Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 117
7 Papers on Global Partnerships and Government Initiatives Preventing violence against women and children requires a comprehen- sive approach across all levels of society. Legal and regulatory structures that support gender equality, family empowerment, and skills building con- tribute to the reduction of violence at the international and national levels. Around the world, an increasingly large number of countries have imple- mented such laws and policies, as well as ones that address violence against women and children specifically. In the international and regional realms stakeholders have coordinated efforts to present systematic changes, share evidence of effective activities, and provide support for the development of policies and social norms to reduce violence. Speakers at the workshop presented several case studies to this effect, from continental and regional partnerships to initiatives at the national government level. The first paper describes an example of a regional partnership in Latin America called InterCambios, which was created in an attempt to harness the collective power and success of several local groups and organizations. The partnership also serves to provide technical collaboration and critical analysis of both research and interventions in the region. The second paper demonstrates the effectiveness of partnerships created between human rights experts and local organizations working toward pol- icy change. It describes several successful attempts by Advocates for Human Rights, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) based in Minnesota, to partner with groups in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, areas that have typically had poor records of women’s rights empowerment. The final paper describes successful government initiatives to address violence in New Zealand, including various laws and regulations as well 117
OCR for page 118
118 PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN as coordination efforts at the national level. It pays particular attention to efforts at addressing the needs of minority populations (in this case, the - Maori populations) who are at greater risk for violence but often have lower access to resources or recourse. THE INTERCAMBIOS ALLIANCE Margarita Quintanilla, M.D., M.P.H. PATH Nicaragua The InterCambios Alliance was created in 2003 with the aim of ad- dressing existing gaps and facilitating greater collaboration and institu- tional coordination in the area of gender-based violence (GBV) in Latin America and the Caribbean. Background Despite compelling evidence that GBV is a serious health risk for women and a public health issue, research indicates that, although bat- tered women use health services more than non-abused women, only a very small percentage of battered women are identified by health workers. Moreover, there is a lack of local services to which providers can refer women (Morrison et al., 2004). At a community level, there is often poor coordination between health providers and other important actors, such as community-based women’s groups, criminal justice authorities, and local NGOs. Although there is increasing international recognition of the serious impact of GBV, investment in the field is still woefully inadequate. There is also a dearth of rigorous evaluations of promising interventions to inform policy and programs. Recent reviews of programs working in this field note the need for greater coherence among evidence, policy, and programs as well as for coordinated, community-based approaches to address violence from a public health perspective. Worldwide evidence on the nature, prevalence, and consequences of gender-based violence is clear and convincing—but this is not enough. Although international attention has galvanized significant advocacy and action (usually by women’s groups), such efforts have focused primarily on the areas of law and services and have not been sufficient to end violence perpetrated against women globally. Areas that need to be prioritized include developing local research capacity, particularly in resource-poor regions; improving monitoring and evaluation of GBV interventions to strengthen understanding of what works and what does not, especially in the area of prevention; supporting capacity building for entities en- gaged in addressing violence against women, including community-based
OCR for page 119
119 PAPERS ON GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES organizations, service providers, advocates, and policy makers; facilitating collaboration and coordination of efforts across sectors and regions; and scaling up promising local interventions. The InterCambios Alliance The alliance emerged from an expert meeting that PATH convened to identify gaps and challenges in addressing GBV in the region, particu- larly within the health sector, and to propose future collaborations to strengthen the field. The more than 25 experts and partner organizations at the meeting concluded that although Latin America was leading the way in terms of innovative policies and programs to prevent GBV, too much time and resources were spent “reinventing the wheel.” This was largely due to the lack of opportunities to share experiences and lessons learned and a lack of critical analysis of programs to determine which approaches were most effective. Although several strong women’s net- works represented women’s political interests on a regional level, partici- pants felt there was a need for more technical collaboration and capacity building among groups. This assessment gave rise to the creation of the Inter-American Alliance for Health and the Prevention of Gender-Based Violence, known as InterCambios. The alliance’s goal is to help improve the capacities of the health sec- tor in Latin America and the Caribbean to respond to violence against women from an integrated public health, human rights, and gender-equality perspective. Our strategy is based on the recognition of pioneering work already being carried out in the region by a diverse range of individuals, grassroots organizations, governments, NGOs, and international agencies. InterCambios brings these groups together to share knowledge and experi- ence, to identify lessons learned, and to develop and disseminate new ap- proaches in four key areas of action: research, information systems, and evaluation; public policy advocacy; strengthening care and training models; and communication for social change. Working with a particular focus on Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala, where rates of violence are known to be high, the alliance has provided technical assistance, training, tools, and information to policy makers, grassroots activists, and health professionals. The alliance includes several respected regional organizations known for their work in research, communications, service delivery, advocacy, and engaging men and youth in addressing violence against women, especially as a health concern. In- terCambios also works closely with strategic partners including the Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), and the Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network.
