Venezuela: Violence against women, including non-domestic sexual violence, particularly in Caracas and Maracaibo; legislation; state protection and support services (2016-July 2018) [VEN106131.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. Overview

Sources indicate that violence against women in Venezuela is a [translation] "serious" problem (El Nacional 3 July 2017; OVDHM and FUNDAMUJER 4 June 2018). El Nacional, a Caracas-based newspaper, reports that, [translation] "[a]ccording to specialists" on the subject, violence against women is usually committed by partners, ex-partners, family members, or people who are close to the victim (El Nacional 3 July 2017). Sources indicate that violence against women is a [translation] "cultural" problem in Venezuela (Efecto Cocuyo 25 Nov. 2017; Venezuela 2017, 35). On 9 December 2016, El Nacional cites the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) representative in Venezuela as indicating that 50 percent of women in Venezuela have experienced some sort of violence by their partner, including physical violence, and verbal and psychological abuse. A report produced by the Office of the Vice-President of Venezuela indicates that, according to UN data, while the world average of victims of violence against women and girls is 3 out of 10, in Venezuela the average is 10 percent higher (Venezuela Mar. 2018, 6). The UNFPA representative also indicated that pregnancy rates in Venezuela among adolescent girls are [translation] "very high," with 101 pregnancies per 1,000 women, and that the majority of pregnancies among girls aged 15 years old or younger are due to sexual violence or "coercion" (El Nacional 9 Dec. 2017).

Efecto Cocuyo, a Venezuelan news source, indicates that, according to NGOs that advance the rights of women in Venezuela, gender-based violence is not always evident in Venezuela because it is [translation] "mask[ed] within the social beliefs of what it means 'to be a woman'" (Efecto Cocuyo 25 Nov. 2017). The same source cites the Director of the Justice and Peace Centre (Centro de Justicia y Paz, CEPAZ) [1] as indicating that advertisements highlight [translation] "feminine sexuality" above other things, and that cat-calls on the streets reduce women to "sexual objects" (Efecto Cocuyo 25 Nov. 2017). According to the report by the Office of the Vice-President, through advertisements, social media, and television series, the media [translation] "bombards" society with "sexist content and stereotypes that hyper-sexualize the image of the woman" (Venezuela Mar. 2018, 7). The same source also indicates that for example, the media [translation] "still refers to femicides as 'crimes of passion,' ignoring the underlying causes" of these crimes (Venezuela Mar. 2018, 7).

Sources indicate that state security forces have been accused of committing acts of violence against women (FUNDAMUJER n.d.; El Nacional 25 June 2017). A news article by El Nacional on violence, including sexual violence, committed against detained women and men, reports that, according to Foro Penal [2], during protests that occurred between April and June 2017, women who were detained by authorities were subjected to [translation] "intimidation, and cruel and degrading treatment related to sexual violence" (El Nacional 25 June 2017). The same article also reports cases of women who have been subjected to sexual harassment, rape, and beatings by members of the Bolivarian National Guard (Guardia Nacional Bolivariana, GNB) while in detention (El Nacional 25 June 2017). El Nacional further reports a case in Caracas in which the GNB's anti-extortion and kidnapping unit threatened with sexual violence the inhabitants of the houses that were being searched (El Nacional 25 June 2017).

2. Legislation

The 2007 Organic Law on the Right of Women to a Life Free of Violence (Ley Orgánica sobre el Derecho de las Mujeres a Una Vida Libre de Violencia, LODMVLV), as amended in 2014, stipulates 21 forms of violence against women (Venezuela 2007, Art. 15). The LODMVLV also provides the prison terms associated with these forms of violence (Venezuela 2007, Arts. 39-59). A translation of relevant excerpts of the LODMVLV, including Articles 15 and 39 to 59, is attached to this Response.

The LODMVLV indicates that complaints

[translation]

may be made orally or in writing, with or without the assistance of a lawyer, to any of the following organizations:

  1. Public Prosecutor’s Office.
  2. Justices of the peace.
  3. Offices of mayors and prefects.
  4. Division for the protection of children, adolescents, women and families of the investigative body with jurisdiction in the matter.
  5. Police agencies.
  6. Border control units.
  7. Municipal courts in places where the bodies named above do not exist.
  8. Any other body vested with competence in this matter.

Each of the above-mentioned organizations will establish offices with specialized personnel to receive complaints of the acts of violence referred to in the Law.

