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Healing with Hope

It’s no secret anymore that in Latin America—and unfortunately in most of the world—women suffer from domestic violence. The figures on its incidence are telling: six to eight women out of every 10, according to a recent study by the National Council for Women of Ecuador, based on regional studies and projections.

The physical and psychological scars of domestic violence have an extremely high economic and social cost for women, their families, the entire fabric of society, and national development. To stop the spiral of violence, numerous initiatives have been taken in the region, for both victim assistance and domestic violence prevention. Since this is unexplored territory, certain governments have asked the IDB for financial assistance and technical support to carry out these activities.

Fighting domestic violence is complex, as it means combining policies and programs from many different social sectors, such as health, education, justice and law enforcement. The IDB Women in Development Unit recently published a series of pamphlets that summarize the lessons learned in some countries on public policy, violence prevention, assistance for victims, and treatment for batterers.

Under the title Domestic Violence: Interventions for Prevention and Treatment (available in Spanish only) , the pamphlets cover the following topics:

- Public information campaign in Panama

- Treatment of male batterers in the Nordic countries

- National plans against domestic violence

- Training for indigenous facilitators in Guatemala

- Shelters for battered women

- Training for enforcement of international agreements

- Hotline in El Salvador

- Production and use of the video Battered Lives, Dashed Hopes

- Community education on masculinity in Nicaragua.

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