Help Me To Grow"

Judicial Power: Office of Intrafamiliar Violence (14 offices)

Local Politics

SERNAM: Interinstitutional networks at the regional level (13 regions)
SERNAM: Common networks at the community level (164 networks)
Ministry of Justice: hot-line service (11 regions)
Municipalities: Municipal Centres of Assistance
"Carabineros de Chile": 48ava. Police Office for Women’s Affairs

Mobile Police Offices

Maltreatment of children

National Police

Intersectorial Committee on the Prevention of the Maltreatment of Children, made up by the: Ministries of Justice, Health, and Education, the Secretary General of the Government, Secretary General of the President, Judicial Power, National Services for Minors, Legal Medical Service, National Service for the Woman (SERNAM), Institute for Youth, the Nationa Police "Carabineros de Chile", Investigative Police, National Body for Jardines Infantiles (JUNJI); Foundation INTEGRA and the Municipal Network for Defendors of the Child.

Political sector

Ministry of Justice: Access to Justice Program
National Service to the Minor (SENAME)
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Education: School for Peace
Ministry of Planning and Cooperation: National Plan of the Child the regional plans of the child and the adolescent
"Carabineros de Chile": 34ava. and 35ava. Office for Minors

Local Politics

SENAME: 13 ambulatory projects and 4 reparation projects of severely maltreated infants
Office of the First Lady of the Republic: INTEGRA Foundation (761 centres open)
Municipal Network for Defenders of the Child

Sexual Offences

Political sector

Investigative Police of Chile:

Sexual crimes unit Centre for victims of sexual abuse

Ministry of Justice: Legal Institute of Medicine

SERNAM / Ministry of Education: Program to prevent pregnancies in adolescents

Sexual abuse

Political sector

Ministry of Employment: Direction of employment

Response from the civil society

Chilean network working against domestic and sexual violence (1990, approximately 30 organizations participated)
NGO Group Initiative-CHILE
Corporation "Society of Abused Children"
House of Women of Valparaíso
Institute of the Woman
Centre of Women’s Studies


 

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