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The Peruvian Family Violence Law: Adoption and Implementation Challenges


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THE PERUVIAN FAMILY VIOLENCE LAW: ADOPTION AND IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGES By ANOUK ST-ARNAUD A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2005

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Copyright 2005 by Anouk St-Arnaud

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This document is dedicated to my mother, Carmen Frchette, who is an exceptional and exemplar woman who taught me the importance of always going forward.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my thesis committee chair, Dr. Philip Williams, for his precious support and guidance throughout the last two years. I would like to thank also Dr. Carmen Diana Deere for her invaluable feedback and contribution to my thesis. Additionally, I am grateful to the Center for Latin American Studies for funding my graduate studies and also for their financial support in the realization of my fieldwork research and particularly to Dr. Charles Wood for his patience and availability. I would like to thank my friends Geraldine Slean and Wendy Pond who helped me so much in the edition of the thesis. Finally, I would like to thank Juan Posada who has been always encouraging and comprehensive throughout those two years. Without him my career would have probably taken a totally different direction. iv

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES............................................................................................................vii LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................viii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE WOMENS MOVEMENT.............................................1 The Regional Context...................................................................................................2 The Peruvian Context...................................................................................................4 The Ratification of the Family Violence Law..............................................................6 The Implementation of the Family Violence Law......................................................10 Research Questions.....................................................................................................13 Definitions..................................................................................................................13 Research Methods.......................................................................................................14 Outline of Chapters.....................................................................................................15 2 FAMILY VIOLENCE LAW IN PERU: A TWO-STAGE MODEL OF NORM DIFFUSION...............................................................................................................17 Introduction to the Two-Stage Model.........................................................................17 Womens Movement..................................................................................................20 The Concept of Autonomy..................................................................................21 Political Opportunities.........................................................................................24 Application of the Two-Stage Model to Peru.............................................................25 The Feminist Movement: a Key Actor.......................................................................26 The Development of Autonomy and Consciousness in Peru..............................30 Political Opportunities Under Fujimoris Government.......................................36 Conclusion..................................................................................................................44 3 THE RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FAMILY VIOLENCE LAW......................................................................................46 Introduction.................................................................................................................46 The Implementation of the Family Violence Law......................................................48 Empowerment......................................................................................................49 v

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State Accountability............................................................................................51 Limitations to the Rights-Based Approach.................................................................58 Structural Obstacles.............................................................................................58 Cultural Obstacles...............................................................................................63 Internal Problems: the NGOization of the Feminist Movement......................66 Conclusion..................................................................................................................72 4 CONCLUSION...........................................................................................................74 APPENDIX LAW FOR PROTECTION FROM FAMILY VIOLENCE.........................81 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................85 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................91 vi

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TABLE Table page 1. National Legislation on Domestic Violence..................................................................44 vii

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FIGURE Figure page 1. Shows how NGOs work at the individual and national levels.....................................57 viii

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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts THE PERUVIAN FAMILY VIOLENCE LAW: ADOPTION AND IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGES By Anouk St-Arnaud August 2005 Chair: Philip Williams Major Department: Latin American Studies This thesis explores the contribution made by the womens movement in the adoption and the implementation of the Law for Protection from Family Violence ratified by the Peruvian government in 1993. It examines how the Peruvian feminist movement placed the issue of domestic violence on the public agenda during the 1980s in order to develop womens consciousness and to obtain governments acknowledgement of the problem. It also analyzes how feminist NGOs work since the mid-1990s in attempting to make the state accountable to the law, and to improve womens individual empowerment. Throughout the 80s and early 90s, the Peruvian feminist movement played a central role in raising awareness on violence against women, making domestic violence an issue of political and public interest. Under a government undertaking the parameters of an dictatorial regime, the feminist movement created alliances between Congresswomen and women from the public administration seizing the right opportunity to press for the adoption of the Law for Protection from Family Violence enacted in December 1993. ix

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The Peruvian feminist movement has been very active trying to enforce the Law for Protection from Family Violence. Since the 90s, feminists have adopted an approach based on rights working on an individual and national base. They provide services to empower domestic violence victims, and work to enforce and improve the law. However, obstacles limit the feminist NGO rights-based approach constraining their efforts to improve the implementation of the law. Feminists strategy is firstly constrained by obstacles present within the political and justice system. The enforcement of the law is also limited by a general cultural biased attitude from institutional actors as well as from women. Finally, internal obstacles within NGOs have created fragmentation within the feminist movement and have decreased grassroots support for the broader womens movement to work for the advancement and enforcement of the Law for Protection from Family Violence. x

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE WOMENS MOVEMENT Domestic violence is a widespread problem all over the world and has long been considered an invisible issue that takes place within the private sphere, beyond the reach of legal institutions and the protection of the state. In the past, wife beating was not considered a crime but was rather a familys personal concern; women were treated as children and their misbehaviors needed to be corrected and controlled both physically and economically by their male spouses (Hernandez 1997:8). Creating legislation to regulate such private matters was politically and socially unacceptable because it was viewed as an invasion of the patriarchal households authority. As a consequence, domestic violence was not only considered beyond the reach of the national system of law but also beyond the jurisdiction of the international legal system. 1 However, the last two decades have witnessed public recognition of gender violence through the signing of international agreements, the enactment of national legislation, and the creation of novel institutions such as womens ministries. Throughout the 80s and 90s, domestic violence within the private sphere has moved into public debate and has been recognized by the majority of the international communitys members as a human rights violation. 2 1 The first international instrument to protect human rights was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) but it did not have a gender-focus. 2 The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women was adopted in December 1993. 1

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2 The Regional Context In Latin America the ratification of international and national legislation has roots in the mobilization of the regional womens movement that reemerged in the mid-1970s. During that period, known as the second wave of the womens movement, women became important political and social actors. Numerous studies have analyzed the factors leading to the rise of womens movements throughout Latin America at that time (Jaquette 1994; Jaquette and Wolchik 1998; Vargas and Wieringa 1998; Schmukler and Valenzuela 1998). The economic crisis of the 1970s and the structural adjustment policies carried out by governments entailed a drastic decline in government social spending. Grassroots organizations composed of women from the lower urban class mobilized on the basis of their traditional gender roles to seek strategies to feed their families, calling for greater state accountability in the provision of basic social services. In the 1970s in taking up the anticommunist crusade, Latin Americas military regimes did not hesitate to repress any individual suspected of being politically active in the leftist parties. Mothers in theirs forties and fifties, such as the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina and the Chilean Association of the Detained and Disappeared, were the first to react to the torture, killing and disappearances carried out by the military governments. These women were the pioneers of the human rights movements, clearly announcing their opposition to authoritarian governments and calling for a return to democracy (Feijo 1998). The UN Decade of Women (1976-1985) that resulted from the UN Conference on Women in Mexico provided an important impetus for the development of regional feminist movements (Jaquette 1994:4). The middle-class feminist movements began to organize new networks in defense of womens individual and social rights. Their

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3 mobilization strove to raise womens consciousness about oppression and make gender a political issue. As Virginia Vargas explains: during the 1970s and the 1980s feminist groups questioned cultural and political paradigms which concealed the complexity of underlying power relations between men and women in socioeconomic, political, cultural and sexual life (Vargas 2002: 200). Finally, the mobilization of these different womens groups continue into the democratic transitions that occurred in most Latin American countries during the 1980s. The transition from authoritarian regimes to democratic rule made apparent the paradox of authoritarian relationships and gender in state, political, and private institutions and created a political opportunity where women were able to voice their concerns in the public arena (Schmukler and Valenzuela 1998:69). Throughout that period, feminist campaigns principally worked to increase womens awareness of their social and political exclusion, and to raise recognition of womens discriminated and subordinated positions within the household and society. As a result of the development of this consciousness, attention then turned to violence against women, particularly that taking place within the privacy of the household. Turning to the 1990s, the changes in the national, regional and global context transformed the relationship between state actors and womens movement. With the return to electoral democracies, 3 many governments of the region undertook neoliberal economic policies reducing state intervention within the economy, cutting welfare services, privatizing public sectors and opening up trade markets (Gwynne 2004:47). This economic shift increased the role played by the private sector and by civil society 3 In Latin America the return to the democratic rules took place generally during the 1980s and the 1990s.

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4 organizations, which to some extent replaced and filled the vacuum resulting from the cutting of social welfare provision. Throughout that decade, a series of UN summits took place providing new opportunities for women to participate in international debates. At the same time governments were endorsing commitments to democracy and placing justice and rights at the forefront of their political agendas. To consolidate the new democracies, many countries in Latin America created programs supported by international donors promoting justice, democracy and good governance (Alvarez 2001:365). Finally, regional governments adopted laws promoting womens rights thereby reflecting their commitment to these democratic principles. Under those changing political and economic circumstances, the 90s saw the institutionalization of the Latin American womens movement. New political spaces emerged with the return of democratic governments; states began to show willingness to negotiate gender-based demands, providing an opportunity for the feminists to pursue their gender interests. Through a language based on democracy and citizenship, feminists embarked on a rights discourse seeking to ensure the continued progression towards gender equality in the future, by defending the advances achieved and further expanding womens citizenship rights (Vargas 2002:203). The Peruvian Context This historical background on the Latin American womens movement provides the regional contextual framework explaining how women became social and political actors; the Peruvians women movement emerged under similar political and economic circumstances. The womens movement in Peru emerged in the late 1970s under General Morales Bermdezs military government (19751980), which had announced the transition to democratic government in 1977 (McClintock and Vallas 2003:30). Despite

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5 the fact that Peruvian military governments (1968-1980) were less repressive than other authoritarian regimes in the region, the military dictatorship in Peru suppressed political parties and paralyzed democratic institutions while denying some liberties (Barrig 1994:152). In 1976, Bermdezs government adopted a radical program to achieve economic stabilization, including a reduction in subsidies of food staples and gasoline that garnered national opposition (McClintock & Vallas 2003:30). While women involved in grassroots organizations mobilized against the severe economic measures, feminist groups focused on linking the problems of class and gender, social inequality, and womens subordination (Blondet 1995:258). During this period of mobilization that continued throughout the 1980s, a culturally heterogeneous and dynamic womens movement emerged composed of female political actors ranging from shantytown activists to middle-class feminists. They combined their efforts to seek improvements in living conditions, subsidies and food supplies and solutions to domestic violence. By increasing their political activities and their visibility, the Peruvian womens movement and particularly the feminist movement played a fundamental role in the adoption of international declarations and national-level legislation on political participation, gender discrimination and violence against women. As a result, a number of demands, such as the Law for Protection from Family Violence and the Quotas Law initiated by feminist NGOs during the 1980s were enacted under Alberto Fujimoris regime in 1993 and 1997, respectively. Indeed, Peru was the first country in the Americas to adopt a specific law punishing violence against women; many feminists believed that this legislation has been their most prized achievement (Barrig 2001:31). Although Peru ratified such laws early in the 90s, the government did not create the

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6 Ministerio de Promocin de la Mujer y Desarollo Humano until 1996 following the wave of creation of womens institutions regionally. 4 However, the Peruvian governments policies toward womens rights took place under an increasing authoritarian government, one which was distancing itself from the democratization process. To some extent this paradoxical context has contributed to womens advancement in the legal field and will be explored in the following chapter. The Ratification of the Family Violence Law Perus ratification of the Law for Protection from Family Violence took place in a decade when most Latin American nations implemented a number of steps to address domestic violence within their borders. Throughout the 90s most of countries in the Regions ratifyied the U.N. Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (DEVAW) and the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women. As a result, practically every country in Latin America has modified their national legislation to punish domestic violence and has created governmental institutions for the advancement of womens rights. To explain the processes by which Latin American countries have adopted laws condemning domestic violence, three different approaches have been taken. The first approach is based on social movement theory (McAdam 1982, Costain 1992, Jaquette 1994, Elman 1996, Weldon 2002); the second one is described by international socialization theory (Risse & Sikkink 1999); the last approach has been studied by Hawkins and Humes (2002) and is a two-stage model that combines notions from the two previous approaches. 4 For a complete list of when institutions for women were created in Latin America, refer to Table 3 of the Appendix of Deere and Lon (2001:356).

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7 To explain the impact of womens movements on social policy, the social movement theory approach draws on the principles of autonomy, co-optation and political opportunity. Womens movements that enjoy autonomy from both the state and political parties are more likely to raise consciousness within society and to apply social pressure that will help change state policies. On the other hand, when political parties or the state dominate womens movements, the latter become co-opted and are less likely to raise their concerns in the state political agenda. The autonomy of the womens movement is not the only variable that influences state policies. Political opportunity is a key factor that influences a social movements ability to successfully modify state policies. The political process model discussed by Doug McAdam (1982) defines a social movement as the actions of excluded groups to mobilize sufficient political leverage to advance collective interests through non-institutionalized means (McAdam 1982:37). This approach focuses on the political system, indigenous accumulation of resources, and psychological aspects of movement identification. It also highlights three essential factors explaining the emergence of a social movement. The first one is the degree of organizational readiness within the minority community; the second, is the level of insurgent consciousness within the movement; and the third is the structure of political opportunities (McAdam 1982:40). A number of studies on the womens movement have used this approach (Klein 1984, Katzenstein & Mueller 1987). Anne Costain (1992) uses a political process model to explain the development of the womens movement in the United States and the movements impact on social policy. Her study shows that the womens movements policy success depends on the receptivity of the political process during the time that potential supporters are

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8 psychologically and organizationally ready to challenge the status quo and concludes that the overall success depends on both the heightened consciousness of movement followers and the structure of political opportunity (Ibid. 1992:XV, 25). According to political process theory, the balance of power between the government and the womens movement is also an important indicator of success: If the government is weak, the movement and the government share a more equal balance of power; thus the movement is likely to achieve more political strength within the political system, allowing it to influence the modification of policy (Ibid. 1992). The international socialization theory is another approach that explains the ratification of international declarations in terms of the enactment of domestic law. Martha Finnemore (1996) notes: We cannot understand what states want without understanding the international social structure of which they are a part. States are embedded in dense networks of transnational and international social relations that shape their perceptions of the world and their role in that world. States are socialized to want certain things by the international society in which they and the people in them live. According to Thomas Risse and Kathryn Sikkink (1999), there are three reasons why a state adopts international norms and applies them domestically: Adaptation to pressure from powerful states or international organizations; moral consciousness-raising, argumentation, dialogue, and persuasion arising from the constant communication between abusive or indifferent governments and their critics; and institutionalization and habituation, a process that occurs over time after the first two mechanisms have socialized the state into initial adoption of the norm. This process of socialization is based on powerful states or transnational networks that pressure for national policy adoption and overlap with the boomerang pattern discussed by Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink (1998) in their book, Activists Beyond Borders. The central argument of these scholars is that when channels of participation between states and domestic organizations are blocked or when states do not efficiently

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9 react to national organizations demands, a transnational advocacy networks is likely to emerge, pressuring governments from the outside to take normative measures that address the issue (Keck & Sikkink 1998:12-13). The combination of a state closed to requests from domestic organizations, international organizations acting as allies, and an open governmental structure in foreign countries generate the boomerang pattern through which national organizations use international connections or networks to persuade the state to modify their policies. To illustrate their theory, Keck & Sikkink studied how national womens groups built transnational women advocacy networks that drew attention to violence against women, placing the issue on the international public agenda (Keck & Sikkink 1998:165-198). Through the development of the global campaign for womens human rights, governments adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and the Inter-American Convention for the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence, which led to the enactment of national laws punishing domestic violence. Their analysis provides useful background to the emergence of transnational womens networks and the development of violence against women as an international issue. However, their study focuses on the global campaign developed by womens advocacy networks that led to the adoption of international conventions. It does not assess how some womens movements have been able to draw government attention to domestic violence. Their study neither addresses how womens movements pressure the state for the enactment of national legislation condemning domestic violence before or simultaneously to the adoption of international conventions. Finally, Darren Hawkins and Melissa Humes (2002) develop a method that incorporates the two previous approaches womens movements and international

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10 socialization to explain the ratification of norms condemning domestic violence. The first phase of the two-stage model of norm diffusion is based on the ability of autonomous activist organizations to raise public awareness about a problem and to pressure the state by organizing protests within the population. At this stage the opening of an opportunity within the political system is a fundamental variable that helps activists to push for policy change. Thus, during the first phase of this process, national womens movements and political opportunities are the principal factors that pressure the state to adopt new legislation. The second stage of the model integrates the international socialization process, where international organizations, states and transnational networks become more important than domestic activists. Each country at this stage is likely to adopt norms similar to those already ratified by other countries (Hawkins & Humes 2002: 242). These three approaches are the principal theories that frame my research on the enactment of national law condemning domestic violence. I propose using Peru as a test case to apply the two-stage model of norm diffusion. Through an analysis of the development of the Peruvian womens movement and the political context of Peru, I plan to explain how womens movement activities and campaigns were able to apply enough pressure on the Peruvian government to achieve the ratification of national legislation on domestic violence. The Implementation of the Family Violence Law The second part of this study focuses on the changing approach taken by feminist non-governmental organizations (hereinafter NGO) to pressure for state accountability and the enforcement of the Law for Protection from Family Violence. Within a context of democratic consolidation, justice and good governance, feminist NGOs began to use a

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11 language based on human rights, citizenship and democracy. They lobbied the government to respect their commitments, worked closely with social movements to improve programs of legal reforms and increased rights awareness (Molyneux and Lazar 2003: 3). The reasons why NGOs adopted a rights-based approach varied with each case but might also be explained by the changing context in Latin America during the 90s and by the adoption of international policies (Molyneux & Lazar 2003). The enactment of international conventions provided support as well as legal instruments for this rights-based approach, allowing the NGOs to pressure governments of the region to respect their legal commitments. In the same vein, Macaulay has described this feminist NGO strategy as a legalistic approach, which entails focusing on rights while also targeting state reform and aspects of the criminal justice system, such as access to justice, fair and efficient legal procedures, and victim protection (Ibid. 2000:156). Moreover, the emphasis on the criminal justice system was seen as a strategy to force governments to improve the implementation of social policies and to meet international commitments. Peruvian feminist NGOs undertook a rights-based discourse during the 90s. One of their objectives was to pressure the state to enforce national and international legislation on domestic violence while increasing womens awareness of their rights. However, a number of obstacles constrained NGOs efforts to address the implementation gap of the Law for Protection from Family Violence. These obstacles are structural, cultural and internal. Structural problems are related to the legal system and as such impede adequate victim protection, constrain sanction efficiency for perpetrators, and result in investigation delays. In a report published in March 2000, Womens Rights Watch underscores the Peruvian governments inability to implement national legislation

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12 through the national police, judges, forensic doctors, and state prosecutors. This document highlights the polices inefficiency in investigating claims made by female victims and the lack of an adequate report-taking procedure. The report also draws attention to the inadequacy of medical examinations by forensic doctors, who tend to minimize womens injuries. Additionally, the report stresses that state prosecutors are understaffed and that they resolve domestic cases by favoring spousal conciliation over judicial prosecution. Finally, the report condemns these institutional actors for not using protective measures to shield victims of domestic violence from their abusers. Although this report did not discuss the Peruvian patriarchal society, cultural obstacles are still present in Peru. The results of my research show that justice operators 5 apply the law based on their personal biases toward domestic violence. Finally, NGOs rights-based approach and the relationship developed with Peruvian government also impeded to some extent the enforcement of the law. By adopting such a conventional strategy, NGOs became more involved within the governmental process. This switch to a more traditional approach has proved challenging for feminist NGOs. Therefore, these structural, cultural and internal factors frequently constrained the daily application of the law. Notwithstanding the evolution of womens formal rights, violence and oppression against women continue to impede the full exercise of equality, liberty, equal political participation, and personal security. Women are still considered second-class citizens (Hernandez 1997). In the second part of my research, I propose to analyze how feminist NGOs in Peru have used the right-based approach to tackle the 5 Justice operator is the translation for operador de justicia.

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13 problem of implementation of the Domestic Violence Law and how they have worked to improve the legislation making the law enforceable. Research Questions How did the womens movement effectively pressure Peruvian authorities to address the problem of domestic violence and adopt the Law for Protection from Family Violence? What are the major structural, cultural and internal obstacles that stand in the way of the actual implementation of the Law for Protection from Family Violence? How did feminist NGOs use the rights-based approach to address the implementation gap, thus, forcing the government to respect their national legal commitments? Definitions Violence against women: According to the Article 1 of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (DEVAW) the term "violence against women" means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. Violence against women includes, but is not limited to, the following: 6 (a) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation; (b) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general community, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and elsewhere, trafficking in women and forced prostitution; 6 Article 2 DEVAW

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14 (c) Physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State, wherever it occurs. Womens movement: A broad definition of the womens movement suggests that it is understood as the whole spectrum of conscious and unconscious action of individuals, groups or organizations with the aim of combating gender subordination (Vargas & Wieringa 1998:4). The womens movement may suggest a unified movement, however it is characterized by a diversity of interests, form of expression and spatial location (Molyneux 2001: 144). For example, the Peruvian womens movement includes different currents such as the grassroots organizations, feminist groups and political militants (Blondet 1995). Research Methods This study is comprised of bibliographic research conducted at the University of Florida and at the library of the Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristan in addition to fieldwork carried out from May 2004 to June 2004 in Lima, Peru. There I conducted semi-structured interviews with actors linked to the implementation of national legislation on domestic violence. I developed semi-structured interview guides for different categories of people that I interviewed. This qualitative method is based on a clear plan that you keep in mind, but is also characterized by a minimum of control over the respondents responses (Bernard 2000:191). According to Bernard, semi-unstructured interviewing is useful for studying sensitive issues like sexuality, race, or ethnic prejudice. For this reason, I believe that this method is useful for studying implementation problems linked to the Law for Protection from Family Violence. The persons interviewed for the purpose of this study were key agents involved in domestic violence cases: the captains of the womens police stations in Lima, Villa

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15 Salvador and at the Women Emergency Center (Lima), the captain of the national police station in Surquillo (Lima), a forensic doctor, a state prosecutor, a criminal judge, the coordinator of the Women Emergency Center in Lima, a representative from the Ministry of Education, the director of the program on domestic violence established by the Ministry for Women and Social Development, the coordinator of the reproductive rights program for the Ombudswomen in charge of womens rights, two lawyers and two activists from the Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristan, a lawyer from the Movimiento Manuela Ramos, the coordinator of CLADEM, a lawyer and the coordinator working for DEMUS. My thesis draws also on the study Violencia Familiar y Sexual: Diagnstico sobre Servicios de Atencin, which was carried out in 2003 by the NGOs Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristan, and the Movimento Manuela Ramos. The interviews conducted represent the personal views of each of the participants and in my analysis I do not attempt to generalize their views. Outline of Chapters Chapter 2 explores how the Peruvian womens movement over the two last decades has worked to pressure the government to adopt laws that condemn violence against women. By tracing the evolution of the feminist movement and the context in which the Peruvian government addressed the problem of domestic violence, I will show how Peruvian women have been able to influence Perus ratification of the Law for Protection from Family Violence. Chapter 3 is based on the field research conducted in Peru. I will explore how feminist NGOs are using the right-based approach to reduce the implementation gap between national legislation and womens daily realities. In this chapter I examine the

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16 structural, cultural and internal problems that impede the enforcement of the Law for Protection from Family Violence. Finally, in chapter 4 I will present the main results of this study and future avenues of research to address the issue of domestic violence.

