Violence against women in Nicaragua is at risk of increasing, unless the authorities execute a comprehensive prevention strategy, two human rights NGOs valued this Friday, during the presentation of a report on the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women.
The Nicaragua Nunca Más Human Rights Collective, together with the international Raza e Igualdad, indicated in San José, Costa Rica, that in the last 12 years there have been at least 846 femicides in the Central American country, despite the establishment of the life imprisonment and the distribution of a booklet so that women know how to act in the event of a threat or case of sexist violence.
“It is urgent in Nicaragua that the State adopt measures to prevent and address these events and to stop reproducing violence, we are going to become a more violent country and further affect the exercise of women in the search for equal rights and better conditions in all areas of life”, said the collective’s lawyer Wendy Flores, at a telematic press conference.
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According to Flores, the Women’s Police Stations have been re-installed, but they are insufficient because “an interdisciplinary team is required with psychologists, lawyers, researchers, experts, all to document and comprehensively accompany a survivor.”
In addition, he pointed out that the Nicaraguan authorities only recognize femicides when there is a relationship, which leaves out deaths that occur in the public sphere, supposedly to prevent the figures from rising and evade state responsibility.
The lawyer noted that in Nicaragua “the authorities have been used for repression and not to respond” and to “treat NGOs, human rights defenders, as enemies and traitors to the homeland, not as citizens who demand a response to the social problems of our country.
POLICIES WITHOUT SOCIAL ACCOMPANIMENT
The representative of Race and Equality Eilyn Cruz added that the fact that 103 feminist NGOs and 177 defending women’s rights have been canceled since 2018 in Nicaragua contributes to aggravating gender violence.
“If we are canceling women’s organizations it makes no sense, because State policies do not go alone, they must be accompanied by society, and society is all of us,” he said.
To the above, the organizations added the situation in which the children of the victims are left, who, as they warned, are often orphaned, since the aggressor used to be their father or guardian, who ends up on the run, imprisoned, or decides to take off their life.
The situation of violence spreads, according to the NGOs, because they are infants or adolescents who grow up without receiving psychological care, without receiving justice, and in an environment without the necessary economic conditions for them to overcome the impact of losing their mothers.
In this case, the organizations insisted that the State must financially assist the guardians of the victims’ children, who are generally their grandparents, often elderly, with no conditions to work.
In the case of justice, Cruz indicated that it is incomplete if the perpetrators of femicides are part of the thousands of criminals who are released from jail every year on special dates, by order of the Executive.
According to the NGO Catholics of Nicaragua for the Right to Decide, 57 Nicaraguan women have died in this and other countries as a result of male violence so far in 2022.