Asociación Venezolana para una Educación Sexual Alternativa ("Venezuelan
Association for Alternative Sexual Education Association" AVESA)
Occurrence and Prevalence
According to the Center for Peace Studies at Universidad Central de Venezuela, during
the first half of 1998, 26 women in Caracas died as victims of homicide. From the findings
of international research, it is estimated that the deaths of at least 50% of these women
were due to conflicts with their partner. From this it can be deduced that every twelve
days a man in Caracas kills a woman for reasons related to their relation of intimacy.
Statistical data collected by the Bicameral Commission of the National Congress indicate
that in 1995 there were around 75,530 cases of sexual violence in Venezuela. According to
the statistical division of the Technical Judicial Police, in 1997 alone there were 7,426
sex crimes, including rape, seduction, kidnapping, incest and others, in which the victims
have been women. This implies that every day 11.9 women were raped in Venezuela.
According to a 1995 study by Instituto Universitario de Policia Científica, of the 539
reports of rape that were filed in the Caracas metropolitan area, 64% of the assailants
were relatives, friends, neighbors or people the victims knew; 45% of the rapes occurred
at the victim's home; and in 74.25% of the cases the victim was subdued by either physical
force or firearm. The victims' ages ranged from 10 to 60 years of age.
Another recent study, called "Crime in Caracas" (San Juan, Revista Venezolana
de Economía y Ciencias Sociales, April-September 1997), indicates that 40% of physical
assault cases attended at help centers in the metropolitan area consisted of violence
against women inside the home, and that 80% of these were repeat occurrences.
Statistics from the National Institute for Minors reveal that during the first eight
months of 1997, 71 cases of sexual abuse against minors were attended. Of these, 64 were
girls, and all cases were associated with serious situations of domestic mistreatment.
According to estimates provided by the Community Learning Center, 10 to 20% of the child
population has been sexually abused, but only one case in ten comes to light.
A 1994 study made by FUNDA-CI and CISFEM under an agreement with UNICEF indicates that
at that moment, some 40,000 children and adolescents were being prostituted in Venezuela.
Associated problems included ETS, VIH, early pregnancy, drug consumption, and severe
Venezuelan legislation specifically designed to address this area includes the
- Equal Opportunity Law for Women (1993)
- Law Approving the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Sanction and Eradication
of Violence Against Women (1995)
- Law on Violence Against Women and the Family (1998)
- Basic Law for the Protection of Children and Adolescents (1998)
To address and prevent gender-based violence in Venezuela:
- National Plan for Women 1998-2003. One of the strategic areas is the "Plan to
Prevent, Eradicate and Sanction Violence Against Women"
Response by Civil Society
As follow up for commitments assumed under the Fourth World Conference on Women in
Beijing, the State has created the "Joint Committee for Venezuela-JUVE"
consisting of AVESA, Casa de la Mujer, CONG de Mujeres, CISFEM, and the Women's Studies
Academic Working Group of Universidad Católica Andrés Bello.
Participation by organized civil society, especially NGOs working in the area of women,
has been important, as has their capacity in creating programs to attend mistreated women
and carry out public campaigns to increase awareness. NGOs also maintain ongoing
participation in the communication media, organize public events, coordinate and
participate in campaigns. They carry out joint activities with governmental sectors,
provide advisory assistance, sustained support for the passage of laws, and outreach in
hospitals and educational centers, etc.
The report brings together responses to a questionnaire that was distributed for a
national-level study of 36 organizations, covering 13 of Venezuela's 23 states: Amazonas,
Anzoategui, Aragua, Bolívar, Delta Amacuro, Falcón, Miranda, Sucre, Tachira, Trujillo,
Zulia, Lara and Distrito Federal.
Of these organizations, 65.22% are governmental, 30.43% are nongovernmental and 4.34%
The services they offer are psychological (85%), medical (44%) and legal (70%). In
addition, 66% carry out prevention actions, 66% are involved in information dissemination,
and 40% provide legal counseling.