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CHAPTER 2 FAMILY VIOLENCE LAW IN PERU: A TWO-STAGE MODEL OF NORM DIFFUSION Introduction to the Two-Stage Model Ending violence against women began to be addressed early in the 1980s by the Peruvian womens movement as well as all over Latin America. The Peruvian womens movement organized many activities to gain legal recognition of the problem despite the lack of international legal instruments to support their demands for a law sanctioning domestic violence. In 1993, Peru was the first country in all of Latin America to adopt a norm against domestic violence. By using the two-stage model of norm diffusion, the objective of this chapter is to analyze the series of steps that led to the ratification of the law for Protection from Family Violence in Peru (hereinafter family Violence Law). Darren Hawkins and Melissa Humes (2002) use the two-stage model of norm diffusion to explain legal initiatives that have been taken to condemn domestic violence by most governments in Latin American throughout the 90s. Their conceptual framework identifies distinct time periods: one in which the womens movement played a crucial role in the ratification of the national domestic violence law and the other when international socialization was the principal impetus for the adoption of legislation. The two-stage model of norm diffusion used by Hawkins and Humes is built on a study carried out by Martha Finnemore and Kathryn Sikkink (1998) who analyzed the efforts made by national activists or norm entrepreneurs to transpose or transform a national norm into international legislation. They argue that domestic influences are 17

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18 strongest at the early stage of a norms life cycle, and domestic influences lessen significantly once a norm has become institutionalized in the international system (Finnemore & Sikkink 1998:893). According to these authors, the norm life cycle can be conceptualized in three stages: norm emergence, norm acceptance and internationalization. Norm emergence is the first phase during which activist groups or norm entrepreneurs try to persuade and convince norm leaders or key states to ratify a new norm; it corresponds to the first phase of the two-stage model of norm diffusion. According to the conceptual framework of Hawkins and Humes, leader states are those which possess an autonomous womens movement able to exploit political opportunities while generating political discussion about the issue of domestic violence. In Latin America, leader states adopted domestic violence legislation either before or about the same time as the norm was ratified internationally, through the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (DEVAW) in June 1993 (Hawkins & Humes 2002:245). The following sections particularly addresses the norm emergence stage. Norm acceptance is the second stage of the norm life cycle and corresponds to the second part of Hawkins and Humes model in which state leaders, transnational networks and international organizations attempt to socialize other states to become norm followers; international socialization processes become more important than national activists. Until this tipping point, national movement activists that promote normative changes are the major actor for policy change. Tipping is described as being the stage after norm entrepreneurs have persuaded a critical mass of states to become norm leaders and adopt new norms; it rarely occurs before one-third of the total states in the

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19 system adopt the norm (Finnemore & Sikkink 1998:901). Once the tipping point has been reached, a new dynamic takes place and more countries begin to adopt the norm even without national pressure, bringing in the second phase of the two-stage model of norm diffusion: norm acceptance. Finnemore and Sikkink argue that norm acceptance is promoted by international socialization in which agents of socialization such as leader states, transnational networks and international organizations become new actors pressuring other states to adopt new policies (Ibid. 1998:902). Agents of socialization attempt to persuade other states to become followers by promoting the norms through discourse or through economic incentives or penalties. Legitimization, conformity and esteem are other incentives that motivate follower states to adopt new norms or policies. Thus during this stage international socialization and transnational activities are more important than national activists, though they might continue to play an important role. Transnational women advocacy networks have played an important role in pressuring states to adopt domestic violence legislation in many countries in Latin America. While women advocacy networks consolidated their foundations other international organs also worked to address the issue, helping the womens movement in legitimizing their demands. For instance, the Feminist Encounters for Latin America and the Caribbean along with a series of UN conferences provided impetus to an important number of countries developing measures against domestic violence. In addition, Latin American womens groups have been important activists in coordinating regional networks such as the Southern Cone Network against Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Latin American and Caribbean Network against Domestic and Sexual Violence with subregional coordinators in Peru and other countries in Latin America (Keck and Sikkink

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20 1998:179-180). As a result, follower states adopted legislation on violence against women between 1995-1998. They did so in a context where the norm had been adopted regionally through the Inter-American Convention for the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women ratified by the Organization of American States members in 1994. Finally, internationalization is the third stage of the norm life cycle and occurs when norms acquire a taken-for-granted quality and are no longer part of the public debate (Finnemore & Sikkink 1998:895). Since this phase is not included in the two-stage model of norm diffusion and because norms on domestic violence in most of countries in Latin America have not reached this phase, internationalization will not receive further discussion. The two-stage model of norm diffusion of Hawkins and Humes is the conceptual framework that I will use to address the adoption of the Family Violence Law in Peru. Although international organizations, transnational networks and international meetings had a positive influence, the results of my research show that the Peruvian womens movement and their national activities had a greater impact on the adoption of the Family Violence legislation. For this reason, I will focus on the first phase of the two-stage model of norm diffusion. Before applying the conceptual framework of Hawkins and Humes, I will turn now to a more detailed description of the variables included in the norm emergence stage. Womens Movement In the first stage of norm emergence, activist groups try to conceptualize a new norm for desirable behavior in their community. At this point the groups may or might not communicate transnationally with activists concerned by similar issues. To promote

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21 norm ratification, norm entrepreneurs or activist groups encourage the ideals of empathy and altruism and begin a long process of persuading international organizations and states to ratify the proposed norms (Finnemore & Sikkink 1998:898). The absence of international norms at this phase allows leader states to emerge and to enact a norm before it receives widespread international acceptance through international declarations (Hawkins & Humes 2002:241). During the norm emergence phase, activists are the main actors. Their success or ability to convince the state to embrace new norms condemning violence against women depends on two determinant factors: autonomy and political opportunities. The Concept of Autonomy The principle of autonomy emerged as an issue for the womens movement with the second wave of feminism during the 1970s and early 1980s. Disenchanted with authoritarian and male institutions or organizations, women activists decided to create autonomous organizations independent from political parties, the state, or from other groups in the society. Molyneux argues that autonomous organizations () are characterized by independent actions, where women organize on the basis of self activity, set their own goals, and decide their own forms of organizations and must recognize no superior authority, nor be subject to the governance of other political agencies (Molyneux 1998:70). In the same vein, Weldon describes womens movement autonomy as when they have an organizational basis external to political parties, or other organizations such as unions or even from organizations that do not make womens issues their first concern (Weldon 2002:80). The principle of autonomy has been also explained as a process enabling women to express and prioritize their interests more clearly and has become a political strategy that allows womens negotiation with other political actors (Vargas &

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22 Wieringa 1998:8). Autonomy allows the development and the consolidation of womens own agenda and to put forward their ideas when they interact with the society and the state. Today, many scholars still identify womens movement autonomy as an important component for policy change (Elman 1996, Vargas & Olea 1997, Vargas 2002, Weldon 2002). In a comparative study of the impact of the womens movement in the United States and Sweden with respect to the adoption of domestic violence policy, Amy Elman (1996) concludes that government response to violence against women, and the adoption of a law protecting battered women, depends on the articulation of the issue by a strong autonomous womens movement. Elman observed that American feminists who pursued an agenda through an autonomous womens movement were able to pressure the state from the outside to adopt a law that would protect battered women. On the other hand, Swedish feminists relied upon the traditional political system, such as partisan alliances and state bureaucracies, to press for womens interests. The strategy was less successful and the government did not articulate effective policies on violence against women. In a cross-national comparison of eight countries that enacted policies on violence against women, Laurel Weldon (2002) also argues also that government responsiveness is likely to be determined by the presence of a strong, autonomous womens movement that draws on and reinforces state institutions designed to promote the status of women. Weldon considers that a strong and autonomous womens movement is able to create enough awareness through their actions and discourses, receiving public attention from government and among people that are not movement members. In the same vein, Hawkins and Humes note that when womens groups are autonomous from the state or

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23 political parties they will be able to more effectively raise public consciousness about the issue and to push for policy change (Ibid. 2002:233). Awareness generally begins with small consciousness-raising groups where women begin to discuss their gender oppression. In the United States feminist groups began to raise awareness through small-scale mutual aid projects or community service projects that helped women develop solidarity, education and activism outside the political realm (Elman 1996:25). Such initiatives helped change womens attitudes, and their assumptions about gender domination in their daily lives. Carol Mueller (1988) argues that developing consciousness among women helps to sustain the political force of the movement. Womens cultural production such as magazines, books, movies, TV programs, theater, and more conventional strategies or protest politics such as street protests, marches, petitions and lobbying foster discussion of violence against women among the population (Weldon 2002:69-70). The various tactics articulated by autonomous women movement raise awareness within the population, and serve to translate their agenda into the public policy arena. The autonomy of the womens movement is therefore key to the development of government policy on violence against women because it allows those groups to articulate a perspective based on their reality as women. Being involved in autonomous groups allow the womens movement to focus on their gender priorities and to elaborate their own programs of actions, debate their own goals, tactics and strategy free from outside influence (Molyneux 1998:70). Autonomy and independence also permit the womens movement to distribute resources in a way that draws public attention on their particular matters. However, according to some scholars (Jaquette 1994, Hawkins and

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24 Humes 2002, Weldon 2002) while a strong autonomous womens movement is necessary for the initial articulation of violence against women as a public issue, it is not sufficient to determine the impact on policy and to provoke a government response. Autonomy alone is a weak strategy and is likely to result in womens organizations being denied the resources they need (Jaquette 1994:232). Thus, another fundamental variable is necessary to the process of policy change in the context of domestic violence law. I turn now to the notion of political opportunity, the second factor necessary within the theoretical framework that I draw upon. Political Opportunities Autonomy and consciousness arising are necessary but not sufficient to the development of policy changes. The second requirement is political opportunity. In the two-stage model process, political opportunity refers to any event or broad process that serves to undermine the calculations and assumptions on which the political establishment is structured occasions a shift in political opportunities (McAdam 1982:41). In her research on the impact of the womens movement on policy, Costain (1982:15) describes political opportunities as determined by the openness of the political system to new interests, the instability of the regime, the womens movements ability to reach allies and supporters, and the psychological readiness of excluded members. Political opportunity structure allows activists to push for changes in state policy and it is linked to the opening of a political opportunity, elite alliances, the presence of allies within the state, and the state's repressive capacity. The openness of the political system increases political activism on the part of excluded groups either by seriously undermining the stability of the entire political system or by increasing the political leverage of a single insurgent group (McAdam

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25 1982:42). Hawkins and Humes mention that a policy window may occur when crises generate a need for a political solution. Examples included economic decline, or an important shift in state political power. During such periods policy propositions promoted by activists may reach the top of the political agenda as decision makers search for solutions to the crisis or for new ideas to distinguish themselves from previous office holders (Hawkins and Humes 2002:241). In that phase, activist proposals are more likely to receive a serious consideration from the state, which appears willing to engage in debates on different issues. The following section applies the two-stage model of norm diffusion to demonstrate the strategies taken by the Peruvian feminist movement to press for legislative changes under a context of political opportunity. Application of the Two-Stage Model to Peru Peru has ratified most of the international conventions concerning womens rights and has taken a number of initiatives to address discrimination and violence against women. In 1982, Peru ratified the United Nations Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Following Brazils initiative, the Peruvian government established in 1988 the first womens police stations in Lima. In 1993 the Family Violence Law was adopted as well as the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women. In 1996 Peru ratified the Inter-American Convention for the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence, created the Womens Rights division within the Office of the Peoples Ombudsman and established the Ministry of Advancement of Women and Human Development (PROMUDEH). The Family

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26 Violence Law was modified in 1997 and, in 1999 PROMUDEH 1 inaugurated the first Women Emergency Center for victims of domestic violence where women can consult with female police officers, medical examiners, and state prosecutors. Finally, in 2001, Peru adopted the National Plan on Violence Against Women 2002-2007. The Peruvian womens movement has played an important role in the ratification of these international conventions, and in the development of these national governmental initiatives. Moreover, by pressuring the government to adopt a norm that would recognize the magnitude of domestic violence and penalize it, the Peruvian womens movement has been involved in one of the most important achievements realized by women in the country. Throughout the 80s and early 90s, the womens movement has taken an active and fundamental role in redefining a once private and familial matter into a public and political issue. The following section provides a brief historical review of the demands made by the womens movement in the 80s, highlighting how it was specifically the feminists that first draw public attention on violence against women. I will further apply the two-stage model of norm diffusion to Peru to illustrate how the autonomy of the womens movement and the political opportunity play out in the Peruvian case. The Feminist Movement: a Key Actor The end of the 70s and beginning of the 80s brought women together by the emergence of the political Left, the feminist discourse, the problem of reproduction under condition of poverty, the economic collapse and the social crisis it entailed (Barrig 1994 and Blondet 1995). Those issues affected women differently and created a womens 1 Recently, the name of the Ministerio de Promocin de la Mujer y Desarollo Humano has been changed for the Ministerio de la Mujer y del Desarollo Social.

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27 movement composed of three principal actors: party activists, grassroots organizations, and feminist groups. Sometimes working together and sometimes working separately women took the streets voicing their demands on issues that affected their condition as women, as mothers, or both. The general popular effervescence generated by street mobilization, strikes and the intense political activity in Peru at that particular time helped to create a belief that political and social change were possible. The female party activists were mostly composed of female university students on the political New Left, which was trying to strengthen ties to grassroots organizations to consolidate a basis for their political party (Blondet 1995:260). At first, women activists principal interests were oriented toward class struggle and were not concerned by womens needs and daily realities. They sought to increase womens political consciousness by defending traditional party projects without making connection to issues such as male political dominance and other womens concerns. Violence against women was not an initial preoccupation of those activists. However, over time women party activists became aware of their own marginality and lack of voice within the party (Barrig 1994 and Blondet 1995). Grassroots organizations composed of women from the lower strata of the urban society were concerned with issues such as health, economic needs and family wellbeing. Through grassroots organizations, such as the communal kitchen or the municipal Glass of Milk Program that aimed to distribute one glass of milk a day to children and pregnant and breast-feeding women, women mobilized on the basis of their traditional gender roles within the domestic sphere. By their engagement in daily and self-help strategy womens grassroots organizations provided short-term and temporary solutions compensating for

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28 the lack of services that should have been offered by the state: these grassroots organizations did no try to resolve and confront long-term problems of gender relationship, class struggle or the inefficient and unequal redistributive capacity of the state (Barrig 1994:166). Women from shantytown organizations mobilized based on their own practical gender interests, which are defined as a response to an immediate perceived need and did not generally attempt to challenge womens emancipation or gender equality (Molyneux 2001:44). Although they reflect womens daily and immediate experiences, practical gender interests do not aim to challenge womens subordination and might reinforce womens traditional role within the society. By focusing on the family as the fundamental unit in womens life, shantytown organizations did not attempt initially to resolve and assess gender violence problems. However, through those groups women learned to speak and to express their thoughts, ideas and opinions while realizing that other woman were living in similar situations. By participating in such organizations, women shared solidarity, cooperation, learned to perform new tasks, and began to confront and negotiate with their husbands who did not look favorably on their wives working outside the home (Vargas 1989:89-91). By being involved in such organizations, victims of violence began to express themselves about their personal situation. According to my interviews, by 1985 women active within shantytown organizations and pobladores were having group discussions regarding the issue of domestic violence. 2 Over time women participating in political parties and in grassroots organizations became aware of a number of issues affecting them, and grew sensitive to the issue of 2 Authors interview with a lawyer from the Flora Tristan Center,Lima, May 19, 2004.

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29 domestic violence. By their participation in marches, protests or workshops, those women provided an important support for the struggle on violence against women. However, based on the initial claims of those women involved in political parties and survival groups, violence against women was firstly address by feminist groups. As in other countries in Latin America, the United Nations Decade for Women and the democratization process stimulated the re-emergence of the feminist movement. Feminist groups mobilized based on their strategic gender interests which are those linked with the analysis of womens subordination. Their focus has been strategies to overcome the sexual division of labor, control of their reproduction, the alleviation of the burden of domestic labor and childcare, the removal of institutionalized forms of discrimination, political equality, and ending gender violence (Molyneux 2001:43). Different studies have demonstrated that the Latin American feminist movement was the first actor to articulate the issue of the violence against women, building the foundations that entailed grassroots mobilizations (Elman 1996, Molyneux 2001, Weldon 2002). Based on my interviews, Peruvian feminists have been the first actors involved in pressuring the government to acknowledge a policy that would recognize domestic violence as a public concern. For this reason, in this study I focus on leader groups that brought about policy change regarding domestic violence rather than mass behavior or grassroots support. The adoption of measures to assess male violence and control over women were part of the objectives of feminist groups and are the point of departure to trace how the feminist movement throughout years influenced Peruvian authorities to adopt the Family Violence Law. I will now turn to the application of the two-stage model of norm diffusion to explain the adoption of the law on domestic violence in Peru.

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30 The Development of Autonomy and Consciousness in Peru In Peru, feminist groups adopted the principle of autonomy during the early 80s as an essential political strategy to establish independence at the organizational and ideological levels. As noted by Virginia Vargas, autonomy allowed the creation of a political space based on gender interests, further allowing women to develop a collective consciousness that made visible the oppressed situation experienced by them. Subsequently, this allowed them to avoid and decrease the rises of cooptation by patriarchal institution (Vargas 1989:26-27). For the Peruvian feminist movement, autonomy represented the core of the democratic project, which would enable women to determine their own actions and create their own political alternatives (Vargas and Olea 1997:41). During the 80s, feminists were practicing a defensive autonomy characterized by confrontation with the authorities, as they grew stronger as a movement and individually. In 1981, the First Latin American Feminist Encounter in Bogot, labeled Por la reafirmacin de la autonomi feminista y su compromiso con la realidad continental recognized and reiterated the need for an autonomous movement (Salazar 2001:184). In 1983, the defense of autonomy came to the forefront during the Second Latin American Feminist Encounter held in Lima, which highlighted feminists criticisms of conventional politics and machismo in political parties. Moreover, this Encounter created a division between feminists and female party activists. Before these encounters, feminist organizations (such as Flora Tristan, the Manuela Ramos Movement, Women in Struggle, and the Womens Socialist Front) had an agenda that highlighted womens participation in the class struggle, and they often consisted of militants affiliated to Left parties (Salazar 2001:165-168). These feminist organizations practiced socialist feminism, which links the problem of class and gender by recognizing

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31 social inequality while at the same time focusing on womens subordination (Blondet 1995:258). However, during the Second Feminist Encounter, Peruvian feminists declared themselves feministas a secas and stopped adopting a socialist approach. By orienting themselves as part of a more radical struggle to improve womens lives, feminists hoped to distinguish themselves from other institutions as well as national political activity. As mentioned, this decision led to the establishment of two feminist currents with two different fields of action. The Leftist feminist political party militants claimed that feminist activists were abandoning the class struggle and were loosing their political identity. Those militants decided, instead, to concentrate their participation on preparing governmental programs aimed at reducing poor womens marginalization (Blondet 1995:259). The feminist activists identified as bourgeois by left politicians, concentrated on building an autonomous movement that would heighten womens awareness regarding the oppressiveness of patriarchal power. This new way of doing politics involved questioning traditional political action and was considered an approach to overcome womens oppression in the private and public spheres (Vargas 1989:76). However, the concept of autonomy had some limits, which was demonstrated in 1985 when two feminists participated as independent candidates in the general elections for President and as members of parliament (Barrig 1994:164). By running solely on strategic gender interests (such as gender equality, sexual and gendered violence, control of reproduction, and sexual division of labor), feminist candidates did not garner enough resonance among women from grassroots organizations; as such, neither candidate was elected. Indeed, the feminist movement realized the need to create deeper alliances with

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32 womens grassroots organizations and to build stronger ties with women from other sectors (Vargas 1989: 83). Raising consciousness among women has always been part of the original objectives since the emergence of feminist organizations. By the end of the 70s, the Flora Tristan Center for the Peruvian Woman, the Manuela Ramos Movement, Women in Struggle, and the Womens Socialist Front were developing small informal groups called Centros de Accin y Promocin. These groups were designed to take action on particular issues and to raise consciousness concerning womens oppression and exclusion from the economic, political and social arena (Vargas 1989:97). The three fundamental issues that accompanied the emergence of the feminist movement at that time were political participation, ending with domestic violence, and sexual and reproductive rights. 3 All feminist NGOs mentioned that during the 80s, feminist activists aimed to make violence against women more visible; to highlight gendered power relations within the private sphere; and to transfer what was considered a private family issue into the public arena. In other words, feminists main goal was to achieve public recognition of domestic violence and to raise consciousness about the problem. By adopting the phrase, the personal is the political feminists attempted to bring together personal and political dimensions in order to transform womens daily reality (Vargas 1989:78). In order to address domestic violence and to raise public consciousness, feminists undertook different initiatives such as cultural productions, protest politics, and everyday politics. (Weldon 2002:68-70) 3 Authors interview with an activist from the Flora Tristan Center, Lima, June 2, 2004.

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33 The first significant political action organized by feminist groups followed the first Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Encounter, which designated November 25 th as the International Day Against Violence Against Women. On November 25, 1981 Peruvian feminist groups in Lima organized the first march for the Da de No Ms Violencia Contra la Mujer. This march brought together 300 women, who came to protest violence within the household and to denounce sexual harassment, torture in prison, violence towards prostitutes, and womens marginalization (Salazar 2001:185). According to activists of the period, this protest became the first feminist public manifestation that delivered concrete outcomes for feminists in Peru (Vargas and Olea 1997:29). To further protest and denounce violence against women, the feminist movement supported additional international days on violence against women and organized different activities, such as music festivals, marches, panels, poetry readings, and drawing competitions. In particular, feminists used many cultural productions to make public their ideology and to raise public consciousness about different womens issues. In 1980, the first feminist magazine, Women and Society was published in order to stress womens oppression and exploitation. The magazine editors organized photo expositions entitled Mujeres Ven a Mujeres, and in 1984, the magazine Viva, published by Flora Tristan, was first published (Salazar 2001:178, 195). Feminists also interwove themes of violence against women into campaigns, public discourses and workshops. In the period 1985 to 1990, the feminist movement broadened their social bases and strengthened their relationships with grassroots organizations by taking part in their activities, such as with the Urban Womens Popular Movement. In 1987, the feminists organized the first National Feminist Encounter where women from

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34 different social sectors attended workshops on power and violence, state policies, the political conjuncture, and perspectives of the feminist movement (Vargas and Olea 1997:32). In another campaign in the mid-1980s, entitled Breaking the Silence, women were invited to discuss and denounce violence. This particular activity strove to enhance awareness regarding violence against women and through speak-outs women were encouraged to stand up and tell their story of victimization in a public forum. According to a DEMUS activist, this campaigns mobilization led to the creation of the first women police office in Lima in 1988. 4 In 1989, the Flora Tristan Center signed an agreement with the Ministry of the Interior to provide workshops on domestic violence to female officers and to establish legal orientation within womens police stations. Collaboration with womens police stations regarding violence against women allowed the Flora Tristan Center to observe police work, to visualize the problem, and subsequently, to use their observations to create law. 5 The development of feminist efforts (including campaigns, political action, discourses and ideology) allowed feminist groups to discuss the formulation of a bill that would condemn violence against women. The World Conference of Women held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1985 was the first international condemnation of violence against women. As such, it helped feminist groups to strengthen their position on violence and to develop a law that would assure battered women access to the judicial system. Moreover, the Flora Tristan Center, the Manuela Ramos Movement, the Aurora Vivar Association, 4 Authors interview realized with the coordinator of DEMUS, Lima, May 28, 2004. 5 Authors interview realized with a lawyer from the Flora Tristan Center, Lima, May 19, 2004. To some extent, the agreement between the Flora Tristan Center and the Ministry of Interior led to an incursion into electoral politics, aiming to increase political action on domestic violence punishment.

