SALEM works for justice

22.12.2021

This year we have been very busy working for more justice and protection for victims of violence.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have assisted more than 30 victims of violence. These include cases of sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence, abuse and violence against children and  preventing femicide. Between mid-October and mid-November 2021 alone, eight new cases have reached us. This means that we currently receive a request for support from a victim every four days. These are only the cases we know of from a parish of barely 5,000 inhabitants. According to Ecuadorian statistics (2019), more than one third of Ecuadorian women suffer sexual violence in their lifetime. If only girls between the ages of 15 and 17 are taken into account, this figure rises even to 45%.

We suspect that violence in the domestic context has also increased in Ecuador as a result of pandemic response measures. In addition, the increasing number of known cases may also be a result of the numerous campaigns, including that of SALEM (Por un Mindo libre de violencia). More and more victims are breaking their silence and seeking help. We have also expanded our services. Thanks to generous donations, we have now been able to create at least a 50% permanent position for a social worker and our psychotherapist accompanies 5 to 6 patients weekly. 

What we can do:
In addition to raising awareness, for example with our campaign “Mindo free of violence”, we are a point of accompaniment and first contact for victims of violence. We accompany women and families in the criminal proceedings and in the necessary medical and psychological reports, inform the competent authorities, organize therapeutic accompaniment, search for and find places in women’s shelters and, in case of emergency, take care of the temporary accommodation of the victims ourselves.

We support all those who ask for help in the best possible way. Unfortunately, our resources are not yet sufficient to provide all victims with the necessary accompaniment. The salaries of professionals are high. Often, families cannot afford the cost of travel to the court, the public prosecutor or the legal expert and we have to intervene. Sometimes we have to pay a lawyer. Unfortunately, we do not yet have our own vehicle.

That must be our next step:

– Our great wish is to have our own vehicle to be able to visit families in remote areas and to facilitate the accompaniment of victims in criminal trials and medical care.
– A free or subsidized psychotherapeutic consultation service for people who cannot afford therapy. Psychological support costs $25 (€22) per therapy session, up to €90 per month depending on the case.

Sponsor a victim of violence and support us with a monthly donation.
(here are details on how to donate)

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