Sole paragraph: Indigenous peoples and communities will establish complaint receiving bodies as part of the legitimate authorities according to their customs and traditions; however, female victims of violence may also go to any of the other organizations indicated in this article. (Venezuela 2007, Art. 71)

A translation of Article 79 of the LODMVLV, which indicates the timelines for investigating a complaint, along with other relevant articles regarding the complaint process, is attached to this Response. The LODMVLV provides the following protection measures available for women victims of violence:

[translation]

PROTECTION AND SAFETY MEASURES

Article 87. Protection and security measures are of the preventative nature, for the protection of the woman who has been attacked in her physical, psychological, sexual or property-related integrity, and of any actions that violate or threaten the rights covered in this Law, thus avoiding any new acts of violence [from occurring]. These measures will be applied immediately by the receiving official. These include:

  1. Referring the victims, who require guidance and attention, to specialized centres.
  2. Processing the entry of the victim, as well as her children who require protection, into shelters that are described in Article 32 of this Law, in the case that living at home poses imminent threat or a violation to the rights provided for in this Law. They will remain in the shelter temporarily.
  3. Ordering the departure of the alleged aggressor from the common residence, regardless of his ownership, if cohabitation implies a risk to the integral security, whether physical, psychological, property-related, or to the sexual freedom of the woman, while preventing the alleged aggressor from removing any family use objects, and authorizing him only to take his personal belongings, work implements and tools. In the event that the accused refuses to comply with these measures, the receiving body will request that the competent tribunal issue a confirmation and order to execute the same, with the help of public law enforcement.
  4. [Helping] the victim to return to her home, while arranging for the simultaneous departure of the alleged aggressor, in the case of a shared residence, proceeding in the same manner as established in the previous number.
  5. Prohibiting or restricting the alleged aggressor from approaching the victim, and, accordingly, forbidding the alleged aggressor to approach the workplace, educational institution or residence of the victim.
  6. Prohibiting the alleged aggressor to carry out any acts of persecution, intimidation or harassment towards the victim or members of her family, by himself or through third parties.
  7. Requesting that the competent jurisdictional authority make a temporary arrest.
  8. Ordering police presence on the site of the residence of the victim for as long as considered appropriate.
  9. Seizing any bladed weapons or firearms as well as the permit to carry, regardless of the profession or trade of the alleged aggressor and handing them over to a competent body in order to perform appropriate forensic examinations.
  10. Requesting the authority competent in the matter of granting permits to carry weapons to suspend the permit to carry, if a threat to the victim’s safety exists.
  11. Imposing on the alleged aggressor an obligation to provide the victim with the necessary support to ensure her sustenance, in the event that she does not have the economic means to do so and is in a dependent relationship with the alleged aggressor. This obligation should not be confused with the alimony due to the children and adolescents, which falls under the competence of the Protection Tribunal.
  12. Requesting, before the competent judge, to suspend the regimen of visits for the alleged aggressor to the residence where the victim stays with her children.
  13. Any other measure necessary for the protection of all the rights of the victim and any members of her family.

MAINTENANCE OF PROTECTION AND SECURITY MEASURES

Article 88. In all cases, the protection measures will be maintained during the process and may be replaced, modified, confirmed or revoked by the competent jurisdictional body, either ex officio or at the request of a party. The replacement, modification, confirmation or revocation of the protection measures will take place when there is evidence that determines their necessity.

APPLICATION REGARDING THE PROTECTION MEASURES, SECURITY MEASURES, AND PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES

Article 89. The security and protection measures, as well as precautionary measures, established in the present Law, will be applied in priority to those established in other legal regulations, without prejudice to cases when the competent judge, ex officio, at the fiscal petition or at the request of the victim, deemed it is necessary to impose any of the substitute precautionary measures provided for in the Organic Code of Criminal Procedure, in order to guarantee the submission of the suspect or the accused to the proceedings against him.

PROCEDURE IN THE CASE OF NECESSITY OR URGENCY

Article 90. In cases of necessity or urgency, the receiving body may directly ask the Tribunal that handles cases of violence against women, with functions of oversight, hearing and measures, to issue an arrest warrant. The resolution for ordering the arrest must always be justified. The Tribunal must decide within twenty-four hours of the request.

COMMON PROVISIONS ON PROTECTION AND SECURITY MEASURES

Article 91. The Tribunal that handles cases of violence against women, with functions of oversight, hearing and measures, may:

  1. Replace, modify, confirm or revoke the protection measures imposed by the receiving body.
  2. Grant the security measures requested by the victim or the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
  3. Impose any other measure among those provided for in Articles 87 and 92 in this Law, in accordance with the circumstances that the case presents.

