#GetInvolved so we can prevent femicideCampaign seeks to protect women victims of violence
During the last weeks of the health quarantine due to COVID-19, Paraguay registered a high percentage of reports of violence against women. In order to draw attention to this issue, UN Women and the Ministry of Women's Affairs, with the support of Itaipu Binacional and the First Lady’s Office, carried out awareness-raising activities in pharmacies in the capital, as part of the campaign "#GetInvolved so we can prevent femicide.
The aim is for citizens to get involved and report cases of violence in their environment, paying special attention to disseminating Law 5777/16 on "Comprehensive Protection of Women against all Forms of Violence", with emphasis on preventing femicide.
The campaign includes spreading awareness through the dissemination of information in different formats and the distribution of a guide available on shelves, boxes and delivery services in each location of the Catedral and Farmacenter pharmacy chains.
The materials contain information on how to support victims, as well as addresses and telephone numbers of shelters and reporting centers. The workers of the companies supporting this initiative have been trained on the issue so they are prepared to guide and inform potential victims who come to the premises.
According to the official report issued by the Ministry of Women's Affairs, 747 people have been assisted to date by the Women's Assistance Service (Sedamur), which indicates a 78 per cent increase over previous periods.
Among the main recommendations given are
- Do not leave the victim alone: People who suffer violence can overcome the problem with help, so it is important not to leave them alone. Personal and community support is essential to prevent further femicide and eradicate this serious violation of women's rights.
- Understand violence as a vicious circle: The acts of violence occur in a recurrent way; they can stop for a while but then they return and are increasingly serious. It is very common for a woman in a violent situation to find it difficult to leave her abuser, either because of emotional dependence, hope that he will change and/or fear.
- The victim is never guilty: Most of the time, a woman who is a victim of violence feels guilty about the situation and finds it difficult to make a decision. It is always important to remind her that she is not to blame.
It is also important to understand that violence affects women on many levels and that violence is preventable, so personal, family and community support is critical. Listen, believe in her and give her your support.
Women victims of violence can turn to the Women's Assistance Service (SEDAMUR): (021) 452 060/ firstname.lastname@example.org; the Women's City Center: (021) 412 4000, the Regional Women's Centers (CRM) in Ciudad del Este, Curuguaty, Philadelphia and Pedro Juan Caballero; the police stations, peace courts, neighborhood prosecutors' offices, the Ministry of Public Defense and the Specialized Unit for Assistance to Victims of Family Violence of the Public Ministry. Calls are received 24 hours a day at 137 or 911.
The guide is available in Spanish here.