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35 and Women and Society began to formulate domestic violence legislation with the hope of having President Alan Garcia (1985-1990) approve it. Even though feminists were aware that some European countries were only just beginning to discuss domestic violence legislation, Peruvian womens groups drew up their first bill condemning domestic violence on their own without being able to refer to international texts or legislation and without strong support from international womens networks (Hawkins and Humes 2002:247). However, the Garcia government paid little attention to feminist demands and was more concerned with the economic crisis that ravaged Peru at that time. The previous reconstruction of the activities organized by the feminist movement highlights importance of the autonomy of the feminist movement and its impact on the womens movement. The concept of autonomy has always created conflict within the womens movement in Peru as well as in many countries in Latin America. The division between the feminist bourgeois and the Leftist feminist militants had an impact on the strength and the autonomy of the feminist movement. Despite this division, I believe that throughout the 80s the movement has been able to gain important levels of autonomy and mobilization because of the consciousness developed among women, particularly those in grassroots organizations. The Peruvian feminist movement has been able to maintain their autonomy regarding political parties and other governmental institutions, which allowed them to develop actions to pressure the state on strategic concerns (such as domestic violence) and to draft legislation on their own. These initiatives demonstrate that feminist groups have been the first actors to work on domestic violence. Through their activities they reached a larger segment of the womens movement that soon became aware of the problematic and became involved in

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36 the struggle on domestic violence. Moreover, according to the feminist organizations interviewed for the present study, the most important achievement of the feminist movement in the 80s was the rise in consciousness regarding violence against women within the household and, subsequently, the public sphere. By claiming the private dimension as a political one, feminists have been able to label issues that take place in the private sphere (such as gendered power relationships, sexuality and violence against feminists) as being political concerns that need to be addressed by institutions. As one participant from the Flora Tristan Center mentioned, the main realization in terms of violence against women has been to gain access to the public space and to denounce such violence (); the second achievement has been to make the state accountable for a social problem that it is not only a personal issue; finally the feminist movement allowed women to break the silence on their personal situation. 6 I, thus, believe that the autonomy of the feminist movement allowed sufficient awareness about domestic violence to develop as proved through their actions and discourses to increase consciousness among women and society, in general. I will turn now to the political opportunities that helped women push for legislation on domestic violence. Political Opportunities Under Fujimoris Government In early 1990, the feminist coalition working on the advancement of the domestic violence law created FORO-MUJER to open discussion with female parliamentary members about preoccupations on womens problems. The objectives of FORO-MUJER were to influence decisions taken at the legislative and executive levels. As such, the goals included creating a political agenda of legal initiatives that would favor womens 6 Authors interview with an activist from the Flora Tristan, Lima, June 2, 2004.

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37 rights concerning increasing womens political participation; the elaboration of non-discriminatory politics; the acknowledgement of autonomous womens organizations; the right to participate in politics; and equal access to labor (Vargas and Olea 1997: 33). By diversifying their interactions with women to include those from other political positions, feminist groups developed strategic alliances with female legislators and women in high-level positions within the state. By overcoming their political differences feminists, Congresswomen and women from the public administration interacted in a triangle of empowerment aiming to promote womens claims, to transform them into policy issues and to expand politic support for their gender agenda (Vargas and Wieringa 1998:3). One of the first issues discussed within FORO-MUJER was violence against women. 7 In February 1991, FORO-MUJER met with Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori to discuss the governments position towards the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which had been ratified by Peru in 1982. Among the different issues discussed during that meeting, FORO-MUJER reaffirmed the importance of considering violence against women as a crime against life and stressed the need to work on penal reform protecting battered women. During those years, FORO-MUJER developed a bill entitled Violence against Women that was promoted in Congress primarily by Congresswomen Lourdes Flores of the Popular Christian Party. To promote the bill, feminist groups also used other strategies such as TV spots, interviews on television, and investigations, while at the same time working at the 7 Authors interview realized with an activist from the Manuela Ramos Movement, Lima, May 20, 2004.

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38 grassroots level (i.e. providing workshops to female victims, national police, public authorities and state prosecutors). 8 Under paradoxical circumstances resulting from the transition to an anti-democratic framework, a window of opportunity finally began to appear on April 5, 1992. It was then that Alberto Fujimori announced what many have called an autogolpe, or self-inflicted coup, in a 22minute television address saying: The country should understand that the temporary and partial suspension of the existing legality is not a denial of real democracy and I will reorganize the government for an honest and efficient administration of justice (Washington Post April 6, 1992). Promising to build a true democracy through a Government of Emergency and National Reconstruction, Fujimoris autogolpe attempted to impose radical changes on the governments structure: to provide greater legislative efficacy; to end judicial corruption; to modernize the state bureaucracy; to end drug trafficking and terrorism generated by the Shining Path guerilla movement; and to continue the implementation of a free market economy (Rochabrun 1996:4). Fujimori then suspended the 1979 Constitution, arrested several opposition leaders, disbanded Congress, and dismantled the judicial system. Great pressure from the international financial community, the United States, and the Organization of the American States caused Fujimori, however, to curb his position. During a meeting with all OAS members, Fujimori promised that within five months he would hold elections for a Constitutional Congressional Assembly, which would include political opponents that will have the power to pass law, and he would rewrite the countrys constitution (Hockstader 1992). Political opportunity for women to place their 8 Ibid.

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39 concerns within the public agenda arose during the Congressional elections held in November of 1992. All the political parties were divided on their participation in the election and, as a result, became fragmented into a dozen different groups. They were not able to generate a clear statement, nor could they achieve a high electoral score (McClintock 1993:119). Paradoxically, the division among the political parties provided some important opportunities for feminist groups because it brought the independent organizations back into the political limelight (Barrig 1998:110). The abstention of the main political parties and political leaders in this election ensured the participation of a number of unknown movements and community groups. The number of independent participants also rose because voters lost confidence in political parties and their capacity to act as efficient channels between the state and the population (Blondet 2002). Both the absence and the weakness of political parties helped the feminists to put the issue of domestic violence on the public agenda at a time when traditional means of participation and expression were denied by Fujimoris regime. It is paradoxical that during such a period where democracy was repressed that feminist achieved the enactment of the Family Violence Law. 9 During that period, women leaders received more media attention: they were filmed, photographed, and interviewed. All this allowed feminists to make their demands more visible to the public as well as members of congress (Barrig 1998:111). These circumstances opened up opportunities for feminist groups and congresswomen to 9 Even more paradoxical is the fact that Fujimoris authoritarian regime has done more than any of his predecessors in terms of enacting womens policies and creating institutions for women. Moreover, he was the only president of the world to attend the Beijing Conference in 1995, publicly defending womens rights. Barrig (2001:34) and Vargas (2002:213) argue that the adoption of such legal measure under an authoritarian context undermine the victories realized by feminists because the law was ratified to fit with Fujimoris machinations rather than having a real impact on womens life. As such the law defends the family unit rather than gender violence.

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40 place their demands concerning domestic violence legislation at the top of the public agenda. The combination of this political opportunity and feminists efforts led to Congress approving the Family Violence Law in December 1993. 10 The absence of major political parties is one of the factors that may explain Congress ratification of the law. Other elements previously discussed are also relevant. As I mentioned, political opportunities may be described by political openness to new interests, instability of the regime, allies influence, and supporters psychological readiness to push for common claims. The year following Fujimoris autogolpe was a year of intense economic and political instability. Fujimori held Congressional elections in order to legitimize his government within the international community as well as within the national population. Internationally, Fujimori was concerned about receiving economic aid and reestablishing his international reputation. And nationally, the President hoped to minimize political opposition that might impede the implementation of his structural reforms. In general, the regimes instability created a favorable context for feminists demands, and it partly explains why Fujimoris government was receptive to new issues such as domestic violence. Under this context of authoritarism and instability, Fujimori was trying to reinforce his position; womens electorate potential appeared to be a great strategy. Women from grassroots organizations represented important political support base that could help legitimize Fujimoris government. As Costain (1992) mentions, womens block of votes began to attract attention, making politicians consider strategically the value of appealing 10 The official name for the Family Violence Law is the Ley de Proteccin Frente a la Violencia Familiar (the Law for Protection from Family Violence) and it is also referred as the Law No. 26260. The Law No. 26763 adopted important amendments to the Law No. 26260 in June 1997.

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41 to women. Alberto Fujimori, thus, had personal interests in embracing measures that would promote womens rights; norms that would publicly acknowledge domestic violence for the first time in Latin America; and, consequently, to garner from the womens movement. The ratification of the Family Violence Law was part of a series of measures adopted by Fujimori targeting women of different social levels and aimed at attracting womens votes as well as reestablishing Fujimoris international reputation under the banner of antimachismo and equity (Blondet 2002:281). This argument supports the view of my informants. They maintain that Fujimoris personal interests and political machinations partly explain the ratification of the law. 11 In sum, this period of crisis and electoral instability was part of the policy window that allowed women to place their claims at the top of the public agenda. However, by turning the feminist proposal on violence against women into a law, Fujimoris government hijacked and co-opted the issue. Indeed, initially the bill was named Ley de Violencia contra la Mujer but just before receiving the official Congresss approbation, Fujimori changed the name of the law for Ley de Proteccin frente a la Violencia Familiar. 12 Many informants mentioned that they lost an important part of their initial objectives because the law focuses only on family violence instead of the many forms of violence against women and ignores the power relationships embedded in domestic violence: the family nucleus is perceived as more important than 11 Authors interview with a lawyer from the Manuela Ramos Movement Lima, May 20, 2004, and an activist from the Flora Tristan Center Lima, on June 2, 2004. 12 Authors interview with an activist from Flora Tristan Lima, June 2, 2004.

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42 violence against women. 13 As explained by Jeannette Llaja, a lawyer working for DEMUS: El moviento feministe pierde cuando consigue une Ley de Violencia Familiar y no una Ley de Violencia contra la Mujer. Hay difusin del problema pero descontextualiza el tema de la relacin de poder que est detrs de la violencia. La Ley esta muy distante de considerarlo como una violacion a los derechos humanos, la presenta como une conflicto familiar et de communicacin (CLADEM 2004). Although the issue has been coopted by the government, the law was considered as a score for the feminist movement and interactions between different actors have been crucial. The alliances made through FORO-MUJER between feminist groups, congressional leaders and government officials also had an important impact on the adoption of this law. As mentioned, Congresswomen Lourdes Flores Nano played a particularly important role presenting and promoting the bill to Congress. According to Weldon (2002:97), winning a successful policy on violence against women depends heavily on whether or not the female promoter is influential enough to affect policy, and whether there is a strong autonomous womens movement. Lourdes Flores is a recognized figure in Peru today and was an important opposition leader under Fujimoris regime (Blondet 2002). Moreover, the womens movement provided the basis and the external support to legitimize the policy on domestic violence, and FORO-MUJER helped to counterbalance internal resistance within the government. Female allies in government and Congress have, thus, played an important role in the adoption of the Family Violence Law. Moreover, domestic violence was considered a problem of direct concern to women and, as such, established a convergence of interests with female deputies in Congress that were not part of FORO-MUJER. All congresswomen voted in 13 Authors interview with the coordinator of CLADEM-Peru Lima, June 1, 2004.

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43 favor of the ratification of the law despite their differing political affiliations (Blondet 2002:297). Therefore, the presence of allies and policymakers interested in feminist proposals helped the adoption of the Family Violence Law. This corroborates Weldons (2002:163) observation that most policies on violence against women are products of partnerships between womens movement and sympathetic insiders. Psychological readiness is another factor that influenced the political opportunities available for a womens movement to form and achieve their political goals (Costain 1992:15). As previously mentioned, throughout the 80s the womens movement worked on developing a consciousness regarding violence, and in the early 90s, women were paying attention. Women were organically and psychologically ready to assign the government responsibility for assessing the problem. Organically in the sense that women were structurally ready; for example womens participation in FORO-MUJER shows that they were organized to press for the adoption of legislation on violence against women. Additionally, an important number of women had changed their traditional focus on home and family and were psychologically ready to pressure the government to address gender violence, gender equality and ending with womens subordination. As such, the adoption of the law received important support from the womens movement, and all women in Congress voted for the adoption of the legislation. Finally, the international context focusing on womens human rights and the adoption by Peru of the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (DEVAW) in June 1993 also pressured Fujimoris government to adopt legislation on violence. Women had initiated the legislative process well before the international norm was adopted. Throughout the 80s and early 90s, feminists have been critical for

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44 identifying the issue, raising consciousness and translating domestic violence into the public policy agenda. Helped by a favorable political context in the early 90s, as well as support from the womens movement, the feminists were able to pressure the government to adopt a norm against domestic violence. Table 1. National Legislation on Domestic Violence Peru Law No.26260 adopted in December 1993 Law for Family Protection Chile Law No.19.325 adopted in August 1994 Establishing Standard Procedures and Penalties for Acts of Violence within the Family United-States Law No 103-322 adopted in September 1994, Violence against Women Argentina Law No.24.417 adopted in December 1994, Protection against Family Violence Panama Law 27 adopted in 1995 Uruguay Law 16707 adopted in July 1995, Law on the Safety of Citizens Ecuador Law adopted in November 1995, Law against Violence toward Women and the Family Bolivia Law No.1674 adopted in December 1995, Law against Domestic and Family Violence Costa Rica Law adopted in March 1996, Law against Domestic violence Colombia Law adopted in July 1996, Law on Domestic Violence El Salvador Law No. 902 adopted in September 1996, Law against Family Violence Guatemala Law No.9796 adopted in 1996, Law to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Family Violence Nicaragua Law containing amendments and additions to the 1996 Penal Code Dominican Republic Law 9497 adopted in 1997, Law Defining Domestic Violence, Sexual Harassment, and Incest as Crimes Honduras Law No.132-97 adopted in 1997 Law against Domestic Violence Mexico Law adopted in December 1997, Law against Domestic Violence Venezuela Law adopted in September 1998, Law on Violence against Women and the Family Canada State without national-level legislation Brazil State without national-level legislation Paraguay State without national-level legislation SOURCE: Inter-American Commission of Women, First Biennial Report of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) on Compliance with Resolution AG/RES. 1456 (XXVII-O/97). June 1999. Modified from Hawkins and Humes (2002:236). Conclusion Following the two-stage model of norm diffusion described by Hawkins and Humes (2002), I have demonstrated in this chapter how the feminist section of the womens movement in Peru and the window of opportunities under Fujimoris government contributed to the adoption of the Family Violence Law. National feminist groups have taken different strategies to maintain their autonomy and to develop

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45 consciousness regarding the issue of domestic violence. The particular anti-democratic circumstances that allowed the opening of the system and national pressure made Peru a leading state in the adoption of the Family Violence Law. In the next chapter, I will explore the implementation problems of the Family Violence Law and the new challenges faced by the womens movement in the 90s. I will analyze how the womens movement changed their strategies to focus more on a rights-based approach and how structural, cultural and internal problems constrains womens movement approach to work for a better implementation of the law.

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CHAPTER 3 THE RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FAMILY VIOLENCE LAW Introduction The previous chapter was concerned with the different strategies developed by the feminist movement to pressure the government to adopt national legislation condemning domestic violence and the particular political context that allowed the Law for Protection from Family Violence (hereinafter Family Violence Law) to be ratified. This chapter addresses the second step undertaken by the feminist NGOs in their long-term project to tackle domestic violence, their efforts to assure the law was implemented. The two objectives of this chapter are, first, to discuss feminist NGOs changing approach to domestic violence within an evolving international context, and second, the obstacles that undermined their efforts to implement the Family Violence Law. In Latin America the end of the 1980s and the decade of the 1990s was a period characterized by democratic transitions. Justice and good governance became part of the political agenda adopted by most of the countries in the region. Additionally, a discourse based on rights became a condition for strengthening democratic society by placing social, economic and human rights at the forefront of Latin American policy debates. Revitalized through this discourse, womens rights gained special attention and were declared at the World Conference of Human Rights in Vienna in 1993 as an inalienable, integral and an indivisible part of universal human rights. Over the course of the 1990s, civilian governments from the region became accountable for their commitments to 46

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47 democracy and human rights through international conventions that resulted from United Nations conferences, through regional agreements of the Organization of the American States and through the ratification of national legislation. This formal acknowledgement created further international and national debates between governments and activists over implementation. This new international political context entailed a change for NGOs. From the late 1980s and beginning of the 1990s, NGOs started to adopt a rights-based approach that reflected these changes within the region: they began to develop projects and programs focusing on citizenship, rights and commitments to democratic practices. Vargas argues that the rights-based discourse adopted during that decade involved a broader range of interests, characterized by unprecedented forms of contacts or relationships between the state and civil society (Ibid. 2002:206). Molyneux and Lazar (2003) have studied the changes in NGOs work in Latin America, and they stress the NGOs rights-based approach as a working and developing project that integrates some or all of the following parameters: having a clear focus on rights as well as gender, culture, ethnicity, religion, or age; giving particular attention to empowerment; increasing participation in formal and informal decision-making processes; having an emphasis on democracy, that involves not only an engagement in some way with governmental processes at international, national or local level, but also includes internal democracy and a participatory relationship with users; promoting projects aiming to bring changes within the society at large as well as improving the lives of the project users (Ibid. 2003:6-7). As such, many NGOs began to develop projects focusing on the improvement of leadership skills among women in order to increase their access to the political apparatus.

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48 Civil society organizations became involved in the electoral process, and a number of projects aimed at improving the empowerment of low-income groups such as women, indigenous peoples, and children (Ibid. 2003:32). Additionally, NGOs used a language based on citizenship to deepen democracy and to extend the struggle for gender equality to the struggle for the right to have rights (Dagnino 1998). As analyzed by Vargas, this formulation includes the right to equality as well as the right to be different and allows the expansion of rights and the identification of unrecognized rights rather than their limitation to those that have already been defined (Ibid. 2002:204). During the 90s, womens NGOs that had often developed from the womens movement, became very active, undertaking a rights-based strategy where they worked at the grassroots level and lobbied governments for legal reforms that promote and protect womens rights while monitoring government compliance with international conventions and national laws. This general framework leads me to turn now to the rights-based approach developed by Peruvian feminist NGOs and how they used this rights strategy to work for the implementation of the Family Violence Law. The Implementation of the Family Violence Law The Manuela Ramos Movement, the Peruvian Womens Center Flora Tristan, DEMUS, and CLADEM are the four NGOs that participated in my research. Based on my interviews with their representatives, these NGOs present themselves as feminist organizations and use a rights-based approach, arguing that for women to achieve rights they must be free from violence. They work at different levels to improve the implementation of the Family Violence Law. These feminist organizations have a clear focus on womens human rights and domestic violence as part of their political agendas, as well as other concerns such as femenicidio, reproductive and sexual rights, and

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49 womens rural rights. Through projects or initiatives to confront domestic violence, they aim to make the state accountable to international, regional and national conventions on violence against women. Except for CLADEM (which only works on monitoring and pressuring for accountability by the state) Manuela Ramos, Flora Tristan and DEMUS have developed different activities to increase womens empowerment. The following sections examine the proactive rights-based approach used by these feminist NGOs to increase womens empowerment and to develop state accountability regarding domestic violence. Empowerment A number of approaches have been taken to define the concept of empowerment (Deere & Lon 2001, Parpart, Rai & Staudlt 2003). As noted by Deere and Lon, empowerment is not a linear process with a well-defined beginning and ending that is the same for all women; it rather needs to be understood as a notion determined by a number of factors such as womens personal and collective experiences, relationships, family, context, history and level of subordination (Deere & Lon 2001:25). However, a number of scholars (Parpart, Rau & Staudlt 2003, Molyneux & Lazar 2003, Deere & Lon 2001) seem to agree with the work of Rowlands (1998) who argues that empowerment must be understood as including power to which is when a group stimulates the interests and activities of others. It is related to power with that relates to the ability to work collectively and cooperate in finding a common decision and finally power from within relates to individual consciousness or self-esteem (Deere and Lon 2001:24-25). In general terms, empowerment allows women to challenge their gender subordination, and patriarchal traditions, and to take control of their lives, their bodies, and their sexuality. NGOs are important actors for womens empowerment because they

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50 operate through informal learning programs such as workshops which are excluded from the education system. NGOs provide opportunities for women to acquire knowledge on a range of issues, such as gender subordination, reproductive health, domestic violence, gender and legislation, gender and politics, and others (Stromquist 2003:27). Through workshops, publicity materials, psychological and legal services to domestic violence victims, Manuela Ramos, Flora Tristan and DEMUS develop activities or services focussed on power from within, aiming to raise awareness and confidence among women. Those feminist NGOs work on a rotational basis, providing free legal and psychological services for female victims in the Lima police station for women. 1 DEMUS and Manuela Ramos provide legal and psychological consultations in their regular offices. Consultations with psychologists provide a private space where victims can discuss their individual experiences and emotions. Legal orientations with NGO lawyers provide information about womens rights and the Family Violence Law, and counsel victims about different steps that should be undertaken for their judicial cases. 2 Additionally, DEMUS organizes therapy groups with domestic violence victims, providing a space for reflection where women acquire knowledge and comprehension about domestic violence dynamics. 3 Finally, DEMUS, Manuela Ramos and Flora Tristan have organized an emergency phone lines offering consultations. 1 Since 1988 Peru followed Brazils example and established comiserias de mujeres which are special police stations mostly composed of female staff, trained to respond to domestic violence cases. In Lima metropolitan they are seven women police stations (Lima, Callao, Canto Rey, Independencia, Villa El Salvador, Collique and in the Ministry for Women and Social Development). The Ministry of Interior has also established specialized sections for the same purpose within regular police stations. 2 Authors interview with a lawyer from DEMUS, Lima, June 9, 2004. 3 Ibid.

