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Strengthening of women police stations and civil society to counteract gender-related violence in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay

Background:

Violence against women (VAW) is a human rights abuse that directly affects one-third of women and indirectly affects all men and women. Each year millions of women are affected by beatings, rape, torture, intimidation, humiliation and discrimination. The perpetrators can be strangers, soldiers or colleagues. More commonly, they are partners or relatives.

Brazil and South Cone countries (Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay) experience high crime and violence rates against women, including rape. In all countries, violence rates against women are prone to subnotification. Shame, stigma and fear are impediments for formal accusations.

This project is aimed at strengthening the capacity of Women Police Stations in selected cities of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay – which are charged with investigating and prosecuting cases of violence against women – to counter gender-based violence. This project mobilizes law enforcement officials (male and female) and civil society to effectively respond to violence against women.

Objective:

To strengthen the capacity of Women Police Stations in selected cities of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay to counter gender-based violence.

Expected Accomplishments:

  • Improved capacity to provide support to victims of gender-based violence.

  • Increased level of knowledge and awareness among government officials and civil society on issues related to violence against women.

  • Development of a formal regional knowledge and good practice network architecture that will bring together community actors, civil society and governmental institutions
  • Development of a toolkit to facilitate the scaling up and replication of this pilot project in other countries.

Implementation Status:

Considering the regional approach of the project addressing 5 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay), the key element for its implementation was to engage governmental and non-governmental counterparts countries in order to promote and develop a regional approach and to strengthen their responses to counter violence against women (VAW).

After identifying counterparts UNODC engaged them in the development of their work plans aimed at countering VAW within a public security scope, according to planned project activities.

The activities, in particular those of assessment studies and training for local personnel, aims to ensure replication and sustainability in order for local authorities to capably address issues of violence against women. UNODC expects this project to attain results which have positive and durable implications after it is completed.