OCR for page 120
120 PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN InterCambios’ Prevention Actions Communication for Social Change One of the lessons learned in the alliance’s work has been the need for materials and methodologies that strengthen the work of those working on gender-based violence in Latin America and the Caribbean. From the start, InterCambios decided that the priority would not produce new materials but rather would identify materials that had received rigorous reviews and good feedback evaluation and then disseminate them widely in the differ- ent sectors. In this sense InterCambios has aimed to promote and strengthen com- munication efforts that help to change paradigms, understanding violence as a systemic problem and employing an ecological approach. This is based on the identification and broad dissemination of validated educational ma- terials, including videos, fact sheets, and brochures, on the issue of GBV in order for them to be incorporated into the work of institutions and organizations. InterCambios’s website, www.alianzaintercambios.org, has become a reference point for updated information on violence against women (VAW) for more than 1,500 contacts. From November 2006 to September 2010 it recorded a total of 177,382 visits, with the most visited sections be- ing Events, Documents, News, and the newsletter. The most requested documents were Improving the Health Sector Response to Gender-based Violence: A Resource Manual for Health Care Professionals in Developing Countries, a guide for addressing partner violence with health personnel and the community, and documents concerning participatory research on teaching and learning processes. The following are some examples of the materials that have been promoted: • For an End to Sexual Exploitation: a manual developed by Pro- mundo/InterCambios Alliance that aims to provide educators with a set of educational activities to stimulate critical reflection on these issues among groups of male adolescents between the ages of 10 and 14. • In Her Shoes: an awareness-raising and training methodology de- veloped by PATH InterCambios Alliance and adapted to the Latin American context. Monitoring and evaluation results show that the methodology allows analysis of VAW through personnel reflection, analysis of myths and prejudices related to VAW, identification of the role of institutions and support networks in facilitating or limiting women’s decision making, and highlighting the link be- tween GBV and other aspects of general and reproductive health
OCR for page 121
121 PAPERS ON GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES (e.g., sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, and unwanted pregnancy). A total of 1,450 sets of In Her Shoes have been dis- seminated, and 1,200 training workshops have been held in 12 countries on two continents. The document also has been adapted to the African context. • MenEngage: a supporting initiative on masculinities in the region developed by Promundo/Puntos de Encuentro. Promoting the Use of Evidence In coordination with several stake-holders, Intercambios has helped improve approaches to VAW through conducting research and using evi- dence, facilitating access to both research findings and evaluation processes, and disseminating data and lessons learned in research methodology. A key element has been a course, based on the practical guide to research- ing violence against women, whose evaluation stresses “the putting into practice of the knowledge acquired to be used in everyday work, extend research beyond academic arenas, and strengthen organizations to use research tools to evaluate and monitor their work” (Ellsberg and Heise, 2005). Good examples of PATH’s work to strengthen the use of evidence include strengthening the demographic and health surveys in Guatemala and Nicaragua through coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, statistics institutions, and local women’s networks; and strengthening understanding of femicide and promoting evidence-based plans of action (Widyono, 2009; COMMCA, 2010). Lessons Learned Through its prevention work, InterCambios has learned several lessons, which are: • Because they already have communication and distribution chan- nels, coordination with local networks and interagency commis- sions is the best path for successful distribution of materials and methodologies; • Organizations and institutions have little time to dedicate to stay- ing up to date on relevant research, so it is important to enable them to access information and evidence through “friendly” ver- sions, e.g., the InterCambios’ Violence and HIV CD; and • Electronic mechanisms, such as newsletters, social networks, and webpages, are a good alternative for maintaining a consistent pres- ence in the community.
OCR for page 122
122 PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN Strengthening Training Capacities and the Quality of Care for Survivors of Violence InterCambios works to strengthen the capacities and increase the qual- ity of care available to survivors of violence. For example, it is working with the Metropolitan Health Region of Honduras to employ a participa- tory process to develop a model for the care and treatment of adults who experience domestic violence. Additionally, InterCambios has developed a toolbox to strengthen capacity-building processes related to violence against women. The toolbox gathers different reflections and methodolo- gies that together generate synergy and strengthen capacity-building pro- cesses related to violence against women (training and awareness building). It provides suggestions and practical guidance to facilitators so that each training or awareness-building arena can provide an opportunity for reflec- tion that helps change the attitudes and behaviors of people in contact with women experiencing—or that have experienced—violence in their lives. The toolbox contains the following materials: Health Sector Response to Gender-based Violence: Resource Manual for Health Professionals in Developing Countries (IPPF-RHO); a fact sheet on lessons learned in the training of health personnel; the In Her Shoes methodology; the María Luisa booklet; and interactive CDs on violence and HIV and on violence and maternal mortality. Challenges and Lessons Learned from Working Regionally The following challenges and related lessons learned have emerged since InterCambios began working regionally in Latin America and the Caribbean. • Compared to local initiatives, regional work is slower, which hin- ders the organizations’ more active participation in the processes. • The identification of strategic allies (e.g., United Nations agen- cies or regional institutions) is vital to increasing the scope of the actions. • Frequent changes in NGO personnel are common, which makes it necessary for the capacity-building processes to be ongoing. • It is a challenge to coordinate with civil society networks and governments individually as well as with the two sectors together, and there are often suspicions when working with these actors; strengthening the “technical” issues is a mechanism for mitigating this obstacle. • Sexual violence and its different expression on children and women is still a pending topic.
OCR for page 123
123 PAPERS ON GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES • A changing context where new variables are appearing—migration, organized crime, and drugs, among others—makes it necessary to think about new strategies and approaches where regional work plays a key role. GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEGAL REFORM Cheryl A. Thomas, J.D. The Advocates for Human Rights Introduction and Background Since 1993 the Advocates for Human Rights’ Women’s Program has been working with partners internationally to address domestic violence through an improved government response, particularly, better laws and more effective implementation of those laws. Many of these partnerships have become long-term collaborative efforts that respond to evolving needs and developments in a given country. We believe these partnerships have contributed to a better legal system response to domestic violence and to a new prioritization of victim safety and offender accountability. Of all the forms of violence against women, domestic violence1 is one of the most insidious and widespread throughout the world. The Council of Europe reports that domestic violence is the major cause of death and dis- ability for women aged 16 to 44 and accounts for more death and ill health than cancer or traffic accidents (European Parliament Association, 2002). Nearly one in four women in the United States reports having experienced violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life (CDC, 2008). On average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States (Catalano). A United Na- tions agency for women estimates that globally at least one of every three women will be beaten, raped, or otherwise abused during her lifetime. In most cases the abuser is a member of her own family (Family Violence Pre- vention Fund, 2011). A 2005 World Health Organization study found that 1 For the purposes of this paper, the following definition of domestic violence provided by the United Nations is used: “Domestic violence is the use of force or threats of force by a husband or boyfriend for the purpose of coercing and intimidating a woman into submission. This violence can take the form of pushing, hitting, choking, slapping, kicking, burning, or stabbing.” U.N. Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs. 2003. Strategies for confronting domestic violence: A resource manual. Available at http://www.unodc.org/ pdf/youthnet/tools_strategy_english_domestic_violence.pdf (accessed April 30, 2011). This definition reflects data indicating that women are the primary victims of domestic violence.