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51 This direct and individual contact between domestic violence victims and NGO professionals allows raising womens consciousness, developing and rediscovering self-esteem and helps women in their decision-making process. By providing legal and psychological services, NGOs help individuals to make rights important on a personal level and through their rights-based work they make rights relevant to peoples daily lives (Molyneux and Lazar 2003:52). NGOs rights-based approach is also emphasized within their educational materials. Through their pamphlets, the three NGO participants provide general and practical information on domestic violence such as where victims can receive help, who are domestic violence victims, what to do in a situation of violence and expose the general myths attributed to domestic violence. The objectives of those materials aim to increase womens education about domestic violence, and incite victims to denounce violence and to consult NGOs professionals. Additionally, by insisting on myths about domestic violence and on the abnormality of violent behaviors, those educational brochures also play an important role in developing womens awareness at an individual level: they might give to women the impetus to consult or to denounce domestic violence. For these reasons, I believe that Flora Tristan, Manuela Ramos and DEMUS work on an individual basis that might lead to womens empowerment, which is one parameter of the right-based approach. State Accountability Another important component of the rights-based strategy is the emphasis of NGOs on democracy and their involvement within governmental processes, particularly by working on state accountability for international, regional and national engagements in a way that people are able to exercise their rights and to get access to justice. Indeed, the

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52 implementation of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women, and the Family Violence Law represent important implementation challenges for the state as well as for NGOs. For the purpose of my study I will concentrate only on NGOs who work to improve the implementation of the national legislation on domestic violence. One of the main factors that impede an adequate enforcement of the Family Violence Law is the work performed by the main actors responsible for the application of the legislation, such as state prosecutors, police officers, judges and forensic doctors. My interviews with those justice operators show a number of obstacles that stand in the way of the enforcement of the law: the lack of human and material resources, delays in investigation, legislative limitations, ineffective sanctions and protective measures, minimization of injuries, ideological biases, and lack of knowledge are among the factors that strongly affect the application of the Family Violence Law. By increasing their collaboration with the state, Manuela Ramos, Flora Tristan and DEMUS have taken several steps to address enforcement. Because implementation is threatened by actors biases, lack of knowledge or sensibility towards the issue, the three feminists NGOs provide workshops for justice operators aiming to increase their understanding of violence against women. Through their workshops, professionals from Manuela Ramos explain why there is gender violence, what is domestic violence and what are the myths and the cycles associated with domestic violence. 4 Flora Tristan has collaborated since 1989 with the Ministry of Interior by providing workshops to police 4 Authors interview with a lawyer from the Manuela Ramos, Lima, May 20, 2004.

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53 officers on violence against women. This agreement between Flora Tristan and the state, which was ratified under former President Garcia, allows the feminist NGO to provide information about womens human rights to police officers who will later receive victims statements in domestic violence cases. 5 During those workshops, Flora Tristan discusses the quality of attention in police stations, international and national legislation, and the legal procedures that have to be taken into account in domestic violence cases. DEMUS and Manuela Ramos have organized workshops for forensic doctors and judges to increase their sensibility toward the issues. Flora Tristan and Manuela Ramos have collaborated with the Ministry for Women and Social Development (MIMDES) 6 for the implementation of an emergency free phone service for victims of domestic violence. Another way to engage with the Peruvian state is to intervene in judicial cases. As such, DEMUS and Flora Tristan intervene in judicial leader cases because the precedent-setting legal cases might have an important impact on future legal actions. 7 At the time of the interview, DEMUS was involved in the case of a woman that had been killed by her spouse after using all legal instruments to obtain protection and justice from the courts. In another case involving an assassinated woman, DEMUS complained to the womens rights division within the Office of the Peopless Ombudsman 8 because the judge did not sentence the murderer. By being involved in such cases, DEMUS attempts 5 Authors interview with an activist from the Flora Tristan, Lima, July 2, 2004. 6 Alberto Fujimoris government created the Ministerio de Promocin de la Mujer y Desarollo Humano (PROMUDEH) in 1996 to address womens issues. Recently, the name for Ministerio de Promocin de la Mujer y Desarollo Humano has been changed for the Ministerio de la Mujer y del Desarollo Social. 7 Authors interview with a lawyer from DEMUS, Lima, June 9, 2004. 8 The Defensora Especializada de la Mujer en la Defensora del Pueblo was created in October 1996 to monitor government actions toward the protection and the promotion of womens human rights.

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54 to demonstrate that domestic violence can lead to death, thus pressing the government to implement protective and penal measures and try to make the legislation effective and enforceable. As part of their strategy to raise public awareness about violence against women and pressure the state to act regarding the increasing number of women assassinated by their spouses, DEMUS has also been engaged for two years in a campaign on feminicidio. This relatively recent phenomenon is described by DEMUS as a genocide against women that occurs when historical conditions generate social practices that violate womens integrity, health, freedom and lives (DEMUS website). By framing their campaign under the banner ni a muerta mas, DEMUS aims to create debates and discussions within the society and tries to sensitize the population about the magnitude of the violence issue. 9 By raising cases with the legal authorities and by developing a campaign on feminicidio, DEMUS creates a context that allows them to lobby and push for legislative modifications regarding the penal code and the Family Violence Law. Thus, DEMUS pressures for legislative changes, but also forces the state to be accountable and to ensure and implement protective and punitive measures within the Family Violence Law. 10 Although Flora Tristan and Manuela Ramos did not embrace a campaign on feminicidio, their lobbying activities pressured the government to respect international and national legislation and they monitor government actions. To force the government to face implementation problems, Manuela Ramos and Flora Tristan published in 2003 a 9 Ibid. 10 Authors interview with a lawyer from DEMUS, Lima, June 9, 2004.

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55 number of articles on the quality of attention by justice operators, such as Family and Sexual Violence: a diagnostic on attention services (Macassi Lon 2003b). This academic research financed by international donors aims to provide an accurate representation of the implementation of the Family Violence Law by justice operators and to lobby for modifications based on the results of the research. 11 Flora Tristan published a report in 2003 on family and sexual violence assessing the current level of violence, public policies, legislative answers and legal and institutional obstacles incompatible with the Family Violence Law. In the same vein, CLADEM published a report in 2003 on the National Balance on Domestic Violence in Peru which assesses government and NGO actions to tackle domestic violence problems and the changes and challenges to improve the situation. Flora Tristan lobbies for the modification of the Peruvian Criminal Code. The NGO published an article on necessary changes to reform the Criminal code and to condemn family violence misdemeanor as a crime against life, body, and health (Macassi Lon 2003a). Until today, when the assault is classified as a misdemeanor, there is no penal sanction because the Family Violence Law is a civil law. Therefore, those publications provide a framework for NGOs to promote and lobby for policy changes, law implementation and pressure the state to enforce legislation. Another important strategy for feminist NGOs is to work through espacios de concertacin where they create alliances with other civil society organizations. This space for dialogue helps to generate discussion between various non-profit groups that might increase grassroots support when feminist organizations present bills to the Congress, and can also lead to coordinated actions in monitoring government actions. 11 Authors interview with the coordinator of the womens human rights program in the Flora Tristan Center, Lima, May 19, 2004.

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56 Dialogue aims also to increase discussion between government members and NGOs. 12 An important improvement has been the creation of the Mesa Nacional para la Prevencin y Atencin de la Violencia Familiar where organizations from civil society and the Ministry for Women and Social Development have created a national committee to discuss domestic violence problems with Ministries of Justice, Health, Education, Interior, Public Ministry, and with organizations such as Flora Tristan, UNICEF, and the Network for Womens Empowerment. This committee aims to create propositions to decrease and prevent domestic violence and to find solutions to improve legislation application. However, according to CLADEM, the committee faces problems: ministry representatives that attend meetings do not have decision-making power or the necessary leadership to engage their ministry in different projects and agreements or simply do not participate in the meetings. 13 Finally, feminist NGOs use publicity and the media to pressure governments to enforce the Family Violence Law and to increase consciousness within the society at large. These NGOs used posters, magazines, website, create public events, and published articles in magazines and newspapers. For example, DEMUS has published articles on domestic violence, sexual and reproductive rights, and religion in Peruvian newspapers such as La Repblica, La Industria, El Gran Diario del Norte, El Tiempo. In sum, my findings show that through a rights-based approach, feminist NGOs work at the individual and national levels to raise consciousness and provide education about the existence of domestic violence victims rights, to increase womens 12 Authors interview with the coordinator of the womens human rights program in the Flora Tristan Center, Lima, May 19, 2004. 13 Authors interview with a lawyer from CLADEM, Lima, June 1, 2004.

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57 empowerment, and to improve the Family Violence Law, making it operative and enforceable by justice operators. Figure 1. Shows how NGOs work at the individual and national levels on violence against women. Modified from the table developed by Molyneux and Lazar (2003:65). As the above conceptual chart designed by Molyneux and Lazar (2003:65) indicates, feminist NGOs developed particular strategies working on an individual basis to empower women through psychological and legal counseling, therapies groups, educative materials while working at a national level to make the state accountable of the Family Violence Law through dialogue, lobbying, campaigning, researching and publishing, workshops, publicity and legal actions.

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58 Limitations to the Rights-Based Approach The previous section highlights how feminist NGOs used the rights-based approach to increase womens empowerment and to make the state accountable to their legal commitments, particularly the enforcement of the Family Violence Law. Although some important successes have been achieved by NGOs working to tackle domestic violence, three obstacles stand in the way of their efforts. These obstacles are structural, cultural and internal (within the feminist NGOs themselves). The following section discusses the limitations to the rights-based approach encountered by feminist NGOs in their efforts to improve the situation regarding domestic violence. Structural Obstacles NGOs rights-based strategy implies an operational legal system able to provide equal access to justice, fair and efficient legal procedures, law enforcement, effective protection, and a prompt trial. However, NGO themselves face a number of structural obstacles that undermine their efforts to develop a rights-based approach aiming to make the state accountable to the Family Violence Law. According to Culliton (1994), structural problems relate to the legal system, particularly the failures to effectively investigate, prosecute, and punish domestic violence, which, in turn, results in a failure to effectively protect victims from further injuries. The results of my research show that investigative delay, legislative limitations, protective measures and ineffective sanctions are structural problems constraining the application of the Family Violence Law and limiting NGOs rights-based strategy. More specifically, due to the bureaucratic system neither the womens police stations nor the National Police of Peru are able to complete their investigations within the legal time period. Police officers investigations are generally completed within a

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59 minimum of twenty days to two months instead of the required five days. 14 Police investigations are also limited by a legal disposition that empowers them to search the home of the accused only in cases of delito flagrante which means when police witness the assault or the misdemeanor. 15 Because domestic violence generally takes place within the household, this article has a weak application. Police officers and state prosecutors have a clear obligation to provide protection to domestic violence victims. 16 While recognizing their obligations, police officers do not provide any particular protection measures arguing that they cannot legally force the aggressor to leave the house; they say if the aggressor is unconscious, shameless, and does not want to leave his house, I cant take him out because the law does not allow me to do so. 17 Police officers argue that they can remove the aggressor from the house and detain him for up to 24 hours only in cases of delito flagrante, which rarely occurs because as I mentioned, police rarely witness domestic violence. State prosecutors are also legally responsible for providing temporary protective measures such as forcing the removal of the aggressor from a victims home. 18 However, the state prosecutor that I interviewed mentioned that judges are the only justice operators legally instructed to provide protective measures. 19 Since it usually takes four to seven months for a judge to 14 Art. 4 Family Violence Law, Lima. 15 Art. 7 Family Violence Law, Lima. 16 Art. 6 Family Violence Law, Lima. 17 Authors interview with the Captain from Surquillos police station, Lima, June 11, 2004. 18 Art. 10 and art. 11 Family Violence Law, Lima. 19 Authors interview with a state prosecutor from Cono Norte, Lima, May 18, 2004.

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60 become aware of a case and to provide protective measures, the majority of the victims remain threatened, living with their aggressors. Lack of effective sanctions for domestic violence aggressors is another structural problem constraining the implementation of the law. The Family Violence Law classifies physical violence as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense and relies on the Penal Code for a deeper classification. The Penal Code establishes a system where offenses are classified according to the number of days required for treatment and disability leave resulting from injuries. Injuries requiring ten days or fewer are categorized as misdemeanors and there is no penal sanction; those requiring more than ten but fewer than thirty days are simple felonies and the aggressor can receive a penal sanction from a criminal judge; and those requiring more than thirty days such as disfiguration, permanent mutilation, or placing the victims life in imminent danger are classified as aggravated felonies. The Penal Code was modified in 1997 to stipulate that misdemeanor offenses can rise to the level of a felony when the injuries are sustained in domestic violence (Womens Rights Watch report 2000). Based on such a classification, psychological violence is hardly qualified and is treated as a misdemeanor because it does not fit the Penal Codes classification, which does not translate psychological trauma into a quantifiable injury. According to NGO participants, most domestic violence cases are treated as misdemeanors and not as felonies. When the offense is classified as a misdemeanor, perpetrators can be prevented from seeing their children; they can be removed from their household, they might be held liable for family financial support or civil reparation and

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61 they can receive psychological therapy or be forced to carry out community service. 20 However, womens rights activists, state prosecutors and judges mentioned that sanctions can be expected at most to remove the aggressor from the house (six months to one year) or to pay a minimal fine for a civil reparation. Those penalties are negligible and do not dissuade aggressors from committing violence against women. Finally, cases are less likely to be classified as felonies and prison is rarely the verdict for domestic violence cases because according to the participants, domestic violence is still not considered a crime. The lack of material resources and staffs within the criminal justice system is another structural impediment that has been reported by participants. To improve the rapidity and the quality of their work, police officers need equipment such as computers, faxes, and police cars, and they must increase their coordination with multidisciplinary teams composed of psychologists, lawyers, social workers and forensic doctors. Police stations need additional trained staff to attend to calls and to provide better protection to domestic violence victims. 21 In the same vein, there are too few family prosecutors and judges to deal with the important backlogs domestic violence cases. In Lima metropolitan, three specialized judges attend domestic violence cases for a population of 6,7 inhabitants. 22 In the district of Cono Norte 23 in Lima there are five specialized family 20 Art 21 Family Violence Law, Lima. 21 Authors interviews with captains from womens police stations in Lima, June 4, 2004, in Villa Salvador, Lima, June 8, 2004 and with the captain from the national police station in Surquillo, Lima, June 11, 2004. 22 Instituto Nacional De Estadistica E Informatica 2000. 23 Cono Norte includes districts of Comas, Independencia, San Martn de Porres, Los Olivos, Puente Piedra, Carabayllo, Santa Rosa y Ancn.

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62 judges 24 and five 25 state prosecutors for a population near to 2 millions. Those numbers reflect the lack of priority attributed to domestic violence and other family issues for the Peruvian government. These structural impediments provide insights into the difficulties of enforcing the legislation, which compromise the NGOs rights-based approach. Many informants mentioned the lack of political willingness to really invest in the problematic issues, such as has happened with the Mesa National para la Prevencin y Atencin de la Violencia Familiar. Ministries send representatives with no decision-making powers or simply do not send any representative to attend meetings. In her report on Family Sexual Violence, Abortion and Reproductive Rights Yvonne Macassi Len (2003c) highlights the fact that the Ministry for Women and Social Development, which has the most important programs for decreasing and preventing domestic violence does not have the necessary budget to effectively implement their plans. Indeed in 2003 the Ministry received 2.4% of the national budget, which is distributed among two sections of the ministry: womens affairs and social development. According to CLADEM, most of the budget is allocated to the social development department of the Ministry. Another problem that has been mentioned is the lack of continuity of the program from one government to another. A newly elected government does not have to continue projects or programs started under former administrations and a political representative has the 24 http://www.pj.gob.pe/cononorte/historia.htm 25 Authors interview with a family state prosecutor in Cono Norte, Lima, May 18, 2004.

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63 liberty to decide or not to carry out a project on domestic violence: it depends on their political willingness. 26 By adopting a rights-based approach, feminist NGOs have developed important strategies trying to make the state accountable to their legal engagements and to develop womens empowerment. However, those structural challenges are part of the political and judicial apparatus undermining the NGOs rights-based work, which can appear pointless without broader programs of institutional and legislative reforms (Molyneux and Lazar 2003:83). Feminist NGOs confront important challenges maintaining their right-based work when domestic violence victims do not receive adequate state protection, when sanction towards aggressors are mostly futile, when access to justice is limited, when the justice system is overloaded, and when domestic violence does not appear to be a priority on the government agenda. Moreover, in a country like Peru, where corruption is associated with the judicial and executive powers and where people do not believe that justice might resolve their conflicts, NGOs rights-based work is thus limited by those structural shortcomings. Cultural Obstacles According to all NGO participants, a major problem that limits the rights-based approach and impedes the implementation of the Family Violence Law is the cultural model based on patriarchal power. Cultural attitudes and biases predetermine justice operators reactions. Many NGO representatives mentioned that justice operators apply the Family Violence Law based on their own personal criteria and ideology. According to the informant from Manuela Ramos, justice actors still believe that violence against 26 Authors interview with the director of the family violence program in the Ministry of Women and Social Development, Lima, May 26, 2004.

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64 women is a private matter that does not need legal intervention: the family is what needs to be protected. As the captain from the police station in Surquillo highlights without any doubt, we believe that family is the societys principal nucleus and cannot be disintegrated: the children are the ones who suffer from the consequences of violence. The problem of domestic violence seems to remain misunderstood and some justice operators still blame women for being responsible for the situation. A commentary made by one state prosecutor from the Cono Norte illustrates cultural bias towards the victims of domestic violence women become used to be victims, they are looking for other partners and the same situation happens. Is it bad luck or are women looking for partners with such characteristics? Women become used to violence and being injured () they feel comfortable in such situation. 27 Others believe that women use the Family Violence Law as a mechanism to receive medical attention, to have a motive for divorcing for alimony or to threaten their partners (Macassi Len 2003b). Finally, justice operators still believe that the only victims involved in domestic violence conflicts are from the lower social class and instable families; they do not have education or decent work and are economically dependent (Macassi Len 2003c:19). On top of that, womens own gender stereotypes add to the biased attitudes and the idea of being a good wife as synonymous with being obedient and submissive (Chant 2003:119). As such, victims of violence still often blame themselves for what happened, accepting their fault, insisting that they deserved what happened, and family well-being remains their first concern. 28 Other factors, such as family networks that pressure women 27 Authors interview with the state prosecutor in Cono Norte, Lima, May 18, 2004. 28 Authors interview with the lawyer from Manuela Ramos, Lima, May 29, 2004.

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65 to remain with their families, economic dependency on mens incomes, and the victims belief that their claims will not be taken seriously, justify womens inactivity and also contribute to reinforce womens stereotypes (Chant 2003). Through the organization of workshops for justice operators, Flora Tristan, Manuela Ramos, and DEMUS work hard to change cultural attitudes on violence against women. Education is key to improve awareness about domestic violence and the state has the obligation to develop programs that discuss this issue and womens subordination in the society. 29 Those myths or cultural biases among institutional actors as well as of women themselves are obstacles to the implementation of the Family Violence Law. Molyneux and Lazar suggest that cultural resistance affects rights-based strategy when it is opposed to cultural practices (Ibid. 2003:88). As previously discussed, I believe that my interviews provide evidence of such obstacles: cultural biases and attitudes guide the decision of justice operators and affect NGOs efforts in their projects to make the state accountable to the Family Violence law. By providing workshops to justice operators, these NGOs aim to change their cultural attitudes. Although domestic violence is socially unacceptable in urban areas (but remains justified in the countryside as indicated by the Peruvian proverb ms me pegas, mas te quiero) machismo from both men and women impede an adequate application of the law. 30 Similarly to what has been observed by Molyneux and Lazar, I would say the feminist NGOs work hard to change Peruvian culture. As an activist from Flora Tristan 29 Authors interview with the coordinator of the womens human rights program in the Flora Tristan Center, Lima, May 19, 2004. 30 Ibid.

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66 mentioned one of our challenges is to change behaviors, and to bring effective actions that will entail cultural change. 31 NGOs work on transforming womens cultural attitudes through workshops, legal and psychological help and publicity materials; however, although NGOs try to confront womens biases, changing cultural attitudes and stereotypes is a long-term process. As mentioned by the informant from Manuela Ramos we note that mentalities of services users still need to be changed. 32 This is why education on gender subordination and violence against women is needed among young people. Domestic violence is an issue that has existed for decades but it is apparently new for the Ministry of Education and there are no specific programs aiming to educate students about domestic violence or to prevent domestic violence. 33 Notwithstanding that domestic violence is an epidemic in Peru, the issues of domestic violence are assessed through broader gender questions but elementary school and high school curricula do not provide specific information on the problem. 34 Internal problems: the NGOization of the Feminist Movement In Latin America the 1990s brought about the return to democratic rule, the adoption of a good governance agenda, and the formal recognition of womens rights. This period was also characterized by the adoption of neoliberal reforms that led governments to cut social programs and public services, increasing the role played by civil society organizations within social welfare services and compensating for 31 Authors interview with an activist from the Flora Tristan Center, Lima, June 2, 2004. 32 Authors interview with the lawyer from the Manuela Ramos Movement, Lima, May 20, 2004. 33 Authors interview with the representative of the program Peace and Culture in the Ministry of Education, Lima, June 20, 2004. 34 Ibid.

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67 government withdraw from social welfare functions (Radcliffe 2004). Under this changing political and economic context of the 1990s, Peru, as well as most countries in the region, saw the proliferation of specialized and professionalized feminist NGOs dedicated to intervene in national and international policy processes (Alvarez 1998:306). Additionally, the creation of governmental institutions such as womens ministries and legislation protecting womens rights, entailed a demand for non-governmental organizations that could provide specific information on womens issues. The spread of NGOs during that decade was also related to the weakening and ineffectiveness of the state, and to international funding agencies decisions to redistribute their financial resources to more professionalized organizations. This relatively recent phenomena that took place all over the region has been described by Sonia Alvarez as NGOization, which refers to institutionalization of the feminist movement (Alvarez 1998, Vargas 2002). The rights-based approach involves NGOs engagement in some way within the governmental process. By their intervention in the policy process and making the state accountable for womens rights, NGOs were criticized by the broader womens movement. As a result, fragmentation and tensions towards the strategies used to pressure the state increased, and a growing distance between NGOs and grassroots supports was observed (Alvarez 1998). Thus, the NGOization of the feminist movement might explain enforcement problems of the Family Violence Law. While trying to consolidate the gains realized during the 80s and early 90s, feminist NGOs began to focus more on strategies to deal and negotiate with the authorities rather than questioning the state. As such, the public, political sphere became the main focus for feminist NGOs who concentrated their energies developing successful lobbying

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68 tactics (Vargas 2002) as well as other strategies such as campaigning, dialogue with governments and civil associations, monitoring justice operators, and legal actions with the objective of influencing government policies and mechanisms. As I discussed in the previous chapter, the ratification of the Family Violence Law in 1993 provides information on Peruvian feminist strategies to make the state accountable for womens rights in the context of domestic violence. Throughout the changing international context of the 1990s, the NGOization of the feminist movement and their approach based on rights, increased dialogue and negotiations between the state and feminist NGOs, transformed their relationships into closer contacts than in the previous decade. However, as Vargas comments the policy of negotiation with actors in the public political sphere () gave rise to a series of tensions and conflicts (Ibid. 2002:208). Similar to the division between feminist activists identified as bourgeois and feminist militants during the 1980s, the new situation has provoked a division between las ongistas versus el movimiento (Alvarez 1998:312). Such division has taken place in other countries like in Chile where the campaign for Congressional elections in 1991 highlighted conflicts between las profesionales and las pobladoras (Baldez 2002:185). The latter believe that feminists have abandoned the core of feminist principles, which undermine the NGOs capacity for innovation and being autonomous from the state and donor agencies. The tension between the ongistas and the movement is also emphasized because feminist NGOs are in a particularly advantageous position in the sense that they have access to important funding from national or international institutions which allowes them to employ remunerated professionals. They also benefit from a strategic position in terms of their

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69 relationships with public officials, the media, and donor agencies (Alvarez 1998, Vargas 2002). However, this strategic position has caused critics to question NGOs accountability. Scholars, such as Sara Radcliffe (2004) argue that NGOs are not necessarily accountable to civil society, but rather to national and international funding agencies (Ibid. 2004:205). While all NGOs that I interviewed were clear about the importance of remaining independent, objective, and autonomous from international and national donor agencies, I found many examples illustrating this close engagement with the state. For instance, Flora Tristan signed an agreement with the Ministry of Interior to provide workshops to police officers on womens human rights and violence against women, telephone services have been coordinated between Flora Tristan, Manuela Ramos and the Womens Ministry and Social Development, and Flora Tristan has been also very active in the creation of a mesa de concertacin involving ministries and NGOs to discuss domestic violence prevention. However, the informant from Manuela Ramos mentioned while we always remain independent (from the state) and we will always critique and denounce, cooptation is a risk. 35 The rights-based approach used by feminist NGOs to increase their participation within governmental processes and their attempt to make the state accountable to womens rights entailed a closer relationship with the state, but risks of cooptation are still present and impose an important limit to the rights-based strategy. As during the 1980s, the question of autonomy entailed fragmentation within the feminist movement. 35 Authors interview with a lawyer from the Manuela Ramos Movement, Lima, May 20, 2004.

