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It Is Time to Stop Violence Against Women, Says Mexico's Enrique Pena Nieto

Gustavo Camacho Olivares - Presidency of the Republic
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December 1, 2013

The president announced that he has instructed the Secretariat of Social Development to ensure that these centers provide psychological, legal and social assistance for women victims of violence. (Presidency of the Republic)

As he announced various actions in favor of women across the country last week, President Enrique Peña Nieto endorsed the government’s commitment to combating violence against women.

“It is time to stop the violence women unfortunately suffer,” he declared, as part of the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, held in this town in the La Montaña region.

“The president supports the women of Mexico. He is here to support them and combat the violence to which they are subjected,” he said.

He said that although the issue of violence against women occurs throughout the country and the world, and does not respect social status, “It is particularly acute where people live in the greatest poverty and marginalization.” He added that this is also a cultural issue, “Which we must combat and eradicate.”

He noted that as part of the New Guerrero Plan, announced on November 7, in addition to the fact that major infrastructure works will be undertaken in the states, actions to combat violence against women will also be considered.

After hearing testimonials from women who experienced violence, the president announced the construction, in this municipality, of the Woman’s City, a project designed to support women in this region, where some of the most backward municipalities in the country are located.

He declared that it is crucial to create a better environment to enable women to have better conditions on her own terms, “An environment of greater security and prosperity for all families living in remote regions, regions, isolated from development, which is crucial to eradicating the violence experienced by the women in our country,” he added.

He said that the goal in the state is, “To create welfare conditions and eradicate the violence to which many women and girls are subjected, especially in the region of La Montaña in the state of Guerrero.”

The president announced the actions to be undertaken for this purpose:

• The government will construct Justice Centers for Women.

Seven centers have been built to date, he said, with another seven scheduled for construction in 2014, specifically to cater to the women of our country.

• Centers for women’s development. Currently there are already 98 in the country.

The president announced that he has instructed the Secretariat of Social Development to ensure that these centers provide psychological, legal and social assistance for women victims of violence.

He reported that nine centers have already been scheduled for construction, and that there are plans to build another nine, “Another 18 centers of social development for 2014.”

• Hotline.

President Peña Nieto explained that the Secretariat of the Interior will launch a 01800 hotline, Talk About It, which will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with professional staff providing psychological and legal support for women who have suffered violence.

• Legal prevention measures.

The president explained that the Single Criminal Procedure Code, submitted for consideration by Congress, establishes measures to expedite support and care for women victims of violence, so that they will not have to wait until a judge issues preventive measures. Instead, from the moment a complaint is filed, the Prosecutor’s Office will be able to arrange for support and assistance for women victims of violence.

• Gender Violence Research Protocols.

This implies that all prosecutors’ offices in states throughout the country will establish homologated protocols that will provide better, more efficient care for women, especially those who are victims of violence.

• Release of Indigenous women.

The president declared that he has instructed the Secretariat of Social Development, through the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples to train legal attorneys to provide legal support, in their own language, to women who, due to their lack of proficiency in Spanish, “Are sometimes unfortunately judged or subjected to legal measures that leave them defenseless.”

“This is a travesty of justice. This is why there is a program specifically dedicated to the release of indigenous women, attending those we have identified, who total over 300, which are unfortunately serving a sentence, which they presumably should not be doing,” he said.

• Protection of women’s assets.

The president mentioned that the federal agencies that provide support for housing construction have been instructed to encourage title deeds to be made out in favor of women.

“We’re going to work to ensure that women have at least some assets, which is why I have instructed this action and this promotion to be carried out from the areas dedicated to housing construction and development,” he explained.

• Pink room

The president declared that he has also given instructions for the houses being built in the country to have one room known as the “pink room,” in other words, “a room dedicated especially to women, because a great deal of domestic violence is due to overcrowding, and we seek to ensure that women living in a household have at least one pink room, a safe room, dedicated exclusively to them.”

• Productive projects

“We will continue supporting productive projects from different areas of the government. Today we are doing so through the Secretariat of Social Development, precisely in programs dedicated to women,” he said.

President Peña Nieto also announced, as part of the government’s commitment to build a New Guerrero, the modernization and expansion of the Chilpancingo-Tlapa road, “The most important means of communication in several municipalities and communities in this region of La Montaña, with its capital,” scheduled for completion in six months.

The president also inaugurated the Justice Center for Women in the La Montaña Region, where he heard testimonials from those who had suffered violence at the hands of their partners.

Read the rest at Presidency of the Republic

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