OCR for page 124
124 PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN the percentage of women who had experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetimes ranged from 15 percent in Japan to 71 percent in Ethiopia (Family Violence Prevention Fund, 2011). Despite these alarming statistics, the United Nations reported in 2006 that 102 countries were not known to have any specific legal provisions on domestic violence (UN, 2006). The mission of the Advocates for Human Rights (AHR) is to implement international human rights standards to promote civil society and reinforce the rule of law.2 The work of AHR’s Women’s Program focuses on domestic violence as a violation of fundamental human rights. One of the most im- portant components of efforts to address domestic violence is policy and law reform that promotes victim safety and offender accountability—which are principles articulated in numerous human rights instruments. This reform must be accompanied by reforms in all other sectors of government and civil society, including the health sector, social services, education, and the eco- nomic sector. This view is shared by our international partners and provides the basis for our collaborative efforts. Partnerships to Document the Government Response to Domestic Violence Global partnerships can strengthen efforts to address domestic violence. By bringing their own unique knowledge and experience to a collaborative effort, NGOs can empower each other, enrich the advocacy work, and move more efficiently toward the full realization of women’s fundamental human right to be free from violence. Partnerships allow organizations to reach across local and international borders to share expertise, lessons learned, and strategies. One contribution that AHR has brought to its partnerships has been the long-standing experience of Minnesota and the United States in ad- dressing domestic violence.3 To illustrate, many of AHR’s partnerships have developed in countries in Central and Eastern Europe and in the former So- viet Union (CEE/FSU). In the early 1990s, when AHR first began working in the region, there was little experience in addressing domestic violence. There was minimal documentation of domestic violence in the legal system 2 AHR was founded in 1983 by a group of Minnesota lawyers who recognized the community’s unique spirit of social justice as an opportunity to promote and protect human rights at home and worldwide. The organization involves volunteers in research, education, and advocacy, building broad constituencies for human rights in the United States and select global communities. AHR holds special consultative status with the United Nations. 3 The movement to address domestic violence began more than 30 years ago in the United States, and other countries have comparable legacies. Minnesota’s efforts began in the early 1970s.
OCR for page 125
125 PAPERS ON GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES or research on the issue of any kind. There were also few, if any, services for victims, such as shelters, hotlines, or legal services. There were no particu- lar laws on domestic violence, so victims were trying to access the justice system through criminal assault laws, divorce laws, and other laws not specific to domestic violence. Many legal system authorities were reluctant to use these laws in domestic violence cases, explaining that it was not their role to be involved in “family matters.” There was no training for medical professionals, legal professionals, or civil society on effective responses to domestic violence. Frequently, legal professionals, advocates, and others would repeat myths or misinformation about domestic violence. A com- mon belief, for example, was that the violence was caused by alcoholism.4 Another frequently stated view was that couples counseling could resolve violent behavior.5 These mistaken beliefs could result in ineffective policy making on domestic violence. Many of our reforms in the United States were initiated in the 1970s, and by the early 1990s a great deal of knowledge and expertise on domes- tic violence had developed. One of the first battered women’s shelters in the nation opened in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1972. In this period several states passed laws specifically addressing domestic violence and offering a new order-for-protection remedy.6 Minnesota passed its Domestic Abuse Act in 1979, which provided this remedy and included other reforms to Minnesota’s laws. Beginning in the 1970s, criminal law reform resulted in new policies and procedures for police and prosecutors aimed at ensuring that domestic violence cases were treated more seriously than had been done in the past. In the same decade advocates and government officials in Duluth, Minnesota, created the Coordinated Community Response to domestic violence, often referred to as “the Duluth Model,” which was a groundbreaking strategy to improve the community’s response to domestic 4 Although alcoholism can exacerbate violent behavior, studies show that it is not the cause of domestic violence. Cf. http://stopvaw.org/Other_Causes_and_Complicating_Factors.html. 5 Research has in fact shown that counseling or mediation can be dangerous for domestic violence victims. Furthermore, counseling and mediation is often not an appropriate response to domestic violence cases because it presupposes that both the victim and perpetrator are equal when, in fact, we know that the offender exercises power and control over the victim. For further discussion of these issues, see http://stopvaw.org/Domestic_Violence_Explore_ the_Issue.html. 6 Laws containing the civil order-for-protection remedy were first introduced in the United States in the mid 1970s. The goal of these laws was to provide an immediate remedy to women and their children that would keep them safe while allowing them to stay in their home. As is the case today, many victims did not want to involve the criminal justice system and see their partners go to jail; rather, their priority was stopping the violence. These laws allow a victim to petition the court for an order directing the violent offender to leave the home. Cf. http:// stopvaw.org/Orders_for_Protection.html.
