May
26
2021

Women and Government commemorated sexual violence women victims’ strength and hope

As part of the National Day for the Sexual Violence Women Victims’ Dignity commemoration, the Unit for the Victims held the virtual forum “Sexual Violence and Conflict”.

BOGOTÁ, D.C.BOGOTÁ, D.C.

“These events mean moving forward and recognizing sexual violence women victims’ work, a group who has been demanding their rights restoration. My appreciation and admiration for them and thank you for making us feel you are there working and that we’re not alone in this fight ", said Mayerlis Angarita, a Collective Reparation Subject Narrar para Vivir Representative, who was there as a panelist of the “Sexual Violence and Conflict" forum held on the National Day for the Sexual Violence Women Victims’ Dignity.

For more than an hour, Yolanda Perea, a National Victims’ Participation Board Representative for the victimizing act of crimes against sexual freedom and integrity; Maria Eugenia Urrutia, an Afromupaz representative; Mayerlis Angarita, from Narrar para Vivir; and Tatiana Romero, the Ministry of Justice’s Strengthening Justice with a Gender and Disability Perspective Group Coordinator, participated in this space intended to dignify and recognize conflict women victims’ courage and work.

The panel’s moderation was attended by the Women's Equity Presidential Advisor, Gheidy Gallo, and the Unit for the Victims Director, Ramon Rodriguez.

During her speech, Yolanda Perea asked the Unit “that women who are sexual violence victims be prioritized, and that our children be included, so they have access to integral health care. That life be articulated and that we have integral psychosocial care. Society must understand that sexual violence is a crime against humanity.”

Maria Eugenia Urrutia, Afromupaz’ legal representative, said the following: “We develop the parsley garden strategy working in the territory, where we tell pain stories to heal, and in this work, we find very nice people, like the ones from the Unit, who have helped us heal with psychosocial strategies. There must be very strong campaigns for women victims’ emotional health”. Urrutia also complimented the Unit’s work and stated that "the Unit’s role should be highlighted as a community space that hasn’t been recognized."

Mayerlis Angarita emphasized: “In Narrar para Vivir, a strategy was created that allows us to heal the minds and hearts of sexual violence women victims, so they become empowered. There must be a capacity strengthening for the organizations that provide psychosocial first aid.”

Gheidy Gallo, the Women's Equity Presidential Advisor, who moderated the forum, talked about women leaders and human rights defenders’ importance. “Women are the country’s social fabric reconstruction protagonists. They are the hope to get ahead, heal minds and hearts. From the Government, we are committed to the guarantees for the non-repetition of this crime, so that all women can live a free of violence life.”

“We must heal the heart from so much hate and resentment, and we must acknowledge mental health’s importance. The hearts must be kept light," she added.

Finally, the Unit presented the Vivificarte strategy, which has been carried out virtually since 2020 because women care continues to be provided despite the pandemic.

What is Vivificarte?

In 2015, the Unit for the Victims established, both methodologically and logistically, the support strategy for sexual violence women victims, Vivificarte. Through this program, the women participants’ autonomy and empowerment began to be strengthened through group activities that contribute to their emotional recovery process.

From 2015 to October 2020 4,154 sexual violence women victims have been supported through this strategy, therefore, Vivificarte is regarded as a satisfaction measure with dignity and recognition actions. It is also a non-repetition guarantee measure for its preventive dimension of the crime. It is worth noting the strategy now has a virtual tool that allows fulfilling the stipulated objectives.

The Unit restates its call to the conflict’s sexual violence victims who have not declared, in order for them to narrate what happened before the Public Ministry (Procurator's Office, Public Defender’s Office or Municipal Ombudsman's Office) and, as a guarantee of their rights, they can voluntarily include their children born as a result of this crime.

(End/MLE/COG/RAM)