First paragraph: If the urgency of the case warrants it, the result of the appropriate medical examination will not be demanded in order to impose the measure, and some other evidentiary method, deemed to be suitable, can be substituted, including the presence of the victim at the hearing.

PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES

Article 92. The Public Prosecutor’s Office may petition the Tribunal in the matters of violence against women, with functions of oversight, hearing and measures, or with judiciary functions, if applicable, for the following precautionary measures:

  1. Temporary arrest of the aggressor for up to forty-eight hours, to be kept in the establishment that the tribunal designate.
  2. Order for the alleged aggressor to be prohibited from leaving the country. The terms will be determined by the tribunal depending on the severity of the acts.
  3. Prohibition to dispose of, pawn and mortgage any items of the community assets of the marriage or common-law relationship, up to fifty percent (50%).
  4. Prohibition, for the alleged aggressor, to reside in the same municipality where the victim has established her new residence, when there is evidence of persecution on his part.
  5. Visiting the location where the acts of violence were committed.
  6. Establishment of child support in favour of the victim, after a socioeconomic evaluation of both parties.
  7. Imposing, on the alleged aggressor, the obligation to attend a centre specialized in gender-based violence matters.
  8. Any other necessary measure to ensure the personal, physical, psychological and property-related protection of the victim of violence. (Venezuela 2007)

The US Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017 indicates that "[t]he law requires police to report domestic violence to judicial authorities and obligates hospital personnel to notify authorities when admitting patients who are victims of domestic abuse" (US 20 Apr. 2018, 31).

3. Statistics

According to the Office of the Vice-President, actual statistics on femicide are [translation] "hidden" among statistics on criminal violence and many of these are undifferentiated from "homicides," which prevents the correct application of the law (Venezuela Mar. 2018, 7). A report produced by the Venezuelan Association for Alternative Sexual Education (Asociación Venezolana para una Educación Sexual Alternativa, AVESA) [3], the Online Women's Civil Association (Asociación Civil Mujeres en Línea) [4], the Hispano-American Centre for Women, FREYA) [5], and CEPAZ indicates that statistics provided by the government are not disaggregated by gender, which makes it difficult to see the situation of violence against women (AVESA et al. Nov. 2017, 3).

The 2016 annual report by the Public Ministry (Ministerio Público, MP) of Venezuela indicates that, out of the total number of crimes reported to the MP in 2016, 14.98 percent corresponded with crimes associated with violence against women (Venezuela [2017]a, 108). The report also provides the following statistics related to violence against women in comparison with the total number of crimes reported to the MP:

 
Event Total number reported Cases related to violence against women, by number and percentage out of the total number reported
Complaints dismissed due to lack of evidence to initiate an investigation 32,282 801 (2.48 percent)
Individuals who appeared before a court 107,881 6,948 (6.44 percent)
Individuals accused 285,154 18,780 (6.59 percent)
Individuals charged 100,298 9,507 (9.48 percent)
Individuals sentenced 23,589 1,654 (7.01 percent)

(Venezuela [2017]a, 108-115)

The MP report indicates that 41 investigations were launched in connection with violence against indigenous women, of which 10 were at the [translation] "investigation" stage and 9 at the "intermediate" [6] stage, and that 100 protective measures had been issued (Venezuela [2017]a, 56).

The 2016 annual report by the Office of the Ombudsperson (Defensoría del Pueblo) indicates that, out of the 15,184 complaints and requests for assistance (peticiones) received by that institution in 2016, 564 corresponded to crimes related to violence against women, or 3.71 percent of the total number reported (Venezuela 2017b, 223). The same source indicates that the states with the highest number of complaints received related to violence against women were Zulia (97 complaints, or 17.2 percent), the Caracas metropolitan area (90, or 15.96 percent), Anzoátegui (55, or 9.75 percent), and Mérida (42, or 7.45 percent) (Venezuela 2017b, 243). The Office of the Ombudsperson report further indicates that the main rights affected in the 564 reported cases involving violence against women include the following:

 
Type of Violence Number of Complaints/Requests for Assistance Percentage
Psychological 293 51.95
Physical 137 24.29
Domestic 34 6.03
Property-related 28 4.96
Social security 16 2.84
Other 13 2.30
Sexual 10 1.77

(Venezuela 2017b, 240)

Statistics for 2017 from government sources could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