OCR for page 126
126 PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN violence.7 These early reforms led to years of increasing experience by advocates and justice system officials in implementing laws on domestic violence. They also led to research and statistics on the nature and extent of domestic violence, its causes and consequences, and the strength and weak- nesses of the new laws.8 AHR has been able to share these resources with international partners through workshops, training sessions, consultations, and on-line technical assistance. Another contribution AHR has been able to offer to its partners is the ability to raise the profile of local issues. As an international human rights organization with credentials in the United Nations, AHR’s reports and recommendations can often reach a broader audience than the partners would be able to do alone. Finally, international partners have been able to use AHR’s exper- tise in documenting domestic violence as a human rights violation and advocating for change. Particularly in the early years of collaboration, when women’s advocacy groups were new in CEE/FSU, AHR shared the resources and skills needed to document domestic violence as a human rights abuse and assisted in using that documentation to achieve changes in laws, policies, and practices. In a successful global partnership, the leadership of local partners is essential to any domestic violence reform effort. The years of experience and the profile of international human rights groups would contribute little to real progress internationally without the vision and the hands-on work of local partners. In the context of legal reform, the knowledge and guidance of local partners is critical to a comprehensive understanding of the language of relevant current laws and the workings of the legal system. Many of AHR’s local partners are lawyers with whom AHR has worked closely to parse through laws and legal procedures to identify weaknesses and areas for possible improvement. Local advocates largely define and prioritize the needs and the appropri- ate advocacy strategy for their communities. They consider strategies that have been used in other communities and countries, but it is their firsthand information that provides critical guidance on any advocacy plan. That in- formation includes the dynamics of the local legal system and other sectors, local and national social and political situations, inherent risks to victims with a given strategy, and other factors. Also, when the time comes for lobbying for changes to laws and policies, it is the local advocates who do 7 The Duluth Model of Coordinated Community Response is now being replicated around the world. See http://stopvaw.org/Coordinated_Community_Response.html. 8 Minnesota’s Domestic Abuse Act has been amended every year since it passed in 1979— reflecting the developing knowledge about what legal system responses work to promote victim safety and offender accountability and what responses do not work.
OCR for page 127
127 PAPERS ON GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES the daily work of garnering support for the reform. As is illustrated in the examples below, all of AHR’s early reports on domestic violence were cre- ated in response to an invitation of a local advocate who identified the need. AHR’s Early Partnerships to Draft Reports on Domestic Violence Beginning in 1993, before many of the international efforts to reform laws on domestic violence began, AHR worked with partners to document domestic violence as a human rights violation. Over the years AHR has published 13 reports that include recommendations for changes to the gov- ernments’ responses to this violence, including the legal system response.9 Many of the partnerships forged through writing these reports are ongoing today and are focused on implementing their recommendations. AHR’s work in CEE/FSU began in 1994 at the invitation of the Ro- manian women’s group, the Society for Feminist Analysis (ANA), when volunteer attorneys traveled to the region to conduct research for a report on domestic violence. ANA’s goal was to expose domestic violence as a widespread and devastating problem in Romania that the government was ignoring. They believed that partnership with an international human rights organization would garner the problem more attention among officials both inside and outside their country, which could lead to greater improvements, and they appreciated the longstanding Minnesota experience of addressing domestic violence.10 The resulting report, Lifting the Last Curtain: Domestic Violence in Romania, was published in 1995 (Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, 1995). It offered an analysis of the government response to domestic vio- lence, tracked what happened to a victim of violence when she sought redress from the legal system, identified gaps and weaknesses in the sys- tem response, and offered recommendations. Since that time Romania has 9 These reports are published at http://www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org/Issues_ Affecting_Women880.html. They analyze information gathered through review of laws and policies, research, and, most importantly, interviews with government officials, judges, prosecutors, police, lawyers, advocates, medical professionals, and others about domestic violence. In addition to the domestic violence reports, AHR has published six other reports on other forms of violence against women: sex trafficking, employment discrimination, and sexual assault. Most of these reports focus on other countries; however, in 2008, AHR published the report, Sex Trafficking Needs Assessment for the State of Minnesota and worked with advocates to lobby and pass improvements to the Minnesota criminal code on sex trafficking. In 2004 AHR published the report, The Government Response to Domestic Violence against Refugee and Immigrant Women in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Area: A Human Rights Report and worked with advocates and government officials to make changes that promoted victim safety and offender accountability. 10 Since 1985 the Advocates for Human Rights has documented human rights abuses around the world and advocated for change. See www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org.
OCR for page 133
133 PAPERS ON GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES AHR’s partnership with BGRF continues. In 2008 the two groups or- ganized the Regional Conference on Domestic Violence Legal Reform. The conference had 100 participants from 29 countries.20 In 2010 and 2011, AHR and BGRF have been working with partners in Croatia and Moldova to monitor new laws on domestic violence in those countries. Together they are also presenting workshops titled “Strategies for Monitoring the Application of Domestic Violence Legislation Workshop for Civil Society Organizations” for advocates from 24 countries in the region. Georgia After initial visits and exchanges with advocates in Georgia, which began in 2003, AHR invited the Georgian working group of government officials and civil society members who were in the process of drafting the new domestic violence law to visit Minnesota. This meeting occurred in February 2005 and forged a partnership with various advocates based in Tbilisi, in particular, the Anti-Violence Network of Georgia (AVNG). AHR organized a series of presentations, workshops, court observations, visits to service providers, police ride-alongs, and meetings with prosecutors and judges.21 The goal was to offer Georgian officials the opportunity to observe a jurisdiction where domestic violence laws were working, with a system that took domestic violence cases seriously, that offered civil rem- edies to victims to promote their safety, and that arrested men and charged them with crimes for assaulting their wives. The two-week visit offered the Georgians information and insights from many perspectives into the implementation of the domestic violence law in Minnesota that they could draw from in drafting their own law. The Law of Georgia on the Elimination of Domestic Violence, Protection, and Support of its Victims passed in 2006.22 As with the Bulgarian law, this law defined domestic violence for the first time and focused on providing a civil order-for-protection remedy for victims. The Georgian law was a huge step forward in addressing domestic violence but had significant weaknesses. For example, it gave police the authority to remove victims from their home—ostensibly to protect their safety—but did not provide explicit authority to remove violent offenders 20 For more information, see http://stopvaw.org/regional_conference_on_domestic_violence_ legal_reform.html. 21 See Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights Training Program Schedule for Georgian Working Group on Domestic Violence Legislation, Jan. 24-Feb. 4, 2005. Minneapolis, Minnesota. For copies, contact the Advocates for Human Rights. 22 See Prevention of Domestic Violence, Protection of the Victims of Domestic Violence and their Assistance (Legislative News of Georgia; Part 1; 2006; Art. 171).
