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Patricia Castillo, Alianza Board member and Executive Director of the P.E.A.C.E. (Putting an End to Abuse through Community Efforts) Initiative, visited Nicaragua March 26-30 to conduct workshops on the cyclical, detrimental impact that domestic violence imposes on society. Ms. Castillo highlighted the crucial role all sectors of the community need to play in addressing the problem and working toward a solution. In energetic, interactive sessions, Ms. Castillo shared educational facts that highlighted the physiological impacts of domestic violence on children and the resulting economic burden for all members of society. Ms. Castillo traveled to four cities on the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts to conduct the training workshops. The trip was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in recognition of Women's History Month in the U.S. and International Women's Day (March 8).


Ivonne Ortiz, Alianza's Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator, made a similar trip to the Dominican Republic last August to conduct a series of trainings in the Dominican Republic. The trainings were organized by the U.S. Department of State, in conjunction with the DR's National Directorate for Assistance to Victims and the Ministry of Women. Ms. Ortiz spoke before several national groups including the Ministries of Culture, Education, Public Health, Sports, Youth, as well as the Attorney General of the Republic, the National Police and representatives from various NGOs that work in the areas of domestic and gender violence.


Training2In May of this year, Ivonne Ortiz was invited by the Department of Justice/Office on Violence Against Women to be part of a team that provided training for law enforcement officers in Puerto Rico. The training, which was hosted in partnership with Puerto Rico Women's Advocacy Office and the Alliance of Local Service Organizations (ALSO) and the Puerto Rico Criminal Justice College, took place May 21 – 24, 2012. The team met in San Juan and from there traveled to Guabo and Ponce to conduct the trainings. About 1600 officers attended the training. Ivonne opened the training with a presentation on the dynamics of domestic violence. Other members of the training team included: Detective Miguel Rosario and Captain Carmelin Rivera from the San Diego Police Department, Ambar Hanson from Casa de Esperanza, Maria Luisa O'Neill from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Judge Evelyn LaPorte from the Brooklyn District Court System. The rest of the team presented on various topics like including: Conducting an Investigation, Compiling Evidence in DV Cases and Domestic Violence and the Elderly. The team flew to San Juan and from there they traveled to Gurabo and Ponce to facilitate the trainings. The Puerto Rico Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, better known as Coordinadora Paz para la Mujer, supported the faculty by providing local statistics and information on trends and local resources. Some 1600 officers from throughout the island attended the trainings.


Facts about domestic violence in Puerto Rico:

  • Of all the women murdered in Puerto Rico in recent years, about 50% were cases involving domestic violence.
  • In 2010, 91% of the victims were females, with 20-29 year olds, being the most affected.
  • In 2010, 16,952 incidents of domestic violence were reported.
  • In 2011, there were 26 femicides.