June 18, 2021

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Governor declares a State of Emergency for gender violence

Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi today announced the Executive Order to declare an emergency for gender violence. As he had advanced and as part of a programmatic commitment of his administration, the president declared as public policy to establish, improve and execute protection, prevention and orientation programs against gender violence and to establish service programs aimed at supporting women. victims.

“All violence is reprehensible, and we have to fight it relentlessly. Gender violence is a social evil, based on ignorance and attitudes that cannot have space or tolerance in the Puerto Rico that we aspire to. For too long vulnerable victims have suffered the consequences of systematic machismo, inequity, discrimination, lack of education, lack of guidance and above all, lack of action. It is my duty and my commitment as governor to establish a STOP to gender violence and for these purposes I have declared a state of emergency, “said the governor in written statements.

Executive Order 2021-13, establishes specific mechanisms such as the appointment of a Compliance Officer, who will respond to the governor, to oversee, follow-up and monitor the implementation of the Order. In addition, it creates the Committee for the Prevention, Support, Rescue and Education of Gender Violence (PARE Committee) in which 17 members are appointed and increases to three the representation of organizations that are dedicated to providing services and fighting violence against women. gender. This Committee will be chaired by the Secretary of the Family, Carmen González Magaz, who has a master’s degree and a doctorate from the Carlos Albizu University, being her internship and doctoral thesis on gender violence.

Another provision of the comprehensive Order is that it is ordered to create a mobile phone application that helps victims of gender violence to request emergency help by hiding the message sent to protect the victim from their aggressor. Likewise, each agency in coordination with the Office of Management and Budget (OGP) will have to identify the internal resources, state and federal funds, external available to comply with the provisions of the Executive Order, and if necessary, request additional funds to manage the declared emergency.

The President was energetic in justifying the state of emergency, insisting that the causes of violence against women and gender violence “have permeated our society for a long time and we have to be proactive and emphatic when it comes to combating it as reparation. to all the victims that we have not been able to protect, ”he insisted.

Therefore, as a comprehensive effort to prevent fatalities and provide greater safety to the victims, a follow-up program is created so that every person who has a protection order for gender violence, is contacted and / or visited by a law enforcement officer. to verify your security. Likewise, the establishment of training mechanisms is ordered for all law enforcement officers and personnel of government agencies relevant to the efforts of the PARE Committee, as well as the optimization of processes to compile reliable statistics on the incidence of gender violence. . Also, the evaluation is ordered to issue recommendations on the implementation of the PINK ALERT Plan and it is ordered to explore ways to improve care for vulnerable victims through the specialized divisions of the Department of Justice.

Taking into account that on multiple occasions in cases of gender violence there is an economic factor that does not allow the victim to have the necessary tools to empower themselves and separate themselves from their situation of violence, the Executive Order orders the Department of Economic Development and Commerce ( DDEC) to create and expand programs that enable and encourage the integration of women into the workforce. In addition, the collaboration of all the legal assistance clinics of the Puerto Rico Law schools is sought to help victims of gender violence.

To raise awareness, educate and prevent gender violence, the design and dissemination of effective media campaigns on gender violence are instructed in alliance with private companies.

Finally, it is established that the PARE Committee must publish a first progress report within 45 days of the first meeting and every 30 days for the duration of the order, which will be until June 30, 2022, extendable by the governor at the request of the governor. Committee STOP.

“To eradicate gender violence we have to make concerted efforts between the state and society in which, in addition to a comprehensive plan, there is an educational approach to teach our children that every human being has to be respected, as well as empower to our next generations to eradicate this evil. Equity between boys and girls, men and women is key to achieving the Puerto Rico without gender violence that we all want, ”concluded Governor Pedro Pierluisi.

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