OCR for page 134
134 PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN from the home.23 Georgian advocates understood the dangers of such lan- guage but believed that it was a compromise they must make in order for the law to pass.24 The law was later amended to explicitly allow for the removal of the violent offender from the home. The new amendment states that this removal may occur despite the abuser’s ownership of the property (Thomas, 2008). This amendment indicates the prioritization of a women’s right to be free from violence over an abuser’s property rights. The Georgians faced difficult challenges in implementing the law. Under the new law the police were given greatly expanded authority to issue “re- strictive orders” comparable to emergency orders in the United States. This authority has proven to be a burden, one police officer stated: “The dis- trict police are supposed to be social workers, psychologists and teachers” (Thomas, 2008, 3). Despite the challenges with implementing the new law, it provides a remedy for domestic violence victims. Since the law passed, advocates report that hundreds of orders to protect victims have been issued by the police and judges. Armenia As with Bulgaria, AHR’s partnership with Armenian advocates began with a collaboration to provide documentation of the government and community response to domestic violence. And, as with other countries throughout the region, in 2000 such response was negligible. AHR re- searched and published a report in collaboration with the Women’s Rights Center in Yerevan (WRC), and AHR’s work with WRC has continued to the present (Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, 2000). After the publication of the report and other initiatives to address domestic violence in Armenia,25 WRC worked to create a group consisting 23 Removing victims from their homes results, of course, in hardship and disruption in their daily lives and the lives of their children, including lack of access to personal belongings, the inability to safeguard such belongings from the violent offender, difficulties with access to work and school, and the loss of support systems close to home including friends and families. 24 Drafters from other countries in CEE/FSU have included similar provisions in their laws, and advocates have explained that this is the result of prioritizing a man’s property rights over a victim’s right to be free from violence. In fact, one Polish advocate explained that the prioritization of men’s property rights has been a major impediment to the passage of any order-for-protection remedy in her country. Legal Reform on Domestic Violence in Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, p. 3, available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/egm/vaw_legislation_2008/expertpapers/ EGMGPLVAWpercent20Paperpercent20(Cheryl percent20Thomas).pdf. Armenia’s draft law included a similar provision authorizing authorities to remove the victim from the home. This amendment passed in Georgia in 2009. Cf. http://stopvaw.org/Georgia.html. 25 For example, in 2008 Amnesty International published a report on domestic violence in Armenia titled No Pride in Silence: Countering Violence in the Family in Armenia.
OCR for page 135
135 PAPERS ON GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES of representatives of the police, government ministries, judges, and NGOs to draft a new law on domestic violence. This group requested that AHR provide commentary on the Armenian Draft Law on Domestic Violence as drafts evolved. AHR provided three such commentaries (Advocates for Human Rights, 2008a). In response to AHR’s commentaries, critical language such as “pro- vocative behavior” by the victim and “official warnings” to the per- petrator was removed, and other key language was added, such as the addition of “intimate partners” as a class of individuals to whom the law will apply. AHR also prepared training materials on advocacy and lobbying for the law and traveled to Armenia for meetings with the working group and other individuals involved in drafting and advocat- ing for the law. As of January 2011, however, the law had not passed in Parliament. WRC was also a valuable partner on the StopVAW website. Through the WRC’s work, readers could follow the struggle for a domestic violence law, including working group meetings, roundtables, training sessions on advocacy for the draft law, study visits to other countries to witness the implementation of their laws, and analyses of human rights reports on domestic violence in Armenia. Morocco AHR’s partnership with Moroccan advocates began in 2007—much later than the work in CEE/FSU. Moroccan women’s NGOs were commit- ted to leading the Arab world’s reform of laws concerning violence against women legal reform and needed technical assistance in drafting a com- prehensive violence against women act. Aided by Global Rights, a group based in Washington, DC, with offices in Morocco and around the world, AHR has provided information to these advocates, primarily in the area of domestic violence but also on sexual assault. Through training sessions, roundtables, and on-line consultation, AHR has delivered information to these advocates about model domestic violence laws and policies from around the world as well as highlights of civil and criminal legal reform efforts on domestic violence from the United States, Minnesota, and other jurisdictions. In one week-long meeting facilitated by Global Rights, AHR and repre- sentatives from two countries with new and long-standing laws on violence against women provided technical assistance to Moroccan judges, prosecu- tors, police, health and education officials, and advocates as they prepared the first draft of their new law. Advocates are hopeful that this new law will be introduced in the Moroccan parliament in 2011.