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70 Academics have also analyzed the adoption of the rights-based approach, focusing on state, public policy and the NGOs integration into the formal political sphere that have distanced feminists NGOs from popular grassroots support (Alvarez 1998, Baldez 2002, Vargas 2002). Feminism depends upon the support of a broader movement in civil society to strengthen its minority position and to counterbalance the impact of its interaction with the state; however, without local mobilization with women from grassroots organizations, feminists might lack the broad social base that would enable them to press more effectively for the implementation of the many new rights and entitlements recently earned through increased engagement in political-institutional arenas on a national, regional, and global scale (Alvarez 1998:316). Therefore, feminist integration into conventional ways of doing politics or realpolitik have thus weakened feminist relationships within the broader womens movement, which lost strength from the 1980s. Feminist NGOs work to preserve their interactions with grassroots organizations from the womens movement. As I mentioned, Flora Tristan has been very important in establishing the dialogue committee between civil society and government, and Manuela Ramos works in close collaboration with the Casa del Bien-Estar, supporting a womens community organization that provides legal, health, and educational services, along with workshops for women from the urban and popular sectors in Lima. However NGOs interactions with grassroots organizations appear to be limited. Those limitations can be explained in terms of budget, staff and NGOs priorities to work with the state. The lack of support from grassroots organizations might undermine the capacity for feminist NGOs to influence public policy implementation. In her study of the Chilean

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71 womens movement and political mobilization, Baldez highlights a similar conclusion: women at the grassroots levels do not feel that feminist NGOs adequately represent their concerns. In the same vein, when feminist NGOs promote their policy agenda within the Congress, they cannot rely on movement activists to support their proposals (Ibid. 2002:191). As Vargas observed without the alliances and interactions which work to transform political culture, the social base of the feminist movement disappears, thus limiting its chances of gaining recognition and its capacity to influence civil society and the government (Ibid. 2001:210). Therefore, due to those limitations resulting from the rights-based approach and particularly by the decision to become engaged with government processes, feminist NGOs might have difficulties in articulating their claims within the formal public and political arenas which are still embedded in patriarchal power. Those limitations provide important insights that might explain the difficulties encountered by feminist NGOs in their policy implementation projects. Finally, structural, internal and cultural obstacles that limit the rights-based approach are not specific to the Peruvian situation. Structural problems have been highlighted by many academics and remain present in a number of countries in Latin America. In Brazil Fiona Macaulay (2000) discusses the lack of support for domestic violence victims, the ineffective penal sanctions for aggressors and the deficiency within the judicial system that fail to prosecute many domestic violence cases. Similarly, in Nicaragua Nikki Johnson (2002) highlights the lack of protection for domestic violence victims and the legislation enforcement problems. She also mentions that womens rights are constrained by penal and civil codes that still considered women as equivalents to

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72 minors and by the existence of old concepts such as chastity and family honor. As I previously mentioned, the institutionalization of the womens movement has been a regional tendency; the consequences of such changes took place all over Latin America and are not specific to Peru (Alvarez 1998, Baldez 2002, Vargas 2002). Finally, the patriarchal model and biases toward domestic violence is common in Latin America. As Culliton mentioned a number of degrading myths about Latina women create real obstacles to the development of legal norms enforcing fundamental rights (Ibid. 1994:2). Conclusion During the 90s, the right-based approach allowed feminist NGOs to work on enforcing and improving the Family Violence Law. As my research shows, feminist NGOs work at the personal level on womens empowerment and at the national level through their participation within government processes making the state accountable to womens rights. Furthermore as observed by Molyneux and Lazar (2003) the work undertaken by NGOs aims to change cultural attitudes and public opinions toward domestic violence. Although feminist NGO participants have realized important achievements, some obstacles similar to those in other regions in Latin America limit the rights-based approach. Many obstacles highlighted in a 2000 report by Womens Rights Watch remain present in 2004. Feminist NGOs are accomplishing laudable efforts to make rights valuable for women and justice operators, however, NGOs do not replace the state and many of those obstacles need to be addressed by the Peruvian government itself. Finally, Fujimoris authoritarian presidency under which these measures began to be implemented might also explain why today the Family Violence Law has enforcement problems. As many informants mentioned, Fujimori strategically ratified the Family Violence Law and other legislations promoting womens rights to maintain his popularity

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73 and to receive international funding. 36 While adopting programs on domestic violence, Fujimoris government was concurrently involved in a series of human rights abuses such as forced sterilization programs titled las feras de la trompas and against people criticizing the legitimacy of his government. The authenticity of the motives for adopting legislation promoting womens rights might have been opportunistic, and without the necessary governmental willingness to really increase womens status and legal protection. Up to now, this lack of governmental willingness is still present in the Peru and is a potential explanation for implementation problems. 36 Authors interview with the director of Family Violence Program, Ministry of Women and Social Development, Lima, May 26, 2004.

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CHAPTER 4 CONCLUSION Although domestic violence has traditionally been considered a private issue pertaining to the family domain, the last two decades have led to the recognition of the depth of the problem and the importance of state intervention. A principal objective of this study was to trace the evolution of the Peruvian feminist movement: its attempt to place the issue of domestic violence on the public agenda; its increasing desire to obtain government acknowledgement of the problem; and its increasing concentration on developing womens consciousness. Another purpose was to discuss the current phase of feminist NGOs activity in their long struggle against domestic violence specifically as they try to make the state accountable to the Family Violence Law while at the same time providing adequate tools for womens empowerment. Throughout the 80s and early 90s, the Peruvian feminist movement made successful advances in the field of domestic violence. By applying a two-stage model of norm diffusion, I argue that feminists played a central role in raising awareness on violence against women, making domestic violence an issue of political and public interest while struggling to maintain their organizational and ideological autonomy as a necessary political strategy. I claimed that under an authoritarian regime and a paradoxical context, strategic alliances were created between different womens groups who seized the opportunity to press for the adoption of the Family Violence Law. I highlighted the interaction between the feminist movement, Congresswomen and femocrats who acted in a triangle of empowerment joining their efforts and bridging 74

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75 their different interests in pressuring the government to adopt a law against domestic violence (Vargas and Wieringa 1998). Although the international context was favorable to womens rights and Fujimori needed to enhance the international image of a government undertaking the parameters of an authoritarian regime, I demonstrated that Peru was a leader country in the field of domestic violence legislation. The changing international context of the 90s contributed to institutionalize the feminist movement and transformed the feminist approach towards the state, replacing a traditional antagonist relationship for an interaction based on a careful collaboration. I argued that through a rights-based discourse, Peruvian feminist NGOs have been working on an individual and national basis providing services to empower domestic violence victims, and working to improve law enforcement by training justice operators, lobbying, campaigning and so forth. However, my research showed that structural, internal and cultural obstacles limit feminist NGO rights-based approach constraining their efforts made to improve the implementation of the Family Violence Law. Structural obstacles within the political and justice system have limited the rights-based approach because they challenge NGO efforts for policy implementation. A general cultural attitude from women as well as justice operators has restricted the enforcement of the Family Violence Law. Finally, internal obstacles have created fragmentation within the feminist movement and have decreased grassroots supports limiting NGOs rights-based approach in the sense that feminist organizations might not have the necessary support from the broader womens movement to work for the advancement and enforcement of the Family Violence Law.

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76 This study raises important questions on the impact of the Peruvian feminist movement: has the feminist movement successfully accomplished their objectives regarding the adoption and implementation of the Family Violence Law over the last two decades? The Peruvian feminist movement has certainly had an impact on policy outcomes. Peruvian feminists actions and discourses have been successful in making visible the issue of violence against women, in highlighting the problem within the public agenda, and in pressing for the adoption of a law condemning domestic violence. The ratification of the Family Violence Law has been an important impetus for social change. As noted by Rienzo and Wald (1997:11) law () can change perceptions, which can alter behavior which, in time, can alter attitudes. The law helped feminists to promote social and cultural changes within the broader society as well as within the public institutions. The Family Violence Law has been highly significant although there are enforcement problems. By condemning domestic violence, Peruvian authorities have legally recognized the problem and made violence against women a publicly and socially unacceptable behavior. Although feminist NGOs play an important role in trying to change cultural attitudes, the task is far from being over. Transforming cultural attitudes remains an important challenge. On the other hand, feminist actions have not been as successful in terms of implementation. Do they fail in the enforcement of the Family Violence Law? Why have feminist NGOs not been more successful in the implementation of the Family Violence Law? Although they have taken multiple initiatives, feminist NGOs have limited resources and they do not replace the state, which remains the main actor accountable for the implementation of the law.

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77 The Peruvian state has undertaken different means to address the issue. A number of important amendments to the Family Violence Law have been enacted in the past years following the publication of the Human Rights Watch Report in 2000. Currently, the state recognizes sexual violence as a type of domestic violence; 1 the Family Violence Law now protects intimate partners that do not live under a same roof; 2 the mandatory conciliation session between aggressor and victim before the prosecution of the case is eliminated; 3 police investigation is limited to five days and state prosecutors have the legal authority to provide protection measures. 4 The Ministry for Women and Social Development has taken also various important initiatives to tackle domestic violence. In March 1999, they created Emergency Women Centers were domestic violence victims can find under a same roof women police station, state prosecutor, legal and medical services. 5 Users are satisfied with the services offer, however few domestic violence victims attend these centers (Macassi Len 2003b: 19). The Ministry for Women and Social Development implemented a shelter for victims, telephone service the linea de emergencia ayuda amiga and provide workshops for justice operators as well as for the community at large. They are also making laudable efforts through different initiatives such as the Plan Nacional Contra la Violencia Hacia 1 Article 2, Family Violence Law. 2 Since July 2000, the article 2i) of the Family Violence Law protected domestic violence victims in cases where the abusers do not resided together quienes hayan procreado hijos en comn, independiente que convivan o no, al momento de producirse la violencia. 3 Since January 2001, the law 27398 abolished the mandatory conciliation controlled by state prosecutors in domestic violence cases. Today judges are making conciliation between partners. 4 While the law 27988 modified in May 2003 includes this modification, I previously highlighted in chapter 3 the enforcement problems faced by these measures. 5 They are ten Women Emergency Centers in Lima metropolitan: Callao, Comas, Lima, San Luis, San Juan de Lurigancho, San Juan de Miraflores, Surco, Ventanilla, Ventanilla-Pachacutec, Villa El Salvador.

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78 la Mujer 2002-2007. This program involves the participation of the ministries of education, health, justice, and interior, and aims to develop strategies to prevent domestic violence, to increase the quality of services offer by justice operators, and to investigate and revise the actual legislation. Nevertheless, the implementation of this program is seriously threatened. As Yvonne Macassi Len observes the role of the Ministry for Women and Social Development has a weak position within the executive sector because their propositions are not mandatory for other governmental sections, which impede a transversal and multisectorial vision for the elaboration of strategies linked to domestic violence (Ibid. 2003b:25). Moreover the lack of financial resources impedes the development of sustainable action and coordination between the ministries involved in the Plan Nacional. 6 Other ministries have also realized different activities to address domestic violence. As such, the Ministry of Health organized a campaign on the prevention of domestic violence in 2001 and the Ministry of Interior organized workshops and classes on domestic violence to police officers (Ibid. 2003b:21). Finally, most of the governments initiatives have focused on urban zones rather than on rural areas. While Peru has 28 million citizens, more than one third of the population lives in Lima (7.5 millions of inhabitants). As a result, progress in terms of law enforcement has been carried out mostly in this urban capital, where all governmental institutions are located. Although Perus initiatives are laudable, many expectations have not yet been met, and law enforcement remains an important challenge for Peruvian authorities. On the other hand, is it realistic to hope for Perus implementation of the Family Violence Law? 6 Authors interview with a lawyer working for the Women Emergency Center, Lima, June 4, 2004.

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79 Peru, as a developing country, faces many limitations: one of the factors impeding the enforcement of the Family Violence Law, as well as most Peruvian legislation, is the lack of economic resources. Peru has realized a number of important achievements; nevertheless, given Perus level of development, we cannot expect Peru to perform as industrialized countries. Although our expectations should remain realistic concerning the laws enforcement, Peru has signed legal commitments that make the authorities accountable to address the problem. According to these commitments, officials are under the obligation to provide and improve programs, projects and activities that efficiently address the issue on violence against women in urban areas as well as in the countryside. While the work of the Peruvian feminist movement and feminist NGOs has been instrumental in the ratification and enforcement of the Family Violence Law, the broader womens movement and grassroots organizations have been also important throughout the years. During the 1980s and early 1990s grassroots organizations supported feminist groups by participating in marches against domestic violence and, as promotores legales, they have taken part in different projects aiming to educate and increase consciousness-raising within low-income women (Johnson 2002). A complete analysis on the advances made in the field of domestic violence would require further research on the role played by the broader womens movement and its contribution to the struggle on domestic violence. Women grassroots organizations are important as well as other institutional actors involved within the project of addressing violence against women. To be effectively addressed, domestic violence should involved the participation of various actors specialized in diverse fields. Women need state protection to guarantee their basic rights of being free from violence. They need justice operators adequately

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80 trained to respond to domestic violence cases, they need access to education, they need more legal and psychological counselings and they need material support, such as womens refugees, in order to escape domestic violence. However, as Fiona Macaulay points out, there is a general failure to think through strategies to deal with violence against women as an integrated social policy, rather than as isolated measures (Ibid. 2000:159). I believe that various initiatives such as the Plan Nacional involving ministries concerned by the issue or the mesas de concertacin creating dialogue between the civil society organizations and the government are important steps to address the issue based on a more integrated approach. Future avenues of research would need to integrate all those different actors that were not part of this study but that undertook important efforts in the struggle against domestic violence. Finally, future research on the issue should include more quantitative data in order to determine, for instance, how many judicial cases have been prosecuted, their outcomes and how they were enforced. It would be interesting to observe how justice operators treat domestic violence victims in order to assess operators behaviors and attitudes towards victims, and to examine NGOs activities that strive for greater enforcement of the law. Peru is currently involved in judicial reform, and future research should analyze how the reform will address the policy gap that still leaves too many women without real access to justice, without legal individual protection, and without a life free of violence.

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APPENDIX LAW FOR PROTECTION FROM FAMILY VIOLENCE The Ley de Proteccin Frente a la Violencia Familiar No. 26260 was adopted in December 1993 and was amended by the Law No. 26763 in March 1997. 81

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PAGE 101

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Anouk St-Arnaud graduated from Universit Laval in Qubec, Canada, in 1999 with a bachelors degree in law and finished the Qubec Bar exams in 2001. In August 2003, she started her Master of Arts in Latin American studies at the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida, where she was awarded a research assistantship for two years of graduate study. Anouk concentrated her graduate studies in political science, law, gender and womens rights. In summer 2004, Anouk was awarded an Interdisciplinary Field Research Grant, which allowed her to go to Lima, Peru, to do her fieldwork. Her research combined her knowledge in law with the training in political science that she received at the University of Florida. She will graduate with her M.A. in August 2005. During the last three years, Anouk gained international working experience in Latin America, where she developed a strong interest in human rights issues. She had the opportunity to work in Panama as a legal assistant for a non-profit organization that promotes womens rights. In 2002, she worked for the Canadian Embassys Political and Public Relations Office in Bogot, Colombia, and she became familiar with the political and human rights problems. In 2002, she worked as lawyer-litigant in civil and family law for the General Attorney of the Province of Qubec. These experiences allowed her to focus her career on the human rights field. 91


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THE PERUVIAN FAMILY VIOLENCE LAW: ADOPTION AND
IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGES
















By

ANOUK ST-ARNAUD


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2005

































Copyright 2005

by

Anouk St-Amaud

































This document is dedicated to my mother, Carmen Frechette, who is an exceptional and
exemplar woman who taught me the importance of always going forward.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank my thesis committee chair, Dr. Philip Williams, for his

precious support and guidance throughout the last two years. I would like to thank also

Dr. Carmen Diana Deere for her invaluable feedback and contribution to my thesis.

Additionally, I am grateful to the Center for Latin American Studies for funding my

graduate studies and also for their financial support in the realization of my fieldwork

research and particularly to Dr. Charles Wood for his patience and availability.

I would like to thank my friends Geraldine Slean and Wendy Pond who helped me

so much in the edition of the thesis. Finally, I would like to thank Juan Posada who has

been always encouraging and comprehensive throughout those two years. Without him

my career would have probably taken a totally different direction.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

L IS T O F T A B L E S ................. ........................................................ ............ ................. ... v ii

L IST O F F IG U R E S ................................................................ ...... .... .... ............ .. viii

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION TO THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT............................................1

T h e R eg ion al C ontex t ........................................................................ .......... .. .. ...2
The Peruvian Context ................... ................. ............... ....... .. ........ ..
The Ratification of the Family Violence Law ............................................................6
The Implementation of the Family Violence Law................... ...............................10
R research Q u estion s........... .................................................................. ........ .. ....... 13
D efin itio n s ................................................................13
R research M methods .................................................... ........ .. ...... ... 14
O outline of Chapters ................................................................ ........ ... 15

2 FAMILY VIOLENCE LAW IN PERU: A TWO-STAGE MODEL OF NORM
D IF F U S IO N ...............................................................................................................1 7

Introduction to the Two-Stage M odel..................................................................... 17
W om men's M ovem ent ........................................ ... .... ........ ......... 20
The Concept of Autonomy ............................................................................ 21
P political O p p ortu n ities.............................................................. .....................2 4
Application of the Two-Stage M odel to Peru....................................................25
The Feminist Movement: a Key Actor................................. .......................... 26
The Development of Autonomy and Consciousness in Peru ............. ..............30
Political Opportunities Under Fujimori's Government.....................................36
C o n clu sio n ......... ................... ......... ........ ........................................ 4 4

3 THE RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE
FAM ILY VIOLEN CE LAW ............................. ............................ ............... 46

Introduction ................................................................................................... ... 46
The Implementation of the Family Violence Law.............................................48
Em pow erm ent........ ..... .... ............................. .... .......... .............. .. 49









State A accountability .............. ............. .... .. ........................ ............. 51
Limitations to the Rights-Based Approach ............... ...............58
Structural O b stacles........... ........................................................ .. ........ .... 58
C cultural O b stacles ..... ............ .............................. ................... .. ............ .. 63
Internal Problems: the "NGOization" of the Feminist Movement.....................66
Conclusion .............. ........... ........... ....... ......... 72

4 C O N C L U S IO N .................................................................... ......... ................... 7 4

APPENDIX LAW FOR PROTECTION FROM FAMILY VIOLENCE ......................... 81

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ......... .....................................................................................85

BIOGRAPH ICAL SKETCH ...................................................... 91
















TABLE

Table p

1. National Legislation on Domestic Violence......... ............. ....... ..................44
















FIGURE


Figure page

1. Shows how NGO's work at the individual and national levels ...................................57















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

THE PERUVIAN FAMILY VIOLENCE LAW: ADOPTION AND
IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGES

By

Anouk St-Arnaud

August 2005

Chair: Philip Williams
Major Department: Latin American Studies

This thesis explores the contribution made by the women's movement in the

adoption and the implementation of the Law for Protection from Family Violence ratified

by the Peruvian government in 1993. It examines how the Peruvian feminist movement

placed the issue of domestic violence on the public agenda during the 1980s in order to

develop women's consciousness and to obtain government's acknowledgement of the

problem. It also analyzes how feminist NGOs work since the mid-1990s in attempting to

make the state accountable to the law, and to improve women's individual empowerment.

Throughout the 80s and early 90s, the Peruvian feminist movement played a central

role in raising awareness on violence against women, making domestic violence an issue

of political and public interest. Under a government undertaking the parameters of an

dictatorial regime, the feminist movement created alliances between Congresswomen and

women from the public administration seizing the right opportunity to press for the

adoption of the Law for Protection from Family Violence enacted in December 1993.









The Peruvian feminist movement has been very active trying to enforce the Law for

Protection from Family Violence. Since the 90s, feminists have adopted an approach

based on rights working on an individual and national base. They provide services to

empower domestic violence victims, and work to enforce and improve the law.

However, obstacles limit the feminist NGO rights-based approach constraining their

efforts to improve the implementation of the law. Feminist's strategy is firstly

constrained by obstacles present within the political and justice system. The enforcement

of the law is also limited by a general cultural biased attitude from institutional actors as

well as from women. Finally, internal obstacles within NGOs have created fragmentation

within the feminist movement and have decreased grassroots support for the broader

women's movement to work for the advancement and enforcement of the Law for

Protection from Family Violence.















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION TO THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT

Domestic violence is a widespread problem all over the world and has long been

considered an invisible issue that takes place within the private sphere, beyond the reach

of legal institutions and the protection of the state. In the past, wife beating was not

considered a crime but was rather a family's personal concern; women were treated as

children and their misbehaviors needed to be corrected and controlled both physically and

economically by their male spouses (Hernandez 1997:8). Creating legislation to regulate

such private matters was politically and socially unacceptable because it was viewed as

an invasion of the patriarchal households' authority. As a consequence, domestic

violence was not only considered beyond the reach of the national system of law but also

beyond the jurisdiction of the international legal system.1 However, the last two decades

have witnessed public recognition of gender violence through the signing of international

agreements, the enactment of national legislation, and the creation of novel institutions

such as women's ministries. Throughout the 80s and 90s, domestic violence within the

private sphere has moved into public debate and has been recognized by the majority of

the international community's members as a human rights violation.2







1 The first international instrument to protect human rights was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(1948) but it did not have a gender-focus.
2 The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women was adopted in December 1993.









The Regional Context

In Latin America the ratification of international and national legislation has roots

in the mobilization of the regional women's movement that reemerged in the mid-1970s.

During that period, known as the second wave of the women's movement, women

became important political and social actors. Numerous studies have analyzed the factors

leading to the rise of women's movements throughout Latin America at that time

(Jaquette 1994; Jaquette and Wolchik 1998; Vargas and Wieringa 1998; Schmukler and

Valenzuela 1998). The economic crisis of the 1970s and the structural adjustment

policies carried out by governments entailed a drastic decline in government social

spending. Grassroots organizations composed of women from the lower urban class

mobilized on the basis of their traditional gender roles to seek strategies to feed their

families, calling for greater state accountability in the provision of basic social services.

