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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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VENEZUELA

Consultant
Asociación Venezolana para una Educación Sexual Alternativa ("Venezuelan Association for Alternative Sexual Education Association" AVESA)

Coverage National

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 depression.

 Legislation

Venezuelan legislation specifically designed to address this area includes the following:

  • 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)

 Government Response

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.

Services

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% are mixed.

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.Top 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

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