April 23, 2021

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Organizations emphasize the need for an emergency declaration for gender violence

Various organizations again demanded that Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced declare a state of emergency due to gender violence that exists on the island, this after a year had passed without the Government specifying a work plan after decreeing a state of alert national.

Zoán Dávila Roldán, from the Colectiva Feminista en Construcción, expressed that the State has washed its hands with the handling of gender violence on the Island, while the cases continue to be reported.

The lawyer and activist recalled that the Collective left the meetings in December 2019, understanding that the draft of the work plan did not contain the recommendations they had made.

“That draft did not represent what we were asking for, which was a concrete plan. It did not include the issue of the gender perspective, it was very general. So the agreements we reached were that all organizations were going to take that draft,” she said. .

Likewise, Dávila Roldán explained that at the beginning in the meetings with the Government they were not allowed to take the draft, but they could only see it at the meeting and give general impressions. “After a pulse we asked to take the draft, they allowed us. So we had to present observations, ”he added.

Among the issues that the Collective asked to be included in the document were prevention, as well as the gender perspective. “They even wanted to use the language of gender perspective. There was nothing specific in terms of workshops for police officers and how it was going to be audited so that the different agents would carry out the tasks that they have to do. Something very important that we raised was not that There were no protocols and laws, there are what happens is that the work is not being done, ”said the activist.

Gender violence that does not wait for an action plan

However, despite the Government’s inaction to specify the work plan of its national alert, the cases continue to be reported, with a 2020 that at the moment has registered four murdered women and five missing, according to information provided by the Bureau from the police.

According to the Bureau, the total number of adult women reported as missing and who have not been located from 2018 to the present amounts to 29.

“The governor lost a precious opportunity to really do something about the epidemic of gender violence that we are experiencing in the country. Her lack of action is evident in the fact that in the months after she issued the alert, there has not really been any significant change in the situation of gender violence in the country. Women continue to be murdered, women have continued to use social media to protect themselves. We continue to receive a lot of messages from women who ask for help, because they go to the police barracks and refuse to take complaints, “said Dávila Roldán.

Attentive to including all areas of gender violence

For her part, Paloma Hernández, from the Broad Movement of Women (MAM), stated that a state of emergency must be declared in Puerto Rico to address all areas in which gender violence occurs.


She mentioned that after the Collective’s request for a state of emergency to be declared, the MAM has requested that obstetric violence be included.

“To these ends, not only from the call for the recognition of a state of emergency that recognizes the multiplicity of factors that affect women and others, is that a state of emergency be made that also includes those aspects of sexual health and reproductive, “said Hernández.

In addition, he said that the Government has ignored those requests. Hernández explained that as part of the social table to discuss the work plan, a letter was sent to the governor and the task force doctor in which they warned that sexual and reproductive rights were being affected during the pandemic.

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