In the 1970s in taking up the anticommunist crusade, Latin America's military

regimes did not hesitate to repress any individual suspected of being politically active in

the leftist parties. Mothers in theirs forties and fifties, such as the Mothers of the Plaza de

Mayo in Argentina and the Chilean Association of the Detained and Disappeared, were

the first to react to the torture, killing and disappearances carried out by the military

governments. These women were the pioneers of the human rights movements, clearly

announcing their opposition to authoritarian governments and calling for a return to

democracy (Feijo6 1998).

The UN Decade of Women (1976-1985) that resulted from the '74 UN Conference

on Women in Mexico provided an important impetus for the development of regional

feminist movements (Jaquette 1994:4). The middle-class feminist movements began to

organize new networks in defense of women's individual and social rights. Their









mobilization strove to raise women's consciousness about oppression and make gender a

political issue. As Virginia Vargas explains: "during the 1970s and the 1980s feminist

groups questioned cultural and political paradigms which concealed the complexity of

underlying power relations between men and women in socioeconomic, political, cultural

and sexual life" (Vargas 2002: 200).

Finally, the mobilization of these different women's groups continue into the

democratic transitions that occurred in most Latin American countries during the 1980s.

The transition from authoritarian regimes to democratic rule made apparent "the paradox

of authoritarian relationships and gender in state, political, and private institutions" and

created a political opportunity where women were able to voice their concerns in the

public arena (Schmukler and Valenzuela 1998:69). Throughout that period, feminist

campaigns principally worked to increase women's awareness of their social and political

exclusion, and to raise recognition of women's discriminated and subordinated positions

within the household and society. As a result of the development of this consciousness,

attention then turned to violence against women, particularly that taking place within the

privacy of the household.

Turning to the 1990s, the changes in the national, regional and global context

transformed the relationship between state actors and women's movement. With the

return to electoral democracies,3 many governments of the region undertook neoliberal

economic policies reducing state intervention within the economy, cutting welfare

services, privatizing public sectors and opening up trade markets (Gwynne 2004:47).

This economic shift increased the role played by the private sector and by civil society


3 In Latin America the return to the democratic rules took place generally during the 1980s and the 1990s.









organizations, which to some extent replaced and filled the vacuum resulting from the

cutting of social welfare provision. Throughout that decade, a series of UN summits took

place providing new opportunities for women to participate in international debates. At

the same time governments were endorsing commitments to democracy and placing

justice and rights at the forefront of their political agendas. To consolidate the new

democracies, many countries in Latin America created programs supported by

international donors promoting justice, democracy and good governance (Alvarez

2001:365). Finally, regional governments adopted laws promoting women's rights

thereby reflecting their commitment to these democratic principles.

Under those changing political and economic circumstances, the 90s saw the

institutionalization of the Latin American women's movement. New political spaces

emerged with the return of democratic governments; states began to show willingness to

negotiate gender-based demands, providing an opportunity for the feminists to pursue

their gender interests. Through a language based on democracy and citizenship, feminists

embarked on a "rights discourse" seeking to "ensure the continued progression towards

gender equality in the future, by defending the advances achieved and further expanding

women's citizenship rights" (Vargas 2002:203).

The Peruvian Context

This historical background on the Latin American women's movement provides the

regional contextual framework explaining how women became social and political actors;

the Peruvian's women movement emerged under similar political and economic

circumstances. The women's movement in Peru emerged in the late 1970s under General

Morales Bermudez's military government (1975- 1980), which had announced the

transition to democratic government in 1977 (McClintock and Vallas 2003:30). Despite









the fact that Peruvian military governments (1968-1980) were less repressive than other

authoritarian regimes in the region, the military dictatorship in Peru suppressed political

parties and paralyzed democratic institutions while denying some liberties (Barrig

1994:152). In 1976, Bermudez's government adopted a radical program to achieve

economic stabilization, including a reduction in subsidies of food staples and gasoline

that garnered national opposition (McClintock & Vallas 2003:30). While women

involved in grassroots organizations mobilized against the severe economic measures,

feminist groups focused on linking the problems of class and gender, social inequality,

and women's subordination (Blondet 1995:258). During this period of mobilization that

continued throughout the 1980s, a culturally heterogeneous and dynamic women's

movement emerged composed of female political actors ranging from shantytown

activists to middle-class feminists. They combined their efforts to seek improvements in

living conditions, subsidies and food supplies and solutions to domestic violence.

By increasing their political activities and their visibility, the Peruvian women's

movement and particularly the feminist movement played a fundamental role in the

adoption of international declarations and national-level legislation on political

participation, gender discrimination and violence against women. As a result, a number

of demands, such as the Law for Protection from Family Violence and the Quotas Law -

initiated by feminist NGOs during the 1980s were enacted under Alberto Fujimori's

regime in 1993 and 1997, respectively. Indeed, Peru was the first country in the

Americas to adopt a specific law punishing violence against women; many feminists

believed that this legislation has been their most "prized achievement" (Barrig 2001:31).

Although Peru ratified such laws early in the 90s, the government did not create the









"Ministerio de Promoci6n de la Mujer y Desarollo Humano" until 1996 following the

wave of creation of women's institutions regionally.4 However, the Peruvian

government's policies toward women's rights took place under an increasing

authoritarian government, one which was distancing itself from the democratization

process. To some extent this paradoxical context has contributed to women's

advancement in the legal field and will be explored in the following chapter.

The Ratification of the Family Violence Law

Peru's ratification of the Law for Protection from Family Violence took place in a

decade when most Latin American nations implemented a number of steps to address

domestic violence within their borders. Throughout the 90s most of countries in the

Regions ratifyied the U.N. Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women

(DEVAW) and the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and

Eradication of Violence Against Women. As a result, practically every country in Latin

America has modified their national legislation to punish domestic violence and has

created governmental institutions for the advancement of women's rights. To explain the

processes by which Latin American countries have adopted laws condemning domestic

violence, three different approaches have been taken. The first approach is based on

social movement theory (McAdam 1982, Costain 1992, Jaquette 1994, Elman 1996,

Weldon 2002); the second one is described by international socialization theory (Risse &

Sikkink 1999); the last approach has been studied by Hawkins and Humes (2002) and is a

two-stage model that combines notions from the two previous approaches.




4 For a complete list of when institutions for women were created in Latin America, refer to Table 3 of the
Appendix of Deere and Leon (2001:356).









To explain the impact of women's movements on social policy, the social

movement theory approach draws on the principles of autonomy, co-optation and

political opportunity. Women's movements that enjoy autonomy from both the state and

political parties are more likely to raise consciousness within society and to apply social

pressure that will help change state policies. On the other hand, when political parties or

the state dominate women's movements, the latter become co-opted and are less likely to

raise their concerns in the state political agenda. The autonomy of the women's

movement is not the only variable that influences state policies. Political opportunity is a

key factor that influences a social movement's ability to successfully modify state

policies. The political process model discussed by Doug McAdam (1982) defines a

social movement as the actions of "excluded groups to mobilize sufficient political

leverage to advance collective interests through non-institutionalized means" (McAdam

1982:37). This approach focuses on the political system, indigenous accumulation of

resources, and psychological aspects of movement identification. It also highlights three

essential factors explaining the emergence of a social movement. The first one is the

degree of "organizational readiness" within the minority community; the second, is the

level of 'insurgent consciousness' within the movement; and the third is the "structure of

political opportunities" (McAdam 1982:40). A number of studies on the women's

movement have used this approach (Klein 1984, Katzenstein & Mueller 1987).

Anne Costain (1992) uses a political process model to explain the development of

the women's movement in the United States and the movement's impact on social policy.

Her study shows that the women's movement's policy success depends on the

"receptivity of the political process during the time that potential supporters are









psychologically and organizationally ready to challenge the status quo" and concludes

that the overall success depends on both the heightened consciousness of movement

followers and the structure of political opportunity (Ibid. 1992:XV, 25). According to

political process theory, the balance of power between the government and the women's

movement is also an important indicator of success: If the government is weak, the

movement and the government share a more equal balance of power; thus the movement

is likely to achieve more political strength within the political system, allowing it to

influence the modification of policy (Ibid. 1992).

The international socialization theory is another approach that explains the

ratification of international declarations in terms of the enactment of domestic law.

Martha Finnemore (1996) notes:

We cannot understand what states want without understanding the international
social structure of which they are a part. States are embedded in dense networks of
transnational and international social relations that shape their perceptions of the
world and their role in that world. States are socialized to want certain things by
the international society in which they and the people in them live.

According to Thomas Risse and Kathryn Sikkink (1999), there are three reasons

why a state adopts international norms and applies them domestically:

Adaptation to pressure from powerful states or international organizations; moral
consciousness-raising, argumentation, dialogue, and persuasion arising from the
constant communication between abusive or indifferent governments and their
critics; and institutionalization and habituation, a process that occurs over time after
the first two mechanisms have socialized the state into initial adoption of the norm.

This process of socialization is based on powerful states or transnational networks

that pressure for national policy adoption and overlap with the "boomerang pattern"

discussed by Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink (1998) in their book, Activists Beyond

Borders. The central argument of these scholars is that when "channels of participation"

between states and domestic organizations are blocked or when states do not efficiently









react to national organizations demands, a transnational advocacy networks is likely to

emerge, pressuring governments from the outside to take normative measures that

address the issue (Keck & Sikkink 1998:12-13). The combination of a state closed to

requests from domestic organizations, international organizations acting as allies, and an

open governmental structure in foreign countries generate the boomerang pattern through

which national organizations use international connections or networks to persuade the

state to modify their policies. To illustrate their theory, Keck & Sikkink studied how

national women's groups built transnational women advocacy networks that drew

attention to violence against women, placing the issue on the international public agenda

(Keck & Sikkink 1998:165-198). Through the development of the global campaign for

women's human rights, governments adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of

Violence against Women and the Inter-American Convention for the Prevention,

Punishment and Eradication of Violence, which led to the enactment of national laws

punishing domestic violence. Their analysis provides useful background to the

emergence of transnational women's networks and the development of violence against

women as an international issue. However, their study focuses on the global campaign

developed by women's advocacy networks that led to the adoption of international

conventions. It does not assess how some women's movements have been able to draw

government attention to domestic violence. Their study neither addresses how women's

movements pressure the state for the enactment of national legislation condemning

domestic violence before or simultaneously to the adoption of international conventions.

Finally, Darren Hawkins and Melissa Humes (2002) develop a method that

incorporates the two previous approaches women's movements and international









socialization to explain the ratification of norms condemning domestic violence. The

first phase of the "two-stage model of norm diffusion" is based on the ability of

autonomous activist organizations to raise public awareness about a problem and to

pressure the state by organizing protests within the population. At this stage the opening

of an opportunity within the political system is a fundamental variable that helps activists

to push for policy change. Thus, during the first phase of this process, national women's

movements and political opportunities are the principal factors that pressure the state to

adopt new legislation. The second stage of the model integrates the international

socialization process, where international organizations, states and transnational networks

become more important than domestic activists. Each country at this stage is likely to

adopt norms similar to those already ratified by other countries (Hawkins & Humes 2002:

242).

These three approaches are the principal theories that frame my research on the

enactment of national law condemning domestic violence. I propose using Peru as a test

case to apply the two-stage model of norm diffusion. Through an analysis of the

development of the Peruvian women's movement and the political context of Peru, I plan

to explain how women's movement activities and campaigns were able to apply enough

pressure on the Peruvian government to achieve the ratification of national legislation on

domestic violence.

The Implementation of the Family Violence Law

The second part of this study focuses on the changing approach taken by feminist

non-governmental organizations (hereinafter "NGO") to pressure for state accountability

and the enforcement of the Law for Protection from Family Violence. Within a context

of democratic consolidation, justice and good governance, feminist NGOs began to use a









language based on human rights, citizenship and democracy. They lobbied the

government to respect their commitments, worked closely with social movements to

improve programs of legal reforms and increased rights awareness (Molyneux and Lazar

2003: 3). The reasons why NGOs adopted a "rights-based approach" varied with each

case but might also be explained by the changing context in Latin America during the 90s

and by the adoption of international policies (Molyneux & Lazar 2003). The enactment

of international conventions provided support as well as legal instruments for this rights-

based approach, allowing the NGOs to pressure governments of the region to respect

their legal commitments. In the same vein, Macaulay has described this feminist NGO

strategy as a "legalistic approach", which entails focusing on rights while also targeting

state reform and aspects of the criminal justice system, such as access to justice, fair and

efficient legal procedures, and victim protection (Ibid. 2000:156). Moreover, the

emphasis on the criminal justice system was seen as a strategy to force governments to

improve the implementation of social policies and to meet international commitments.

Peruvian feminist NGOs undertook a rights-based discourse during the 90s. One of

their objectives was to pressure the state to enforce national and international legislation

on domestic violence while increasing women's awareness of their rights. However, a

number of obstacles constrained NGOs efforts to address the implementation gap of the

Law for Protection from Family Violence. These obstacles are structural, cultural and

internal. Structural problems are related to the legal system and as such impede adequate

victim protection, constrain sanction efficiency for perpetrators, and result in

investigation delays. In a report published in March 2000, Women's Rights Watch

underscores the Peruvian government's inability to implement national legislation









through the national police, judges, forensic doctors, and state prosecutors. This

document highlights the police's inefficiency in investigating claims made by female

victims and the lack of an adequate report-taking procedure. The report also draws

attention to the inadequacy of medical examinations by forensic doctors, who tend to

minimize women's injuries. Additionally, the report stresses that state prosecutors are

understaffed and that they resolve domestic cases by favoring spousal conciliation over

judicial prosecution. Finally, the report condemns these institutional actors for not using

protective measures to shield victims of domestic violence from their abusers. Although

this report did not discuss the Peruvian patriarchal society, cultural obstacles are still

present in Peru. The results of my research show that "justice operators5" apply the law

based on their personal biases toward domestic violence. Finally, NGO's rights-based

approach and the relationship developed with Peruvian government also impeded to some

extent the enforcement of the law. By adopting such a conventional strategy, NGOs

became more involved within the governmental process. This switch to a more

traditional approach has proved challenging for feminist NGOs.

Therefore, these structural, cultural and internal factors frequently constrained the

daily application of the law. Notwithstanding the evolution of women's formal rights,

violence and oppression against women continue to impede the full exercise of equality,

liberty, equal political participation, and personal security. Women are still considered

second-class citizens (Hernandez 1997). In the second part of my research, I propose to

analyze how feminist NGOs in Peru have used the right-based approach to tackle the


5 "Justice operator" is the translation for operatorr de justicia."









problem of implementation of the Domestic Violence Law and how they have worked to

improve the legislation making the law enforceable.

Research Questions

* How did the women's movement effectively pressure Peruvian authorities to
address the problem of domestic violence and adopt the Law for Protection from
Family Violence?

* What are the major structural, cultural and internal obstacles that stand in the way
of the actual implementation of the Law for Protection from Family Violence?

* How did feminist NGOs use the rights-based approach to address the
implementation gap, thus, forcing the government to respect their national legal
commitments?

Definitions

Violence against women: According to the Article 1 of the Declaration on the

Elimination of Violence Against Women (DEVAW) the term "violence against women"

means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical,

sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts,

coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.

Violence against women includes, but is not limited to, the following:6

(a) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including

battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence,

marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women,

non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation;

(b) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general

community, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in

educational institutions and elsewhere, trafficking in women and forced prostitution;


6 Article 2 DEVAW









(c) Physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the

State, wherever it occurs.

Women's movement: A broad definition of the women's movement suggests that

it "is understood as the whole spectrum of conscious and unconscious action of

individuals, groups or organizations with the aim of combating gender subordination"

(Vargas & Wieringa 1998:4). The women's movement may suggest a unified movement,

however it is "characterized by a diversity of interests, form of expression and spatial

location" (Molyneux 2001: 144). For example, the Peruvian women's movement

includes different currents such as the grassroots organizations, feminist groups and

political militants (Blondet 1995).

Research Methods

This study is comprised of bibliographic research conducted at the University of

Florida and at the library of the Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristan in addition to

fieldwork carried out from May 2004 to June 2004 in Lima, Peru. There I conducted

semi-structured interviews with actors linked to the implementation of national

legislation on domestic violence. I developed semi-structured interview guides for

different categories of people that I interviewed. This qualitative method is based on a

clear plan that you keep in mind, but is also characterized by a minimum of control over

the respondent's responses" (Bernard 2000:191). According to Bernard, semi-

unstructured interviewing is useful for studying sensitive issues like sexuality, race, or

ethnic prejudice. For this reason, I believe that this method is useful for studying

implementation problems linked to the Law for Protection from Family Violence.

The persons interviewed for the purpose of this study were key agents involved in

domestic violence cases: the captains of the women's police stations in Lima, Villa









Salvador and at the Women Emergency Center (Lima), the captain of the national police

station in Surquillo (Lima), a forensic doctor, a state prosecutor, a criminal judge, the

coordinator of the Women Emergency Center in Lima, a representative from the Ministry

of Education, the director of the program on domestic violence established by the

Ministry for Women and Social Development, the coordinator of the reproductive rights

program for the Ombudswomen in charge of women's rights, two lawyers and two

activists from the "Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristan," a lawyer from the

"Movimiento Manuela Ramos," the coordinator of CLADEM, a lawyer and the

coordinator working for DEMUS. My thesis draws also on the study "Violencia Familiar

y Sexual: Diagn6stico sobre Servicios de Atenci6n," which was carried out in 2003 by

the NGOs "Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristan," and "the Movimento Manuela

Ramos." The interviews conducted represent the personal views of each of the

participants and in my analysis I do not attempt to generalize their views.

Outline of Chapters

Chapter 2 explores how the Peruvian women's movement over the two last

decades has worked to pressure the government to adopt laws that condemn violence

against women. By tracing the evolution of the feminist movement and the context in

which the Peruvian government addressed the problem of domestic violence, I will show

how Peruvian women have been able to influence Peru's ratification of the Law for

Protection from Family Violence.

Chapter 3 is based on the field research conducted in Peru. I will explore how

feminist NGOs are using the right-based approach to reduce the implementation gap

between national legislation and women's daily realities. In this chapter I examine the






16


structural, cultural and internal problems that impede the enforcement of the Law for

Protection from Family Violence.

Finally, in chapter 4 I will present the main results of this study and future avenues

of research to address the issue of domestic violence.














CHAPTER 2
FAMILY VIOLENCE LAW IN PERU: A TWO-STAGE MODEL OF NORM
DIFFUSION

Introduction to the Two-Stage Model

Ending violence against women began to be addressed early in the 1980s by the

Peruvian women's movement as well as all over Latin America. The Peruvian women's

movement organized many activities to gain legal recognition of the problem despite the

lack of international legal instruments to support their demands for a law sanctioning

domestic violence. In 1993, Peru was the first country in all of Latin America to adopt a

norm against domestic violence. By using the two-stage model of norm diffusion, the

objective of this chapter is to analyze the series of steps that led to the ratification of the

law for Protection from Family Violence in Peru (hereinafter family Violence Law).

Darren Hawkins and Melissa Humes (2002) use the two-stage model of norm diffusion to

explain legal initiatives that have been taken to condemn domestic violence by most

governments in Latin American throughout the 90s. Their conceptual framework

identifies distinct time periods: one in which the women's movement played a crucial

role in the ratification of the national domestic violence law and the other when

international socialization was the principal impetus for the adoption of legislation.

The two-stage model of norm diffusion used by Hawkins and Humes is built on a

study carried out by Martha Finnemore and Kathryn Sikkink (1998) who analyzed the

efforts made by national activists or "norm entrepreneurs" to transpose or transform a

national norm into international legislation. They argue that "domestic influences are









strongest at the early stage of a norm's life cycle, and domestic influences lessen

significantly once a norm has become institutionalized in the international system"

(Finnemore & Sikkink 1998:893). According to these authors, the "norm life cycle" can

be conceptualized in three stages: norm emergence, norm acceptance and

internationalization.

Norm emergence is the first phase during which activist groups or "norm

entrepreneurs" try to persuade and convince "norm leaders" or key states to ratify a new

norm; it corresponds to the first phase of the two-stage model of norm diffusion.

According to the conceptual framework of Hawkins and Humes, "leader states" are those

which possess an autonomous women's movement able to exploit political opportunities

while generating political discussion about the issue of domestic violence. In Latin

America, leader states adopted domestic violence legislation either before or about the

same time as the norm was ratified internationally, through the Declaration on the

Elimination of Violence Against Women (DEVAW) in June 1993 (Hawkins & Humes

2002:245). The following sections particularly addresses the norm emergence stage.

Norm acceptance is the second stage of the norm life cycle and corresponds to the

second part of Hawkins and Humes' model in which state leaders, transnational networks

and international organizations attempt to "socialize" other states to become norm

followers; international socialization processes become more important than national

activists. Until this "tipping point", national movement activists that promote normative

changes are the major actor for policy change. Tipping is described as being the stage

"after norm entrepreneurs have persuaded a critical mass of states to become norm

leaders and adopt new norms"; it rarely occurs before one-third of the total states in the









system adopt the norm (Finnemore & Sikkink 1998:901). Once the tipping point has

been reached, a new dynamic takes place and more countries begin to adopt the norm

even without national pressure, bringing in the second phase of the two-stage model of

norm diffusion: norm acceptance. Finnemore and Sikkink argue that norm acceptance is

promoted by international socialization in which "agents of socialization" such as leader

states, transnational networks and international organizations become new actors

pressuring other states to adopt new policies (Ibid. 1998:902). Agents of socialization

attempt to persuade other states to become "followers" by promoting the norms through

discourse or through economic incentives or penalties. Legitimization, conformity and

esteem are other incentives that motivate follower states to adopt new norms or policies.

Thus during this stage international socialization and transnational activities are more

important than national activists, though they might continue to play an important role.

Transnational women advocacy networks have played an important role in

pressuring states to adopt domestic violence legislation in many countries in Latin

America. While women advocacy networks consolidated their foundations other

international organs also worked to address the issue, helping the women's movement in

legitimizing their demands. For instance, the Feminist Encounters for Latin America and

the Caribbean along with a series of UN conferences provided impetus to an important

number of countries developing measures against domestic violence. In addition, Latin

American women's groups have been important activists in coordinating regional

networks such as the Southern Cone Network against Domestic and Sexual Violence and

the Latin American and Caribbean Network against Domestic and Sexual Violence with

subregional coordinators in Peru and other countries in Latin America (Keck and Sikkink









1998:179-180). As a result, "follower states" adopted legislation on violence against

women between 1995-1998. They did so in a context where the norm had been adopted

regionally through the Inter-American Convention for the Prevention, Punishment and

Eradication of Violence Against Women ratified by the Organization of American States

members in 1994.

Finally, "internationalization" is the third stage of the norm life cycle and occurs

when norms acquire a taken-for-granted quality and are no longer part of the public

debate (Finnemore & Sikkink 1998:895). Since this phase is not included in the two-

stage model of norm diffusion and because norms on domestic violence in most of

countries in Latin America have not reached this phase, internationalization will not

receive further discussion.

The two-stage model of norm diffusion of Hawkins and Humes is the conceptual

framework that I will use to address the adoption of the Family Violence Law in Peru.