3.1 Femicide

According to the AVESA et al. report, statistics on femicide vary between those provided by authorities, the press, and civil society organizations (AVESA et al. Nov. 2017, 39). The Office of the Vice-President indicates that, while there are no government statistics on femicide for 2017, statistics from previous years indicate that about 70 percent of femicides are committed against women between 16 and 45 years old, and that [translation] "more than 50 percent" of femicides are committed by a boyfriend, spouse, partner, ex-boyfriend, or ex-spouse (Venezuela Mar. 2018, 6). El Nacional reports that, according to statistics by the Metropolitan Institute for Women (Instituto Metropolitano de la Mujer, INMEMUJER) [7], between January and May 2017, 48 femicides were committed in Venezuela, and the states with the highest percentages were Miranda (13 percent), Carabobo (11), Bolívar (9), and Zulia (9) (El Nacional 3 July 2017). The same source reports the following statistics on victims by age group: 16-25 years old, 25 percent; 26-35 years old, 23 percent; 36-45 years old, 21 percent (El Nacional 3 July 2017). According to the report by the MP, during 2016, 122 femicides were committed in Venezuela and 57 were [translation] "prevented" (Venezuela [2017]a, 55). According to estimates by AVESA et al., the femicide rate for 2016 was 0.78 per 100,000 women (AVESA et al. Nov. 2017, 38). The same source indicates that information on femicide of indigenous women and women with disabilities is [translation] "nonexistent" (AVESA et al. Nov. 2017, 38). According to the report by the MP, the homicide rate for 2016 was 70.11 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants (Venezuela 2016, 6).

4. Support Services
4.1 Hotline

The website of the Ministry for Women and Gender Equality (Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Mujer y la Igualdad de Género) indicates that the 0800-MUJERES hotline provides [translation] "information, guidance, legal advice, and state intervention" in situations of violence against women (Venezuela n.d.a). The hotline provides [translation] "confidential, immediate, and direct" services free of charge, has national coverage, and operates 24/7 (Venezuela n.d.a).

4.2 Women's Centres for Comprehensive Assistance and Training (Centro de Atención y Formación Integral para las Mujeres, CAFIM)

The website of the Ministry for Women and Gender Equality indicates that the CAFIM are spaces operated by multi-disciplinary regional and local teams that provide services in the areas of legal advice, violence prevention, psychological assistance, and health care and prevention in order to work towards the [translation] "eradication" of violence against women (Venezuela n.d.b). The CAFIM are located in Guanare (state of Portuguesa), Maracaibo (state of Zulia), Barinas (state of Barinas), and in the Capital District (Venezuela n.d.b).

4.3 Casas de Abrigo

The website of the Ministry for Women and Gender Equality indicates that Casas de Abrigo are shelters dedicated to temporarily host women whose [translation] "lives and physical health are in immediate danger," as well as their children under the age of 12 (Venezuela n.d.c). Casas de Abrigo offer psychological and social assistance, legal advice, health care, and advice on [translation] "socio-productive projects" (Venezuela n.d.c). In order to access these shelters, women victims of violence must file a complaint with the Public Ministry which, in turn, must issue a protection order (Venezuela n.d.c).

4.4 Service for the Assistance of Victims of Gender-based Violence (Servicio de Abordaje Integral a Víctimas de Delitos de Violencia de Género)

The report by the MP indicates that, in 2016, the government created the Service for the Assistance of Victims of Gender-based Violence which operates in the metropolitan area of Caracas (Venezuela [2017]a, 54). The Service is made up of prosecutors, lawyers, psychologists, and psychiatrists, among others, and provides services such as psychological and medical evaluations, intake of police reports, enforcing protection measures, and issuing the necessary warrants in order to assist prosecutors during investigations (Venezuela [2017]a, 54-55).

4.5 Effectiveness

The report by the Office of the Ombudsperson indicates that, in 2016, the National Institute for Women (Instituto Nacional de la Mujer, InaMujer) [8] provided assistance to more than 30,000 women victims violence by men through its programs, including the 0800-MUJERES hotline, Casas de Abrigo, and the CAFIM (Venezuela 2017b, 77). However, in correspondence with the Research Directorate, a representative from the Venezuelan Observatory of the Human Rights of Women (Observatorio Venezolano de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres, OVDHM) [9] and the Foundation for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Against Women (Fundación para la Prevención de la Violencia Doméstica hacia la Mujer, FUNDAMUJER) [10] indicated that several NGOs have tried to contact the 0800-MUJERES hotline without success, and that the Casas de Abrigo that operated in Caracas and the state of Aragua were closed and turned into CAFIM (OVDHM and FUNDAMUJER 4 June 2018).