OCR for page 136
136 PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN Challenges to International Partnerships Overall, while AHR’s experience partnering with NGOs from other countries has been a very positive one, there have been notable challenges. One significant challenge has been obtaining funding for the work. Initia- tives to address domestic violence, including efforts to change laws and policies and direct services to victims, are expensive. Many governments do not support these services or efforts in any significant way, so partner NGOs must rely on private foundations and donors. These funds are lim- ited and often unpredictable, making it difficult to sustain the long-term projects that are necessary to achieve lasting systems change. Another challenge AHR and its partners have faced is the urgency of domestic violence victims’ needs. The requests for assistance to meet these needs can be overwhelming and can affect the spirit of the small organiza- tions with which AHR works. Similarly, AHR encounters this challenge as it receives many more requests for information, technical assistance, and training sessions from around the world than it can possibly respond to. The capacity and endurance of the NGOs are not, however, the greatest challenge faced by AHR and its partners. The most significant obstacle to achieving the goal of ending violence against women is convincing those with the power to make and enforce laws and policies reflecting the fact that women have the right to be free from violence in their homes. Despite the many efforts described in this paper, this right is not fully accepted in the world today. Conclusion AHR’s experience partnering with NGOs from other countries to im- prove the government response to domestic violence has been a very positive one. AHR has been privileged to work with extraordinary women and men whose vision for ending domestic violence has propelled their countries for- ward and resulted in better laws and policies. Although significant work re- mains, AHR is confident that these changes will continue toward the ultimate realization of women’s fundamental human right to be free from violence. NEW ZEALAND’S EFFORTS TO ADDRESS VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN Denise Wilson, Ph.D., R.N. Auckland University of Technology New Zealand has serious and concerning problems with violence against women and children, as is evidenced by the number of high-profile
OCR for page 137
137 PAPERS ON GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES deaths of children and women killed by partners or ex-partners. Never- theless, a prevailing social acceptance of and willingness to turn a blind eye to violence against women and children has made getting traction on this problem difficult, frustrating, and at times torturous. Violence and abuse occurring in various close interpersonal relationships is called family violence in New Zealand and is broadly defined to include partner abuse, child abuse and neglect, elder abuse, child-to-parent violence, and sibling abuse. The predominant forms of family violence in New Zealand are male partner violence against women and child abuse and neglect. Although violence against women and children is evident across different ethnic and social groups, indigenous women and children are clearly overrepresented among victims and are at greater risk of being targets of family violence. A whole-government approach has been adopted by New Zealand in an effort to address violence against women and children at a governmental level. This paper provides an overview of some key New Zealand govern- ment initiatives, and it comments on how these approaches address issues - for Maori (the indigenous peoples of New Zealand), given that they are overrepresented in the statistics for violence against women and children. Statistics confirm that generally women and children are recipients of violence inflicted by men occurring in the home—86 percent of those ar- rested are male, and 92 percent of protection orders are made for women (New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse, 2007). More than 50 per- cent of all homicides are family violence related. From 2000 to 2004, 45 women were killed by a male or ex-partner, and 39 children were killed (26 by men; 15 by women). One study found that 33 to 39 percent of women experience physical or sexual abuse sometime during their lifetime, and 19 to 23 percent reported it being severe (Fanslow and Robinson, 2004). Another study reported that 35 percent of men reported being physically violent toward a partner sometime in a lifetime and 20 percent in the previ- ous year (Leibrich et al., 1995). Fanslow and Robinson (2004) found that victims of partner abuse were twice as likely as non-victims to have visited a health care provider in the previous month. In addition, New Zealand ranks third among Organization for Eco- nomic Co-operation and Development countries for child maltreatment and has 20 percent of children living in poverty (UNICEF, 2003). Among children living in New Zealand who were hospitalized, 4 to 10 percent re- ported having experienced physical abuse, while 11 to 20 percent reported having experienced sexual abuse (Duncanson et al., 2009). In 2008, 47 percent of notifications to the Child, Youth, and Family Service required further follow-up. Between 1996 and 2000, 49 children under the age of 15 died as a result of child maltreatment. For a country with a population of less than 4.4 million, this is unacceptable. On average 8 to 10 children die a year in New Zealand at the hands of someone who should protect
OCR for page 138
138 PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN them from harm. Most at risk are those under 1 year of age and those older than 11 years. Addressing family violence has been difficult, especially given the en- grained social acceptance of violence against women and children within the context of families. The debate surrounding the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act of 1966 illustrates the deeply engrained beliefs of many liv- ing in New Zealand. Section 59 stated, “Every parent or person in place of a parent of a child is justified in using force by way of correction towards a child if that force is reasonable in the circumstances.” Although the aim of the repeal was to remove the statutory protection of parents and guardians who used physical force when disciplining their children, a highly charged and emotional public campaign was launched in opposition to the bill. A chief accusation was that “loving” parents would be criminalized for dis- ciplining their children, along with accusations that the government was creating a “Nanny State” (by taking away the parental right to hit their children). Despite the intention of the repeal being to improve the safety and integrity of children, polls showed between 70 and 80 percent of New Zealanders did not support the repeal, reflecting a resistance to addressing child abuse when activities interfered with parental rights. The outcome was a substitution of Section 59 defining when parental control using force was justified to appease the public. Thus, parents or caregivers can use force in the prevention of harm to a child or another person, in preventing a child from committing criminal offences or engaging in offensive or dis- ruptive behavior, and in “normal daily tasks” necessary for “good care and parenting.” Additionally, ongoing monitoring is occurring to ensure parents are not needlessly criminalized. Interestingly, the United Nations Report on Children’s Rights in New Zealand (2011) criticizes the repeal for not going far enough and banning corporal punishment for children. Government Initiatives Whole Government Approach One of the 13 goals of the New Zealand Health Strategy was to reduce interpersonal violence (King, 2000). Not only did this signal the govern- ment’s intention to put family violence on its agenda, but also it recognized family violence as a health issue. The 2000 Labor government required an “integrated, multi-faceted, whole-of-government and community approach to preventing the occurrence and reoccurrence of violence in families/ - whanau . . .” (Ministry of Social Development, 2002, p. 6). In 2002 the Te Rito New Zealand Family Violence Prevention Strategy was launched as an official government response and commitment to addressing all forms and degrees of violence, and it provided a framework for action. The