Although international organizations, transnational networks and international meetings

had a positive influence, the results of my research show that the Peruvian women's

movement and their national activities had a greater impact on the adoption of the Family

Violence legislation. For this reason, I will focus on the first phase of the two-stage

model of norm diffusion. Before applying the conceptual framework of Hawkins and

Humes, I will turn now to a more detailed description of the variables included in the

norm emergence stage.

Women's Movement

In the first stage of norm emergence, activist groups try to conceptualize a new

norm for desirable behavior in their community. At this point the groups may or might

not communicate transnationally with activists concerned by similar issues. To promote









norm ratification, norm entrepreneurs or activist groups encourage the ideals of empathy

and altruism and begin a long process of persuading international organizations and states

to ratify the proposed norms (Finnemore & Sikkink 1998:898). The absence of

international norms at this phase allows "leader states" to emerge and to enact a norm

before it receives widespread international acceptance through international declarations

(Hawkins & Humes 2002:241). During the norm emergence phase, activists are the main

actors. Their success or ability to convince the state to embrace new norms condemning

violence against women depends on two determinant factors: autonomy and political

opportunities.

The Concept of Autonomy

The principle of autonomy emerged as an issue for the women's movement with

the second wave of feminism during the 1970s and early 1980s. Disenchanted with

authoritarian and male institutions or organizations, women activists decided to create

autonomous organizations independent from political parties, the state, or from other

groups in the society. Molyneux argues that "autonomous organizations (...) are

characterized by independent actions, where women organize on the basis of self activity,

set their own goals, and decide their own forms of organizations and must recognize no

superior authority, nor be subject to the governance of other political agencies (Molyneux

1998:70). In the same vein, Weldon describes women's movement autonomy as when

they have an organizational basis external to political parties, or other organizations such

as unions or even from organizations that do not make women's issues their first concern

(Weldon 2002:80). The principle of autonomy has been also explained as a "process

enabling women to express and prioritize their interests more clearly" and has become a

political strategy that allows women's negotiation with other political actors (Vargas &









Wieringa 1998:8). Autonomy allows the development and the consolidation of women's

own agenda and to put forward their ideas when they interact with the society and the

state.

Today, many scholars still identify women's movement autonomy as an important

component for policy change (Elman 1996, Vargas & Olea 1997, Vargas 2002, Weldon

2002). In a comparative study of the impact of the women's movement in the United

States and Sweden with respect to the adoption of domestic violence policy, Amy Elman

(1996) concludes that government response to violence against women, and the adoption

of a law protecting battered women, depends on the articulation of the issue by a strong

autonomous women's movement. Elman observed that American feminists who pursued

an agenda through an autonomous women's movement were able to pressure the state

from the outside to adopt a law that would protect battered women. On the other hand,

Swedish feminists relied upon the traditional political system, such as partisan alliances

and state bureaucracies, to press for women's interests. The strategy was less successful

and the government did not articulate effective policies on violence against women.

In a cross-national comparison of eight countries that enacted policies on violence

against women, Laurel Weldon (2002) also argues also that government responsiveness is

likely to be determined by the presence of a strong, autonomous women's movement that

draws on and reinforces state institutions designed to promote the status of women.

Weldon considers that a strong and autonomous women's movement is able to create

enough awareness through their actions and discourses, receiving public attention from

government and among people that are not movement members. In the same vein,

Hawkins and Humes note that when women's groups are autonomous from the state or









political parties they will be able to more effectively raise public consciousness about the

issue and to push for policy change (Ibid. 2002:233).

Awareness generally begins with small consciousness-raising groups where women

begin to discuss their gender oppression. In the United States feminist groups began to

raise awareness through small-scale mutual aid projects or community service projects

that helped women develop solidarity, education and activism outside the political realm

(Elman 1996:25). Such initiatives helped change women's attitudes, and their

assumptions about gender domination in their daily lives. Carol Mueller (1988) argues

that developing consciousness among women helps to sustain the political force of the

movement. Women's cultural production such as magazines, books, movies, TV

programs, theater, and more conventional strategies or "protest politics" such as street

protests, marches, petitions and lobbying foster discussion of violence against women

among the population (Weldon 2002:69-70). The various tactics articulated by

autonomous women movement raise awareness within the population, and serve to

translate their agenda into the public policy arena.

The autonomy of the women's movement is therefore key to the development of

government policy on violence against women because it allows those groups to

articulate a perspective based on their reality as women. Being involved in autonomous

groups allow the women's movement to focus on their gender priorities and "to elaborate

their own programs of actions, debate their own goals, tactics and strategy free from

outside influence (Molyneux 1998:70). Autonomy and independence also permit the

women's movement to distribute resources in a way that draws public attention on their

particular matters. However, according to some scholars (Jaquette 1994, Hawkins and









Humes 2002, Weldon 2002) while a strong autonomous women's movement is necessary

for the initial articulation of violence against women as a public issue, it is not sufficient

to determine the impact on policy and to provoke a government response. Autonomy

alone is a weak strategy and is likely to result in women's organizations' being denied the

resources they need (Jaquette 1994:232). Thus, another fundamental variable is

necessary to the process of policy change in the context of domestic violence law. I turn

now to the notion of political opportunity, the second factor necessary within the

theoretical framework that I draw upon.

Political Opportunities

Autonomy and consciousness arising are necessary but not sufficient to the

development of policy changes. The second requirement is "political opportunity." In

the two-stage model process, political opportunity refers to "any event or broad process

that serves to undermine the calculations and assumptions on which the political

establishment is structured occasions a shift in political opportunities (McAdam

1982:41). In her research on the impact of the women's movement on policy, Costain

(1982:15) describes political opportunities as determined by the openness of the political

system to new interests, the instability of the regime, the women's movement's ability to

reach allies and supporters, and the psychological readiness of excluded members.

Political opportunity structure allows activists to push for changes in state policy and it is

linked to the opening of a political opportunity, elite alliances, the presence of allies

within the state, and the state's repressive capacity.

The openness of the political system "increases political activism on the part of

excluded groups either by seriously undermining the stability of the entire political

system or by increasing the political leverage of a single insurgent group" (McAdam









1982:42). Hawkins and Humes mention that a "policy window" may occur when crises

generate a need for a political solution. Examples included economic decline, or an

important shift in state political power. During such periods policy propositions

promoted by activists may reach the top of the political agenda as decision makers search

for solutions to the crisis or for new ideas to distinguish themselves from previous office

holders (Hawkins and Humes 2002:241). In that phase, activist proposals are more likely

to receive a serious consideration from the state, which appears willing to engage in

debates on different issues.

The following section applies the two-stage model of norm diffusion to

demonstrate the strategies taken by the Peruvian feminist movement to press for

legislative changes under a context of political opportunity.

Application of the Two-Stage Model to Peru

Peru has ratified most of the international conventions concerning women's rights

and has taken a number of initiatives to address discrimination and violence against

women. In 1982, Peru ratified the United Nations Convention for the Elimination of All

Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Following Brazil's initiative, the Peruvian

government established in 1988 the first women's police stations in Lima. In 1993 the

Family Violence Law was adopted as well as the Declaration on the Elimination of

Violence against Women. In 1996 Peru ratified the Inter-American Convention for the

Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence, created the Women's Rights

division within the Office of the Peoples' Ombudsman and established the Ministry of

Advancement of Women and Human Development (PROMUDEH). The Family









Violence Law was modified in 1997 and, in 1999 PROMUDEH1 inaugurated the first

Women Emergency Center for victims of domestic violence where women can consult

with female police officers, medical examiners, and state prosecutors. Finally, in 2001,

Peru adopted the National Plan on Violence Against Women 2002-2007.

The Peruvian women's movement has played an important role in the ratification

of these international conventions, and in the development of these national governmental

initiatives. Moreover, by pressuring the government to adopt a norm that would recognize

the magnitude of domestic violence and penalize it, the Peruvian women's movement has

been involved in one of the most important achievements realized by women in the

country. Throughout the 80s and early 90s, the women's movement has taken an active

and fundamental role in redefining a once private and familial matter into a public and

political issue.

The following section provides a brief historical review of the demands made by

the women's movement in the 80s, highlighting how it was specifically the feminists that

first draw public attention on violence against women. I will further apply the two-stage

model of norm diffusion to Peru to illustrate how the autonomy of the women's

movement and the political opportunity play out in the Peruvian case.

The Feminist Movement: a Key Actor

The end of the 70s and beginning of the 80s brought women together by the

emergence of the political Left, the feminist discourse, the problem of reproduction under

condition of poverty, the economic collapse and the social crisis it entailed (Barrig 1994

and Blondet 1995). Those issues affected women differently and created a women's

1Recently, the name of the "Ministerio de Promoci6n de la Mujer y Desarollo Humano" has been changed
for the "Ministerio de la Mujer y del Desarollo Social.









movement composed of three principal actors: party activists, grassroots organizations,

and feminist groups. Sometimes working together and sometimes working separately

women took the streets voicing their demands on issues that affected their condition as

women, as mothers, or both. The general popular effervescence generated by street

mobilization, strikes and the intense political activity in Peru at that particular time

helped to create a belief that political and social change were possible.

The female party activists were mostly composed of female university students on

the political New Left, which was trying to strengthen ties to grassroots organizations to

consolidate a basis for their political party (Blondet 1995:260). At first, women activist's

principal interests were oriented toward class struggle and were not concerned by

women's needs and daily realities. They sought to increase women's political

consciousness by defending traditional party projects without making connection to

issues such as male political dominance and other women's concerns. Violence against

women was not an initial preoccupation of those activists. However, over time women

party activists became aware of their own marginality and lack of voice within the party

(Barrig 1994 and Blondet 1995).

Grassroots organizations composed of women from the lower strata of the urban

society were concerned with issues such as health, economic needs and family wellbeing.

Through grassroots organizations, such as the communal kitchen or the municipal Glass

of Milk Program that aimed to distribute one glass of milk a day to children and pregnant

and breast-feeding women, women mobilized on the basis of their traditional gender roles

within the domestic sphere. By their engagement in daily and self-help strategy women's

grassroots organizations provided short-term and temporary solutions compensating for









the lack of services that should have been offered by the state: these grassroots

organizations did no try to resolve and confront long-term problems of gender

relationship, class struggle or the "inefficient and unequal redistributive capacity of the

state" (Barrig 1994:166). Women from shantytown organizations mobilized based on

their own "practical gender interests", which are defined as "a response to an immediate

perceived need" and did not generally attempt to challenge women's emancipation or

gender equality (Molyneux 2001:44). Although they reflect women's daily and

immediate experiences, practical gender interests do not aim to challenge women's

subordination and might reinforce women's traditional role within the society.

By focusing on the family as the fundamental unit in women's life, shantytown

organizations did not attempt initially to resolve and assess gender violence problems.

However, through those groups women learned to speak and to express their thoughts,

ideas and opinions while realizing that other woman were living in similar situations. By

participating in such organizations, women shared solidarity, cooperation, learned to

perform new tasks, and began to confront and negotiate with their husbands who did not

look favorably on their wives working outside the home (Vargas 1989:89-91). By being

involved in such organizations, victims of violence began to express themselves about

their personal situation. According to my interviews, by 1985 women active within

shantytown organizations and "pobladores" were having group discussions regarding the

issue of domestic violence.2

Over time women participating in political parties and in grassroots organizations

became aware of a number of issues affecting them, and grew sensitive to the issue of


2 Author's interview with a lawyer from the Flora Tristan Center,Lima, May 19, 2004.









domestic violence. By their participation in marches, protests or workshops, those

women provided an important support for the struggle on violence against women.

However, based on the initial claims of those women involved in political parties and

survival groups, violence against women was firstly address by feminist groups.

As in other countries in Latin America, the United Nations Decade for Women

and the democratization process stimulated the re-emergence of the feminist movement.

Feminist groups mobilized based on their "strategic gender interests" which are those

linked with the analysis of women's subordination. Their focus has been strategies to

overcome the sexual division of labor, control of their reproduction, the alleviation of the

burden of domestic labor and childcare, the removal of institutionalized forms of

discrimination, political equality, and ending gender violence (Molyneux 2001:43).

Different studies have demonstrated that the Latin American feminist movement was the

first actor to articulate the issue of the violence against women, building the foundations

that entailed grassroots mobilizations (Elman 1996, Molyneux 2001, Weldon 2002).

Based on my interviews, Peruvian feminists have been the first actors involved in

pressuring the government to acknowledge a policy that would recognize domestic

violence as a public concern. For this reason, in this study I focus on leader groups that

brought about policy change regarding domestic violence rather than mass behavior or

grassroots support. The adoption of measures to assess male violence and control over

women were part of the objectives of feminist groups and are the point of departure to

trace how the feminist movement throughout years influenced Peruvian authorities to

adopt the Family Violence Law. I will now turn to the application of the two-stage

model of norm diffusion to explain the adoption of the law on domestic violence in Peru.









The Development of Autonomy and Consciousness in Peru

In Peru, feminist groups adopted the principle of autonomy during the early 80s as

an essential political strategy to establish independence at the organizational and

ideological levels. As noted by Virginia Vargas, autonomy allowed the creation of a

political space based on gender interests, further allowing women to develop a collective

consciousness that made visible the oppressed situation experienced by them.

Subsequently, this allowed them to avoid and decrease the rises of cooptation by

patriarchal institution (Vargas 1989:26-27). For the Peruvian feminist movement,

autonomy represented the core of the democratic project, which would enable women to

determine their own actions and create their own political alternatives (Vargas and Olea

1997:41). During the 80s, feminists were practicing a "defensive autonomy"

characterized by confrontation with the authorities, as they grew stronger as a movement

and individually. In 1981, the First Latin American Feminist Encounter in Bogota,

labeled "Por la reafirmaci6n de la autonomia feminist y su compromise con la realidad

continental" recognized and reiterated the need for an autonomous movement (Salazar

2001:184). In 1983, the defense of autonomy came to the forefront during the Second

Latin American Feminist Encounter held in Lima, which highlighted feminists' criticisms

of conventional politics and machismo in political parties. Moreover, this Encounter

created a division between feminists and female party activists.

Before these encounters, feminist organizations (such as Flora Tristan, the Manuela

Ramos Movement, Women in Struggle, and the Women's Socialist Front) had an agenda

that highlighted women's participation in the class struggle, and they often consisted of

militants affiliated to Left parties (Salazar 2001:165-168). These feminist organizations

practiced socialist feminism, which links the problem of class and gender by recognizing









social inequality while at the same time focusing on women's subordination (Blondet

1995:258). However, during the Second Feminist Encounter, Peruvian feminists

declared themselves "feministas a secas" and stopped adopting a socialist approach. By

orienting themselves as part of a more radical struggle to improve women's lives,

feminists hoped to distinguish themselves from other institutions as well as national

political activity. As mentioned, this decision led to the establishment of two feminist

currents with two different fields of action. The Leftist feminist political party militants

claimed that feminist activists were abandoning the class struggle and were loosing their

political identity. Those militants decided, instead, to concentrate their participation on

preparing governmental programs aimed at reducing poor women's marginalization

(Blondet 1995:259). The feminist activists identified as "bourgeois" by left politicians,

concentrated on building an autonomous movement that would heighten women's

awareness regarding the oppressiveness of patriarchal power. This new way of "doing

politics" involved questioning traditional political action and was considered an approach

to overcome women's oppression in the private and public spheres (Vargas 1989:76).

However, the concept of autonomy had some limits, which was demonstrated in

1985 when two feminists participated as independent candidates in the general elections

for President and as members of parliament (Barrig 1994:164). By running solely on

strategic gender interests (such as gender equality, sexual and gendered violence, control

of reproduction, and sexual division of labor), feminist candidates did not garner enough

resonance among women from grassroots organizations; as such, neither candidate was

elected. Indeed, the feminist movement realized the need to create deeper alliances with









women's grassroots organizations and to build stronger ties with women from other

sectors (Vargas 1989: 83).

Raising consciousness among women has always been part of the original

objectives since the emergence of feminist organizations. By the end of the 70s, the

Flora Tristan Center for the Peruvian Woman, the Manuela Ramos Movement, Women in

Struggle, and the Women's Socialist Front were developing small informal groups called

"Centros de Acci6n y Promoci6n." These groups were designed to take action on

particular issues and to raise consciousness concerning women's oppression and

exclusion from the economic, political and social arena (Vargas 1989:97). The three

fundamental issues that accompanied the emergence of the feminist movement at that

time were political participation, ending with domestic violence, and sexual and

reproductive rights.3

All feminist NGOs mentioned that during the 80s, feminist activists aimed to make

violence against women more visible; to highlight gendered power relations within the

private sphere; and to transfer what was considered a private family issue into the public

arena. In other words, feminists' main goal was to achieve public recognition of

domestic violence and to raise consciousness about the problem. By adopting the phrase,

"the personal is the political" feminists attempted to bring together personal and political

dimensions in order to transform women's daily reality (Vargas 1989:78). In order to

address domestic violence and to raise public consciousness, feminists undertook

different initiatives such as "cultural productions", "protest politics", and "everyday

politics." (Weldon 2002:68-70)


3 Author's interview with an activist from the Flora Tristan Center, Lima, June 2, 2004.









The first significant political action organized by feminist groups followed the first

Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Encounter, which designated November 25th as

the International Day Against Violence Against Women. On November 25, 1981

Peruvian feminist groups in Lima organized the first march for the "Dia de No Mas

Violencia Contra la Mujer." This march brought together 300 women, who came to

protest violence within the household and to denounce sexual harassment, torture in

prison, violence towards prostitutes, and women's marginalization (Salazar 2001:185).

According to activists of the period, this protest became the first feminist public

manifestation that delivered concrete outcomes for feminists in Peru (Vargas and Olea

1997:29). To further protest and denounce violence against women, the feminist

movement supported additional international days on violence against women and

organized different activities, such as music festivals, marches, panels, poetry readings,

and drawing competitions. In particular, feminists used many cultural productions to

make public their ideology and to raise public consciousness about different women's

issues. In 1980, the first feminist magazine, Women and Society was published in order

to stress women's oppression and exploitation. The magazine editors organized photo

expositions entitled "Mujeres Ven a Mujeres", and in 1984, the magazine "Viva",

published by Flora Tristan, was first published (Salazar 2001:178, 195).

Feminists also interwove themes of violence against women into campaigns, public

discourses and workshops. In the period 1985 to 1990, the feminist movement broadened

their social bases and strengthened their relationships with grassroots organizations by

taking part in their activities, such as with the Urban Women's Popular Movement. In

1987, the feminists organized the first National Feminist Encounter where women from









different social sectors attended workshops on power and violence, state policies, the

political conjuncture, and perspectives of the feminist movement (Vargas and Olea

1997:32). In another campaign in the mid-1980s, entitled "Breaking the Silence",

women were invited to discuss and denounce violence. This particular activity strove to

enhance awareness regarding violence against women and through "speak-outs" women

were encouraged to stand up and tell their story of victimization in a public forum.

According to a DEMUS activist, this campaign's mobilization led to the creation of the

first women police office in Lima in 1988.4 In 1989, the Flora Tristan Center signed an

agreement with the Ministry of the Interior to provide workshops on domestic violence to

female officers and to establish legal orientation within women's police stations.

Collaboration with women's police stations regarding violence against women allowed

the Flora Tristan Center to observe police work, to visualize the problem, and

subsequently, to use their observations to create law.5

The development of feminist efforts (including campaigns, political action,

discourses and ideology) allowed feminist groups to discuss the formulation of a bill that

would condemn violence against women. The World Conference of Women held in

Nairobi, Kenya, in 1985 was the first international condemnation of violence against

women. As such, it helped feminist groups to strengthen their position on violence and to

develop a law that would assure battered women access to the judicial system. Moreover,

the Flora Tristan Center, the Manuela Ramos Movement, the Aurora Vivar Association,



4 Author's interview realized with the coordinator of DEMUS, Lima, May 28, 2004.

5 Author's interview realized with a lawyer from the Flora Tristan Center, Lima, May 19, 2004. To some
extent, the agreement between the Flora Tristan Center and the Ministry of Interior led to an incursion into
electoral politics, aiming to increase political action on domestic violence punishment.









and Women and Society began to formulate domestic violence legislation with the hope

of having President Alan Garcia (1985-1990) approve it. Even though feminists were

aware that some European countries were only just beginning to discuss domestic

violence legislation, Peruvian women's groups drew up their first bill condemning

domestic violence on their own without being able to refer to international texts or

legislation and without strong support from international women's networks (Hawkins

and Humes 2002:247). However, the Garcia government paid little attention to feminist

demands and was more concerned with the economic crisis that ravaged Peru at that time.

The previous reconstruction of the activities organized by the feminist movement

highlights importance of the autonomy of the feminist movement and its impact on the

women's movement. The concept of autonomy has always created conflict within the

women's movement in Peru as well as in many countries in Latin America. The division

between the feminist "bourgeois" and the Leftist feminist militants had an impact on the

strength and the autonomy of the feminist movement. Despite this division, I believe that

throughout the 80s the movement has been able to gain important levels of autonomy and

mobilization because of the consciousness developed among women, particularly those in

grassroots organizations. The Peruvian feminist movement has been able to maintain

their autonomy regarding political parties and other governmental institutions, which

allowed them to develop actions to pressure the state on strategic concerns (such as

domestic violence) and to draft legislation on their own.

These initiatives demonstrate that feminist groups have been the first actors to

work on domestic violence. Through their activities they reached a larger segment of the

women's movement that soon became aware of the problematic and became involved in









the struggle on domestic violence. Moreover, according to the feminist organizations

interviewed for the present study, the most important achievement of the feminist

movement in the 80s was the rise in consciousness regarding violence against women

within the household and, subsequently, the public sphere. By claiming the private

dimension as a political one, feminists have been able to label issues that take place in the

private sphere (such as gendered power relationships, sexuality and violence against

feminists) as being political concerns that need to be addressed by institutions. As one

participant from the Flora Tristan Center mentioned, "the main realization in terms of

violence against women has been to gain access to the public space and to denounce such

violence (...); the second achievement has been to make the state accountable for a social

problem that it is not only a personal issue; finally the feminist movement allowed

women to break the silence on their personal situation.6" I, thus, believe that the

autonomy of the feminist movement allowed sufficient awareness about domestic

violence to develop as proved through their actions and discourses to increase

consciousness among women and society, in general. I will turn now to the political

opportunities that helped women push for legislation on domestic violence.

Political Opportunities Under Fujimori's Government

In early 1990, the feminist coalition working on the advancement of the domestic

violence law created FORO-MUJER to open discussion with female parliamentary

members about preoccupations on women's problems. The objectives of FORO-MUJER

were to influence decisions taken at the legislative and executive levels. As such, the

goals included creating a political agenda of legal initiatives that would favor women's


6 Author's interview with an activist from the Flora Tristan, Lima, June 2, 2004.









rights concerning increasing women's political participation; the elaboration of non-

discriminatory politics; the acknowledgement of autonomous women's organizations; the

right to participate in politics; and equal access to labor (Vargas and Olea 1997: 33). By

diversifying their interactions with women to include those from other political positions,

feminist groups developed strategic alliances with female legislators and women in high-

level positions within the state. By overcoming their political differences feminists,

Congresswomen and women from the public administration interacted in a "triangle of

empowerment" aiming to promote women's claims, to transform them into policy issues

and to expand politic support for their gender agenda (Vargas and Wieringa 1998:3).

