They make visible the reality of violence against Mapuche women in the province of Arauco

They make visible the reality of violence against Mapuche women in the province of Arauco

Activity of the DAE allowed to know the situation of those who live in the communes of Cañete and Contulmo.

For the social worker and coordinator of the Women’s Center of Cañete, Jocelyn Freire, Higher Education institutions play an important role as networks for the training of preventive agents regarding violence against women. The professional participated in a talk organized by the Inclusion Unit of the DAE of the University, which served to learn about and make visible this reality in rural contexts and with Mapuche women from the province of Arauco, specifically from Contulmo and Cañete.

The coordinator explained that, according to the Inter-American Convention to Prevent, Punish, and Eradicate Violence Against Women, this is any action or conduct based on gender that causes death, harm, or physical, sexual, or psychological suffering to women, both in the public and private sphere. To this he added that in Chile there is Law No. 20.066, which in its article 5 states that domestic violence is any mistreatment that affects the life or physical (action or omission) or psychological integrity of a person.

Likewise, according to the INE, in Cañete there are 17,896 women and 1,768 people belonging to an original people. Meanwhile, in Contulmo women reach the figure of 3,003 and people belonging to an original town amount to 12,268.

“We work with types and levels of violence (physical, psychological, sexual and economic) and with levels of risk (no level, initial, medium and serious). Of our 256 users, 129 are at a medium risk level and 105 at a serious risk level. When we talk about risk levels, we focus mainly on factors associated with psychosocial damage, isolation, physical and sexual autonomy, decision-making,” explained the social worker.

Similarly, it indicated that of the 256 users admitted between 2020 and 2022, 29% declare that they belong to the Mapuche people, that is, 82 women. Of these, there is none that is not at a risk level and that has not been a victim of psychological violence, while 34% have been victims of serious violence.

“Violence against women is considered in the Mapuche communities as a problem inserted in the private sphere and, therefore, it is hidden. There are many more cases than complaints and, culturally, there is the notion of approaching the problem first in the family and community sphere, imposing sanctions at this level and in the event that this strategy fails, the complaint would be made in the pertinent organizations” , he claimed.

Jocelyn Freire also commented that the center, despite this reality, lacks a programmatic offer focused on the prevention of this type of violence, because it has only one line of care and is still considered a low-complexity center. In addition, the extreme rurality of the area entails difficulty in accessing public services, the telephone signal and the Internet, and transportation. Added to this is the stigmatization of sectors in the so-called “Southern Macrozone” and the delay in complying with notifications of precautionary and protection measures.

In relation to the initiatives developed to deal with this situation, she maintained that they include the formation of a network of intercultural women’s centers, the establishment of coordination with institutions present in areas of difficult access (posts and schools), as well as the carrying out of constant meetings with police officers to review cases of complaints of violence against women in rural areas and compliance with court decisions within the established deadlines.

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Written by Editor TLN

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