Monday, August 3, 2009

Victim Services

Survivors Foundation meeting with Claudia Maria Cruz - daughter of Norma Cruz the NGO group provides emotional, physical, social and legal support to hundreds of domestic violence and sexual assault and family of murder victims a year. Norma Cruz achievements earned her the US Secretary of State Women of Courage Award for 2009. They provide services Mondaty through Sunday and have an on- call system. Their efforts are aimed at prevention and providing access to jujstice, influencing the sedurity agenda in Guatemala public policy.

Gang fighting for power and narco trafficking are contributing to increases in violence against women. Brutal murders that include dismembering women and distributing body parts across a zone of the city in a message from gang members that this is our area, we are in power and this is what ca hape to you.

One story was of a man who killed his partner, she was shot 23 times. The court asked for 100 years, but instead he got 10 years, the judge said that the man was generous because instead of shooting her one time and making her suffer he shot her such a large number of times and thus she died quickly.

The femicide law passed a year ago has not changed things very much. Judges don't know how to interpret the law. They must prove men have more power than women. The law does recognize economic violence.

We asked how we might help support there work? They said women are migrating to US because of violence and US groups are making requests for information so that the women can stay in the states (asylum) If we can help get the information out about violence against women in Guatemala, it will help these victims be able to stay in the US.

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