OCR for page 139
139 PAPERS ON GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES fundamental vision was for families to live free from violence. This strategy - also recognized the unique cultural and contemporary structures of Maori - as tangata whenua (people of the land) and the need for Maori to be pro- vided for and fully engaged. Family violence prevention was viewed holisti- cally and broadly and included all levels—primary prevention, secondary early identification and immediate intervention, and tertiary prevention of its reoccurrence. Communities were also given the right and responsibility to be involved in preventing family violence. The Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families was established in June 2005 to advise the Family Violence Ministerial Team, which is composed of ministers of parliament, on improving how family violence is addressed and eventually eliminating it. This taskforce was composed of chief executive officers and other decision makers from government and nongovernment sectors, the judiciary, and various government agencies, - such as social development, women’s affairs, and health. Maori and Pacific reference groups were also established to support the task force and provide their perspectives. In 2009 the associate minister for social development and employment (and associate minister of health), the Honorable Tariana Turia, was given the responsibility for the national government’s response to addressing and reducing the impact of family violence as well as the establishment of the Family Violence Ministerial Group (replacing the Fam- ily Violence Ministerial Team). This ministerial group meets quarterly and is responsible for the oversight of the whole-of-government approach and the alignment and coordination of responses. Ministers inform and consult with each other on developments and proposed family violence–related work within their respective portfolios. This group includes ministers of social development and employment, justice, health, police, education, - Maori affairs, Pacific Island affairs, housing, women’s affairs, ethnic affairs, and disability issues. Legislation Legislation aimed at protecting women and children includes the Do- mestic Violence Act 1995, which changed immensely the way women and children could be protected. This legislation removed the need for women to lay charges of assault against a partner before the police would intervene. Women wanting immediate protection from partners’ abuse apply for a temporary protection order for a period of three months, and it is often issued without notice. After this time a partner can apply to the court for a hearing prior to making an order permanent. If the request for the order goes undefended, the order automatically becomes permanent. At the time a protection order is granted, orders can be made concerning occupancy or tenancy as well as furniture in order to enable women to stay in the home
OCR for page 140
140 PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN and have some or all of the furniture. A woman’s children are granted the same protection under these orders. This legislation stipulates that, when children live amid abuse and violence, it is considered violence against children. Still, the research of Roberston et al. (2007) concerning protec- tion orders for women found that systemic gaps existed and breaches of protection orders were not always addressed. More recently police have been allowed to issue police safety orders (PSOs) in situations where they have reasonable grounds to believe that family violence has occurred or may occur, with no right of appeal and without the consent of the person(s) at risk. PSOs aim to protect those at risk of violence, harassment, and intimidation and any children living at the residence. Abusers are required to leave the residence for up to five days, and they must not assault, threaten, intimidate or harass, follow, stop or contact their partner in any place, or encourage anyone else to do this. They must also surrender firearms and their firearms license to the police. The Child Youth and Their Families Act of 1989 promotes the respon- sibility of parents, families, and family groups to prevent children from suffering harm, ill treatment, abuse, neglect, or deprivation. However, it is commonly associated with the Child Youth and Family Service’s statu- tory duty to protect those children who are being harmed or neglected or who are at risk of being harmed or neglected. Despite the high demand on its services, the efficacy of the Child Youth and Family Service is often questioned in the media. The Care of Children Act of 2004 shifted a prior focus on parental rights to parental responsibilities. The key focus of this legislation is the welfare and best interests of the children where any dispute about them exists in order to keep the children safe and free from all forms of violence. However, where family violence exists, children still tend to be invisible beyond custody battles. In addition to strengthening legislation to protect women and children, the government has initiated a number of campaigns aimed at addressing all forms of family violence. It is valuable to examine two such government- driven initiatives in some detail. The It’s Not OK campaign (www.areyouok.org.nz/) is a phased nation- wide media campaign aimed at changing societal attitudes toward family violence and those living amidst it. Using a phased mass-media approach, the campaign began with “It’s Not OK” (showing a range of unaccept- able behaviors evident in society); followed by “It’s OK to Ask for Help” (encouraging people to ask for help); and then the current campaign, “Are You OK?” (encouraging family, friends, and colleagues to ask if people are okay—not ignore a woman or child who may be abused, or a man who is angry, shouting at his children and wife, who are afraid of him including those doing the abuse or violence). Evaluation of the campaign
OCR for page 141
141 PAPERS ON GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES has demonstrated increased recall of the television advertisements with every survey. Ninety-five percent of the people surveyed in September 2008 recalled something from at least one of the ads. Recall was high for - - all groups, particularly Maori males (94 percent) and Maori females (98 percent). Of those surveyed, the advertisements helped 68 percent identify unacceptable behaviors and influenced 57 percent to see change is possible. As a result of seeing the ads, 22 percent reported taking action (McLaren, 2010). In addition, nongovernmental organizations such as Jigsaw (www. jigsaw.org.nz/), which coordinates various agencies working with families and children to promote their safety, have a campaign using high-profile men to promote a positive image of fathers with their children. The Violence Intervention Program (VIP) promotes assessment for family violence among those using District Health Board (DHB) hospital services as well as assessment for child abuse (work is currently under way in the primary health care sector). VIP supports health-sector family violence programs throughout New Zealand based on the Child and Partner Abuse Guidelines (currently under review) and the Elder Abuse Guidelines (Minis- try of Health, 2003, 2007). The government funds a national VIP manager and family violence intervention program coordinator (FVIPC) positions in all DHBs; these officials have contractual requirements to meet and re- port indicators to the Ministry of Health. In addition DHBs are evaluated annually to improve the