The report by the MP indicates that, during 2016, the Service for the Assistance of Victims of Gender-based Violence provided 1,709 psychological evaluation reports, as well as training to its staff on procedures regarding the chain of custody of evidence (Venezuela [2017]a, 55). The same source also indicates that the Service for Psychological Assistance to Victims of Sexual Violence and Physical Assault (Servicio de Atención Psicológica a Víctimas de Violencia Sexual y Agresiones Físicas), which is located in the municipality of Sucre (state of Miranda) and provides psychological and emotional support for [translation] "vulnerable" persons, including children, adolescents and women, provided assistance to 292 persons in 2016 (Venezuela [2017]a, 62). The report by the Office of the Ombudsperson indicates that, according to information provided by InaMujer, the main reasons for assistance requested by women victims of gender-based violence during 2016 were [translation] "psychological violence, physical violence, harassment, threats, work-related violence, domestic violence, property-related and economic violence, sexual violence, sexual slavery, obstetric violence, sexual harassment, institutional violence and femicide" (Venezuela 2017b, 77).

The report by the MP indicates that a national prosecutor's office was created to investigate femicides (Venezuela [2017]a, 55-56). The same source indicates that during 2016 and in connection with femicides, the MP filed 108 charges, had 26 cases in the trial stage, and sentenced 50 individuals (Venezuela [2017]a, 55). A report produced by CEPAZ on the effects of violence against women in Venezuela indicates that, even though the MP has carried out training activities, there has been [translation] "little" advancement in the implementation of the amendment of the LODMVLV to include femicide, and that there are no protocols in place to investigate this type of crime (CEPAZ 10 Oct. 2016, 17).

The report by the Office of the Ombudsperson indicates that, according to information provided by InaMujer, in 2016, 80 training and awareness sessions were conducted in 15 states [out of 23] with 4,139 female officials who are responsible for taking complaints (Venezuela 2017b, 77). The Supreme Court of Justice (Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, TSJ) also delivered 1,087 awareness sessions on the [translation] "right of women to a life free from violence" to 22,528 attendees, including officials from the judiciary who deal with cases of violence against women (Venezuela 2017b, 77-78). The same source further indicates that the Office of the Ombudsperson delivered awareness and training sessions on the application of the LODMVLV to 229 representatives of the gender divisions of institutions including the Bolivarian National Police (Policía Nacional Bolivariana); municipal and state police forces; the Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations Body (Cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas, Penales y Criminalísticas, CICPC); the MP; and the Ministry for Women and Gender Equality (Venezuela 2017b, 79).

Sources indicate that officials responsible for dealing with cases of violence against women lack training (OVDHM and FUNDAMUJER 4 June 2018; Venezuela Mar. 2018, 8; AVESA et al. Nov. 2017, 40). US Country Reports 2017 indicates that "[p]olice generally were reluctant to intervene to prevent domestic violence and were not properly trained to handle such cases" (US 20 Apr. 2018, 31). El Nacional quotes the Director of FUNDAMUJER as indicating that violence against women occurs due to impunity and lack of protection by the state (El Nacional 3 July 2017). According to the FUNDAMUJER website, Venezuela does not have an institution dedicated to the prevention of violence against women, and legal support, specialized psychological assistance, and the efficacy of protection measures are [translation] "lacking" (FUNDAMUJER n.d.). The same source also indicates that there are not enough resources to prevent violence against women (FUNDAMUJER n.d.).

The CEPAZ report indicates that the implementation of the LODMVLV has been [translation] "slow" and "limited," which affects the ability of women victims of violence to access justice (CEPAZ 10 Oct. 2016, 4). According to the AVESA et al. report, the absence of regulations for the LODMVLV is an institutional [translation] "weaknes[s]" regarding the prevention of violence against women (AVESA et al. Nov. 2017, 40).

Sources indicate that there is a lack of information among women about support services available to them (US 20 Apr. 2018, 31; Venezuela Mar. 2018, 7), and that [translation] "many" cases remain without investigation because people do not file complaints (Venezuela Mar. 2018, 7). The AVESA et al. report indicates that violence against women is underreported due to feelings of [translation] "shame," intimidation, the non-recognition of the crimes by authorities, and the lack of training of government officials on dealing with cases related to violence against women (AVESA et al. Nov. 2017, 46). El Nacional also reports that women who have been detained and have experienced abuses by security forces do not file complaints [translation] "in order to avoid a greater public humiliation and because they do not expect that [those responsible] will be punished" (El Nacional 25 June 2017).

The OVDHM and FUNDAMUJER representative indicated that, even though Venezuela has courts and prosecutor's offices dedicated to cases of violence against women, these agencies are under-funded and have limited their operation hours due to problems with electricity, water, and transportation (OVDHM and FUNDAMUJER 4 June 2018). According to the AVESA et al. report, the capacity of courts to hear cases of violence against women is [translation] "poor," with "long judicial processes, undue delays and revictimization" (AVESA et al. Nov. 2017, 40). According to the report by the Office of the Vice-President, the reporting process is [translation] "heavily" bureaucratic, which delays investigations and the application of protection measures (Venezuela Mar. 2018, 8). The representative of the OVDHM and FUNDAMUJER indicated that [translation] "the great majority of reports" filed with the Public Ministry are set aside after the expiration of the 3-month deadline that authorities have to investigate (OVDHM and FUNDAMUJER 4 June 2018). The same source indicated that specialized courts are [translation] "slow" and a "very low percentage" of cases are successfully concluded (OVDHM and FUNDAMUJER 4 June 2018). According to the FUNDAMUJER website, 0.7 percent of reports related to violence against women filed with the Public Ministry are successfully concluded (FUNDAMUJER n.d.). CEPAZ also indicates that criminal investigations, forensic evaluations, and protection measures for women victims of violence are [translation] "deficien[t]," and that there is a lack of accountability for officials responsible for the investigation of these crimes (CEPAZ 10 Oct. 2016, 6).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Notes

[1] CEPAZ is a non-profit organization that promotes [translation] "democratic values, human rights and a culture of peace" in Venezuela (CEPAZ n.d.). CEPAZ also works toward the empowerment of women and develops projects for [translation] "vulnerable" populations, especially women (CEPAZ n.d.).

[2] Foro Penal is a Venezuelan NGO that provides pro bono legal assistance to persons who are [translation] "arbitrarily detained" (Foro Penal n.d.).

[3] AVESA is a non-profit organization based in Caracas that undertakes research on sexual education and sexual and reproductive rights (AVESA n.d.).

[4] The Online Women's Civil Association is a Venezuelan NGO that advances the rights of women in the country (El Cambur 8 May 2017).

[5] FREYA is a Venezuelan NGO that [translation] "promotes equality between women and men," as well as the empowerment of women (FREYA n.d.).

[6] The [translation] "intermediate" phase is the waiting period before a "preliminary hearing" (Venezuela [2017]a, 27).

[7] INMEMUJER is an agency of the Caracas Metropolitan municipality that works to reduce violence against women and promote gender equality and equity (Caracas n.d.).

[8] InaMujer is an agency of the Ministry for Women and Gender Equality that promotes women's rights (Venezuela n.d.d).

[9] The OVDHM is an umbrella organization of 40 women's organizations in Venezuela (OVDHM n.d.a). The OVDHM's objectives include producing reports on the situation of women's rights, advocating for women's rights, and monitoring the actions and initiatives of public agencies responsible for protecting women's rights (OVDHM n.d.b).

[10] FUNDAMUJER is a Venezuelan NGO that undertakes research, awareness campaigns and training on issues that affect women in Venezuela (FUNDAMUJER n.d.).

References

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Venezuela. N.d.b. Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Mujer y la Igualdad de Género. "Centro de Atención y Formación Integral para las Mujeres (CAFIM)." [Accessed 5 June 2018]

Venezuela. N.d.c. Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Mujer y la Igualdad de Género. "Casa de Abrigo." [Accessed 5 June 2018]

Venezuela. N.d.d. Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Mujer y la Igualdad de Género. "Instituto Nacional de la Mujer." [Accessed 14 June 2018]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Centro de Justicia y Paz; Organización Aliadas en Cadena A.C.; Prosalud Venezuela; Venezuela – Defensoría del Pueblo, Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Mujer y la Igualdad de Género, Tribunal Supremo de Justicia.

Internet sites, including: Amnesty International; BBC; Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales; Freedom House; UN – Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Office on Drugs and Crime, Population Fund, UN Women; VPI TV.

Attachment

Venezuela. 2007 (amended 2014). Ley Orgánica sobre el Derecho de las Mujeres a Una Vida Libre de Violencia. Excerpts translated by the Translation Bureau, Public Services and Procurement Canada. [Accessed 4 June 2018]