quality of programs and facilitate benchmarking between DHBs (Koziol-McLain et al., 2010). Although the Ministry of Health supports this research and evaluation and offers technical advice and training support to health services committed to the program, the FVIPCs are responsible for promoting assessment and education of staff. VIP has developed significantly to a point where there is now national standardization in training requirements and reporting formats. The Inter- disciplinary Trauma Research Unit (ITRU) at the Auckland University of Technology evaluates each DHB annually. Steady progress has been made over 60 months, although some DHBs need further improvement. Importantly, evaluations demonstrate the importance of a dedicated fam- ily violence intervention coordinator to the program’s sustainability and development (Koziol-McLain et al., 2010). Cultural indicators have also been evaluated, and although improvements have been made, the more challenging cultural indicators need further improvement. - Whanau Ora (Family Health and Well-Being) - The 2003 Maori health strategy, He Korowai Oranga, had as its goal - - whanau ora, or family health and well-being. Whanau is more than just a nu- clear family—it is the wider extended family and may include grandparents,
OCR for page 142
142 PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN - aunts and uncles, and cousins. Like many indigenous peoples, Maori have a collective orientation with obligations and responsibilities to the members of their extended family. A key to resolving inequalities in health and social - status—and in improving the family violence statistics—is to support whanau to develop the capacities to achieve health and well-being (Durie et al., 2010). - - Thus, the focus of whanau ora is on empowering whanau and ultimately - reducing the inequalities Maori experience, and it requires service providers to demonstrate accountability and the efficacy of initiatives. Fundamental to this strategy is improving the health and well-being of both individual - members and the collective whanau through culturally based interventions and determining their existing strengths; this involves capacity building to identify needs and improve access to appropriate services. In summary, although there is still a long way to go in New Zealand to reduce the prevalence of violence against women and children, some exciting initiatives are happening. The whole government approach is an attempt to have a more cross-sectoral approach to addressing family violence, because the previous silo approach adopted by government departments meant that women and children reliant on help from services would fall through the chasms that existed. Furthermore, interwoven into the government initiatives - are strategies to address violence against Maori women and children. The adoption of a mass media program to address societal attitudes and behaviors is also important, so rather than a stance that ignores the plight of women and children, they will be able to live free from violence. REFERENCES Advocates for Human Rights. 2008a. The Advocates for Human Rights comments on the draft law of the Republic of Armenia on domestic violence. http://stopvaw.org/expert_s_corner. html#The+Advocates+for+Human+Rights+Comments+on+The+DRAFT+Law+of+the +Republic+of+Armenia+on+Domestic+Violence+14+October+2008 (accessed January 2011). Advocates for Human Rights. 2008b. Implementation of the Bulgarian law on protection against domestic violence. Minneapolis, MN: Advocates for Human Rights. Catalano, S. Intimate partner violence in the United States. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 2008. Adverse health conditions and health risk behaviors associated with intimate partner violence. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 57(05);113-117. COMMCA. 2010. Consejo de ministras de la mujer de centroamérica. Panama. Duncanson, M. J., D. A. R. Smith, and E. Davies. 2009. Death and serious injury from assault of children aged under 5 years in Aotearoa New Zealand: A review of interna- tional literature and recent findings. Wellington, New Zealand: Office of the Children’s Commissioner. - Durie, M., R. Cooper, D. Grennell, S. Snively, and N. Tuaine. 2010. Whanau ora: Report of - the Taskforce on Whanau-Centred Initiatives. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Social Development.
OCR for page 143
143 PAPERS ON GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES Ellsberg, M., and L. Heise. 2005. Researching violence against women: A practical guide for researchers and activists. Washington, DC: World Health Organization and PATH. European Parliament Association. 2002. Domestic violence against women. In Recommenda- tion 1582. Family Violence Prevention Fund. 2011. Action center: Get the facts: The facts on domestic, dating and sexual violence. http://endabuse.org/content/action_center/detail/754 (ac- cessed January 2011). Fanslow, J. L., and E. Robinson. 2004. Violence against women in New Zealand: Prevalence and health consequences. New Zealand Medical Journal 117(1206):117-128. King, A. 2000. New Zealand health strategy. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Health. Koziol-McLain, J., N. Garrett, and C. Gear. 2010. Hospital responsiveness to family vio- lence: 60-month follow-up evaluation. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University of Technology. Leibrich, J., J. Paulin, and R. Ransom. 1995. Hitting home: Men speak about abuse of women partners. Wellington, New Zealand: GP Publications. McLaren, J. 2010. Campaign for action on family violence: Reach and retention of the “it’s not ok” television advertisements. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Social Development. Ministry of Health. 2003. Family violence intervention guidelines: Child and partner abuse. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Health. Ministry of Health. 2007. Family violence guidelines: Elder abuse and neglect. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Health. Ministry of Social Development. 2002. Te rito: New Zealand family violence prevention strategy. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Social Development. Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights. 1995. Lifting the last curtain: A report on domestic violence in Romania. Minneapolis, MN. Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights. 1996a. Domestic violence in Albania. Minneapolis, MN. Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights. 1996b. Domestic violence in Bulgaria. Minneapolis, MN. Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights. 2000. Domestic violence in Armenia. Minneapolis, MN. Morrison, A., M. Ellsberg, and S. Bott. 2004. Addressing gender-based violence in the Latin American and Caribbean region: A critical review of interventions. Washington, DC: World Bank Policy Research. New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse. 2007. Family violence and gender fact sheet. Available at www.nzfvc.org.nz. Robertson, N., R. Busch, R. D’Souza, F. L. Sheung, R. Anand, and R. Balzer. 2007. Living at the cutting edge: Women’s experiences of protection orders. Volume 2: What’s to be done? A critical analysis of statutory and practice approaches to domestic violence. Hamilton, New Zealand: Waikato University. Thomas, C. 2008. Legal reform on domestic violence in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Paper presented at expert group meeting on good practices in legislation on violence against women, Vienna, Austria. UN (United Nations). 2006. Ending violence against women: From words to action. New York: United Nations. UNICEF. 2003. Child maltreatment deaths in rich nations: Innocenti report card issue no.5. United Nations Children’s Fund. Widyono, M. 2009. Strenghtening understanding of femicide: Using research to galvanize ac- tion and accountability. Washington, DC: Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), InterCambios, Medical Research Council of South Africa (MRC), and World Health Organization (WHO).