One of the first issues discussed within FORO-MUJER was violence against women.

In February 1991, FORO-MUJER met with Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori to

discuss the government's position towards the Convention on the Elimination of All

Forms of Discrimination against Women, which had been ratified by Peru in 1982.

Among the different issues discussed during that meeting, FORO-MUJER reaffirmed the

importance of considering violence against women as a crime against life and stressed the

need to work on penal reform protecting battered women. During those years, FORO-

MUJER developed a bill entitled "Violence against Women" that was promoted in

Congress primarily by Congresswomen Lourdes Flores of the Popular Christian Party.

To promote the bill, feminist groups also used other strategies such as TV spots,

interviews on television, and investigations, while at the same time working at the


Author's interview realized with an activist from the Manuela Ramos Movement, Lima, May 20, 2004.









grassroots level (i.e. providing workshops to female victims, national police, public

authorities and state prosecutors).8

Under paradoxical circumstances resulting from the transition to an anti-democratic

framework, a window of opportunity finally began to appear on April 5, 1992. It was

then that Alberto Fujimori announced what many have called an "autogolpe", or self-

inflicted coup, in a 22- minute television address saying:

The country should understand that the temporary and partial suspension of the
existing legality is not a denial of real democracy and I will reorganize the
government for an honest and efficient administration of justice (Washington Post
April 6, 1992).

Promising to build a "true democracy" through a "Government of Emergency and

National Reconstruction", Fujimori's "autogolpe" attempted to impose radical changes

on the government's structure: to provide greater legislative efficacy; to end judicial

corruption; to modernize the state bureaucracy; to end drug trafficking and terrorism

generated by the Shining Path guerilla movement; and to continue the implementation of

a free market economy (Rochabrun 1996:4). Fujimori then suspended the 1979

Constitution, arrested several opposition leaders, disbanded Congress, and dismantled the

judicial system.

Great pressure from the international financial community, the United States, and

the Organization of the American States caused Fujimori, however, to curb his position.

During a meeting with all OAS members, Fujimori promised that within five months he

would hold elections for a Constitutional Congressional Assembly, which would include

political opponents that will have the power to pass law, and he would rewrite the

country's constitution (Hockstader 1992). Political opportunity for women to place their

8 Ibid.









concerns within the public agenda arose during the Congressional elections held in

November of 1992.

All the political parties were divided on their participation in the election and, as a

result, became fragmented into a dozen different groups. They were not able to generate

a clear statement, nor could they achieve a high electoral score (McClintock 1993:119).

Paradoxically, the division among the political parties provided some important

opportunities for feminist groups because it "brought the independent organizations back

into the political limelight" (Barrig 1998:110). The abstention of the main political

parties and political leaders in this election ensured the participation of a number of

unknown movements and community groups. The number of independent participants

also rose because voters lost confidence in political parties and their capacity to act as

efficient channels between the state and the population (Blondet 2002). Both the absence

and the weakness of political parties helped the feminists to put the issue of domestic

violence on the public agenda at a time when traditional means of participation and

expression were denied by Fujimori's regime. It is paradoxical that during such a period

where democracy was repressed that feminist achieved the enactment of the Family

Violence Law.9 During that period, women leaders received more media attention: they

were filmed, photographed, and interviewed. All this allowed feminists to make their

demands more visible to the public as well as members of congress (Barrig 1998:111).

These circumstances opened up opportunities for feminist groups and congresswomen to

9 Even more paradoxical is the fact that Fujimori's authoritarian regime has done more than any of his
predecessors in terms of enacting women's policies and creating institutions for women. Moreover, he was
the only president of the world to attend the Beijing Conference in 1995, publicly defending women's
rights. Barrig (2001:34) and Vargas (2002:213) argue that the adoption of such legal measure under an
authoritarian context undermine the victories realized by feminists because the law was ratified to fit with
Fujimori's machinations rather than having a real impact on women's life. As such the law defends the
family unit rather than gender violence.









place their demands concerning domestic violence legislation at the top of the public

agenda. The combination of this political opportunity and feminists' efforts led to

Congress' approving the Family Violence Law in December 1993.10

The absence of major political parties is one of the factors that may explain

Congress' ratification of the law. Other elements previously discussed are also relevant.

As I mentioned, political opportunities may be described by political openness to new

interests, instability of the regime, allies' influence, and supporters' psychological

readiness to push for common claims. The year following Fujimori's "autogolpe" was a

year of intense economic and political instability. Fujimori held Congressional elections

in order to legitimize his government within the international community as well as

within the national population. Internationally, Fujimori was concerned about receiving

economic aid and reestablishing his international reputation. And nationally, the

President hoped to minimize political opposition that might impede the implementation

of his structural reforms. In general, the regime's instability created a favorable context

for feminists' demands, and it partly explains why Fujimori's government was receptive

to new issues such as domestic violence.

Under this context of authoritarism and instability, Fujimori was trying to reinforce

his position; women's electorate potential appeared to be a great strategy. Women from

grassroots organizations represented important political support base that could help

legitimize Fujimori's government. As Costain (1992) mentions, women's block of votes

began to attract attention, making politicians consider strategically the value of appealing



10 The official name for the Family Violence Law is the "Ley de Protecci6n Frente a la Violencia Familiar"
(the Law for Protection from Family Violence) and it is also referred as the Law No. 26260. The Law No.
26763 adopted important amendments to the Law No. 26260 in June 1997.









to women. Alberto Fujimori, thus, had personal interests in embracing measures that

would promote women's rights; norms that would publicly acknowledge domestic

violence for the first time in Latin America; and, consequently, to garner from the

women's movement. The ratification of the Family Violence Law was part of a series of

measures adopted by Fujimori targeting women of different social levels and aimed at

attracting women's votes as well as reestablishing Fujimori's international reputation

"under the banner of antimachismo and equity" (Blondet 2002:281). This argument

supports the view of my informants. They maintain that Fujimori's personal interests and

political machinations partly explain the ratification of the law.11 In sum, this period of

crisis and electoral instability was part of the policy window that allowed women to place

their claims at the top of the public agenda.

However, by turning the feminist proposal on violence against women into a law,

Fujimori's government hijacked and co-opted the issue. Indeed, initially the bill was

named Ley de Violencia contra la Mujer" but just before receiving the official

Congress's approbation, Fujimori changed the name of the law for Ley de Protecci6n

frente a la Violencia Familiar.12" Many informants mentioned that they lost an important

part of their initial objectives because the law focuses only on family violence instead of

the many forms of violence against women and ignores the power relationships

embedded in domestic violence: "the family nucleus is perceived as more important than






11 Author's interview with a lawyer from the Manuela Ramos Movement Lima, May 20, 2004, and an
activist from the Flora Tristan Center Lima, on June 2, 2004.
12 Author's interview with an activist from Flora Tristan Lima, June 2, 2004.









violence against women.13" As explained by Jeannette Llaja, a lawyer working for

DEMUS:

El moviento feminist pierde cuando consigue une Ley de Violencia Familiar y no
una Ley de Violencia contra la Mujer. Hay difusi6n del problema pero
descontextualiza el tema de la relaci6n de poder que este detras de la violencia. La
Ley esta muy distant de considerarlo como una violacion a los derechos humans,
la present como une conflict familiar et de communicaci6n (CLADEM 2004).

Although the issue has been coopted by the government, the law was considered as

a score for the feminist movement and interactions between different actors have been

crucial. The alliances made through FORO-MUJER between feminist groups,

congressional leaders and government officials also had an important impact on the

adoption of this law. As mentioned, Congresswomen Lourdes Flores Nano played a

particularly important role presenting and promoting the bill to Congress. According to

Weldon (2002:97), winning a successful policy on violence against women depends

heavily on whether or not the female promoter is influential enough to affect policy, and

whether there is a strong autonomous women's movement. Lourdes Flores is a

recognized figure in Peru today and was an important opposition leader under Fujimori's

regime (Blondet 2002). Moreover, the women's movement provided the basis and the

external support to legitimize the policy on domestic violence, and FORO-MUJER

helped to counterbalance internal resistance within the government. Female allies in

government and Congress have, thus, played an important role in the adoption of the

Family Violence Law. Moreover, domestic violence was considered a problem of direct

concern to women and, as such, established a convergence of interests with female

deputies in Congress that were not part of FORO-MUJER All congresswomen voted in


13 Author's interview with the coordinator of CLADEM-Peru Lima, June 1, 2004.









favor of the ratification of the law despite their differing political affiliations (Blondet

2002:297). Therefore, the presence of allies and policymakers interested in feminist

proposals helped the adoption of the Family Violence Law. This corroborates Weldon's

(2002:163) observation that "most policies on violence against women are products of

partnerships between women's movement and sympathetic insiders."

Psychological readiness is another factor that influenced the political opportunities

available for a women's movement to form and achieve their political goals (Costain

1992:15). As previously mentioned, throughout the 80s the women's movement worked

on developing a consciousness regarding violence, and in the early 90s, women were

paying attention. Women were organically and psychologically ready to assign the

government responsibility for assessing the problem. Organically in the sense that

women were structurally ready; for example women's participation in FORO-MUJER

shows that they were organized to press for the adoption of legislation on violence

against women. Additionally, an important number of women had changed their

traditional focus on home and family and were psychologically ready to pressure the

government to address gender violence, gender equality and ending with women's

subordination. As such, the adoption of the law received important support from the

women's movement, and all women in Congress voted for the adoption of the legislation.

Finally, the international context focusing on women's human rights and the

adoption by Peru of the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women

(DEVAW) in June 1993 also pressured Fujimori's government to adopt legislation on

violence. Women had initiated the legislative process well before the international norm

was adopted. Throughout the 80s and early 90s, feminists have been critical for










identifying the issue, raising consciousness and translating domestic violence into the

public policy agenda. Helped by a favorable political context in the early 90s, as well as

support from the women's movement, the feminists were able to pressure the government

to adopt a norm against domestic violence.

Table 1. National Legislation on Domestic Violence


Peru
Chile

United-States
Argentina
Panama
Uruguay
Ecuador

Bolivia

Costa Rica
Colombia
El Salvador
Guatemala

Nicaragua
Dominican
Republic
Honduras
Mexico
Venezuela
Canada
Brazil
Paraguay


Law No.26260 adopted in December 1993 "Law for Family Protection"
Law No.19.325 adopted in August 1994 "Establishing Standard Procedures and
Penalties for Acts of Violence within the Family"
Law No 103-322 adopted in September 1994, "Violence against Women"
Law No.24.417 adopted in December 1994, "Protection against Family Violence"
Law 27 adopted in 1995
Law 16707 adopted in July 1995, "Law on the Safety of Citizens
Law adopted in November 1995, "Law against Violence toward Women and the
Family"
Law No.1674 adopted in December 1995, "Law against Domestic and Family
Violence"
Law adopted in March 1996, "Law against Domestic violence"
Law adopted in July 1996, "Law on Domestic Violence"
Law No. 902 adopted in September 1996, "Law against Family Violence"
Law No.9796 adopted in 1996, "Law to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Family
Violence"
Law containing amendments and additions to the 1996 Penal Code
Law 9497 adopted in 1997, "Law Defining Domestic Violence, Sexual Harassment, and
Incest as Crimes"
Law No.132-97 adopted in 1997 "Law against Domestic Violence"
Law adopted in December 1997, "Law against Domestic Violence"
Law adopted in September 1998, "Law on Violence against Women and the Family"
State without national-level legislation
State without national-level legislation
State without national-level legislation


SOURCE: Inter-American Commission of Women, "First Biennial Report of the Inter-American
Commission of Women (CIM) on Compliance with Resolution AG/RES. 1456 (XXVII-O/97)." June 1999.
Modified from Hawkins and Humes (2002:236).

Conclusion

Following the two-stage model of norm diffusion described by Hawkins and

Humes (2002), I have demonstrated in this chapter how the feminist section of the

women's movement in Peru and the window of opportunities under Fujimori's

government contributed to the adoption of the Family Violence Law. National feminist

groups have taken different strategies to maintain their autonomy and to develop









consciousness regarding the issue of domestic violence. The particular anti-democratic

circumstances that allowed the opening of the system and national pressure made Peru a

leading state in the adoption of the Family Violence Law.

In the next chapter, I will explore the implementation problems of the Family

Violence Law and the new challenges faced by the women's movement in the 90s. I will

analyze how the women's movement changed their strategies to focus more on a rights-

based approach and how structural, cultural and internal problems constrains women's

movement approach to work for a better implementation of the law.














CHAPTER 3
THE RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE
FAMILY VIOLENCE LAW

Introduction

The previous chapter was concerned with the different strategies developed by the

feminist movement to pressure the government to adopt national legislation condemning

domestic violence and the particular political context that allowed the Law for Protection

from Family Violence (hereinafter "Family Violence Law") to be ratified. This chapter

addresses the second step undertaken by the feminist NGOs in their long-term project to

tackle domestic violence, their efforts to assure the law was implemented. The two

objectives of this chapter are, first, to discuss feminist NGO's changing approach to

domestic violence within an evolving international context, and second, the obstacles that

undermined their efforts to implement the Family Violence Law.

In Latin America the end of the 1980s and the decade of the 1990s was a period

characterized by democratic transitions. Justice and good governance became part of the

political agenda adopted by most of the countries in the region. Additionally, a discourse

based on rights became a condition for strengthening democratic society by placing

social, economic and human rights at the forefront of Latin American policy debates.

Revitalized through this discourse, women's rights gained special attention and were

declared at the World Conference of Human Rights in Vienna in 1993 as an "inalienable,

integral and an indivisible part of universal human rights." Over the course of the 1990s,

civilian governments from the region became accountable for their commitments to









democracy and human rights through international conventions that resulted from United

Nations conferences, through regional agreements of the Organization of the American

States and through the ratification of national legislation. This formal acknowledgement

created further international and national debates between governments and activists over

implementation.

This new international political context entailed a change for NGOs. From the late

1980s and beginning of the 1990s, NGOs started to adopt a rights-based approach that

reflected these changes within the region: they began to develop projects and programs

focusing on citizenship, rights and commitments to democratic practices. Vargas argues

that the rights-based discourse adopted during that decade involved a broader range of

interests, characterized by unprecedented forms of contacts or relationships between the

state and civil society (Ibid. 2002:206). Molyneux and Lazar (2003) have studied the

changes in NGOs' work in Latin America, and they stress the NGO's rights-based

approach as a working and developing project that integrates some or all of the following

parameters: having a clear focus on rights as well as gender, culture, ethnicity, religion,

or age; giving particular attention to empowerment; increasing participation in formal and

informal decision-making processes; having an emphasis on democracy, that involves not

only an engagement in some way with governmental processes at international, national

or local level, but also includes internal democracy and a participatory relationship with

users; promoting projects aiming to bring changes within the society at large as well as

improving the lives of the project users (Ibid. 2003:6-7).

As such, many NGOs began to develop projects focusing on the improvement of

leadership skills among women in order to increase their access to the political apparatus.









Civil society organizations became involved in the electoral process, and a number of

projects aimed at improving the empowerment of low-income groups such as women,

indigenous peoples, and children (Ibid. 2003:32). Additionally, NGOs used a language

based on citizenship to deepen democracy and to extend the struggle for gender equality

to the struggle for the "right to have rights" (Dagnino 1998). As analyzed by Vargas,

"this formulation includes the right to equality as well as the right to be different and

allows the expansion of rights and the identification of unrecognized rights rather than

their limitation to those that have already been defined" (Ibid. 2002:204). During the

90s, women's NGOs that had often developed from the women's movement, became

very active, undertaking a rights-based strategy where they worked at the grassroots level

and lobbied governments for legal reforms that promote and protect women's rights

while monitoring government compliance with international conventions and national

laws. This general framework leads me to turn now to the rights-based approach

developed by Peruvian feminist NGOs and how they used this rights strategy to work for

the implementation of the Family Violence Law.

The Implementation of the Family Violence Law

The Manuela Ramos Movement, the Peruvian Women's Center Flora Tristan,

DEMUS, and CLADEM are the four NGOs that participated in my research. Based on

my interviews with their representatives, these NGOs present themselves as feminist

organizations and use a rights-based approach, arguing that for women to achieve rights

they must be free from violence. They work at different levels to improve the

implementation of the Family Violence Law. These feminist organizations have a clear

focus on women's human rights and domestic violence as part of their political agendas,

as well as other concerns such as "femenicidio", reproductive and sexual rights, and









women's rural rights. Through projects or initiatives to confront domestic violence, they

aim to make the state accountable to international, regional and national conventions on

violence against women. Except for CLADEM (which only works on monitoring and

pressuring for accountability by the state) Manuela Ramos, Flora Tristan and DEMUS

have developed different activities to increase women's empowerment. The following

sections examine the proactive rights-based approach used by these feminist NGOs to

increase women's empowerment and to develop state accountability regarding domestic

violence.

Empowerment

A number of approaches have been taken to define the concept of empowerment

(Deere & Leon 2001, Parpart, Rai & Staudlt 2003). As noted by Deere and Leon,

empowerment "is not a linear process with a well-defined beginning and ending that is

the same for all women"; it rather needs to be understood as a notion determined by a

number of factors such as women's personal and collective experiences, relationships,

family, context, history and level of subordination (Deere & Leon 2001:25). However, a

number of scholars (Parpart, Rau & Staudlt 2003, Molyneux & Lazar 2003, Deere &

Leon 2001) seem to agree with the work of Rowlands (1998) who argues that

empowerment must be understood as including "power to" which is when a group

stimulates the interests and activities of others. It is related to "power with" that relates

to the ability to work collectively and cooperate in finding a common decision and finally

"power from within" relates to individual consciousness or self-esteem (Deere and Leon

2001:24-25). In general terms, empowerment allows women to challenge their gender

subordination, and patriarchal traditions, and to take control of their lives, their bodies,

and their sexuality. NGOs are important actors for women's empowerment because they









operate through "informal learning" programs such as workshops which are excluded

from the education system. NGOs provide opportunities for women to acquire

knowledge on a range of issues, such as gender subordination, reproductive health,

domestic violence, gender and legislation, gender and politics, and others (Stromquist

2003:27).

Through workshops, publicity materials, psychological and legal services to

domestic violence victims, Manuela Ramos, Flora Tristan and DEMUS develop activities

or services focused on "power from within," aiming to raise awareness and confidence

among women. Those feminist NGOs work on a rotational basis, providing free legal and

psychological services for female victims in the Lima police station for women.1

DEMUS and Manuela Ramos provide legal and psychological consultations in their

regular offices. Consultations with psychologists provide a private space where victims

can discuss their individual experiences and emotions. Legal orientations with NGO

lawyers provide information about women's rights and the Family Violence Law, and

counsel victims about different steps that should be undertaken for their judicial cases.2

Additionally, DEMUS organizes therapy groups with domestic violence victims,

providing a space for reflection where women acquire knowledge and comprehension

about domestic violence dynamics.3 Finally, DEMUS, Manuela Ramos and Flora Tristan

have organized an emergency phone lines offering consultations.


1 Since 1988 Peru followed Brazil's example and established "comiserias de mujeres" which are special
police stations mostly composed of female staff, trained to respond to domestic violence cases. In Lima
metropolitan they are seven women police stations (Lima, Callao, Canto Rey, Independencia, Villa El
Salvador, Collique and in the Ministry for Women and Social Development). The Ministry of Interior has
also established specialized sections for the same purpose within regular police stations.

2 Author's interview with a lawyer from DEMUS, Lima, June 9, 2004.

3 Ibid.









This direct and individual contact between domestic violence victims and NGO

professionals allows raising women's consciousness, developing and rediscovering self-

esteem and helps women in their decision-making process. By providing legal and

psychological services, NGOs help individuals to make rights important on a personal

level and through their rights-based work they "make rights relevant to people's daily

lives" (Molyneux and Lazar 2003:52).

NGOs' rights-based approach is also emphasized within their educational

materials. Through their pamphlets, the three NGO participants provide general and

practical information on domestic violence such as where victims can receive help, who

are domestic violence victims, what to do in a situation of violence and expose the

general myths attributed to domestic violence. The objectives of those materials aim to

increase women's education about domestic violence, and incite victims to denounce

violence and to consult NGOs professionals. Additionally, by insisting on myths about

domestic violence and on the abnormality of violent behaviors, those educational

brochures also play an important role in developing women's awareness at an individual

level: they might give to women the impetus to consult or to denounce domestic violence.

For these reasons, I believe that Flora Tristan, Manuela Ramos and DEMUS work on an

individual basis that might lead to women's empowerment, which is one parameter of the

right-based approach.

State Accountability

Another important component of the rights-based strategy is the emphasis of NGOs

on democracy and their involvement within governmental processes, particularly by

working on state accountability for international, regional and national engagements in a

way that people are able to exercise their rights and to get access to justice. Indeed, the









implementation of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the

Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence

Against Women, and the Family Violence Law represent important implementation

challenges for the state as well as for NGOs. For the purpose of my study I will

concentrate only on NGOs who work to improve the implementation of the national

legislation on domestic violence.

One of the main factors that impede an adequate enforcement of the Family

Violence Law is the work performed by the main actors responsible for the application of

the legislation, such as state prosecutors, police officers, judges and forensic doctors. My

interviews with those "justice operators" show a number of obstacles that stand in the

way of the enforcement of the law: the lack of human and material resources, delays in

investigation, legislative limitations, ineffective sanctions and protective measures,

minimization of injuries, ideological biases, and lack of knowledge are among the factors

that strongly affect the application of the Family Violence Law.

By increasing their collaboration with the state, Manuela Ramos, Flora Tristan and

DEMUS have taken several steps to address enforcement. Because implementation is

threatened by actors' biases, lack of knowledge or sensibility towards the issue, the three

feminists NGOs provide workshops for justice operators aiming to increase their

understanding of violence against women. Through their workshops, professionals from

Manuela Ramos explain why there is gender violence, what is domestic violence and

what are the myths and the cycles associated with domestic violence.4 Flora Tristan has

collaborated since 1989 with the Ministry of Interior by providing workshops to police


4 Author's interview with a lawyer from the Manuela Ramos, Lima, May 20, 2004.









officers on violence against women. This agreement between Flora Tristan and the state,

which was ratified under former President Garcia, allows the feminist NGO to provide

information about women's human rights to police officers who will later receive

victims' statements in domestic violence cases.5 During those workshops, Flora Tristan

discusses the quality of attention in police stations, international and national legislation,

and the legal procedures that have to be taken into account in domestic violence cases.

DEMUS and Manuela Ramos have organized workshops for forensic doctors and judges

to increase their sensibility toward the issues. Flora Tristan and Manuela Ramos have

collaborated with the Ministry for Women and Social Development (MIMDES)6 for the

implementation of an emergency free phone service for victims of domestic violence.

Another way to engage with the Peruvian state is to intervene in judicial cases. As

such, DEMUS and Flora Tristan intervene in judicial leader cases because the precedent-

setting legal cases might have an important impact on future legal actions.' At the time

of the interview, DEMUS was involved in the case of a woman that had been killed by

her spouse after using all legal instruments to obtain protection and justice from the

courts. In another case involving an assassinated woman, DEMUS complained to the

women's rights division within the Office of the Peoples's Ombudsman8 because the

judge did not sentence the murderer. By being involved in such cases, DEMUS attempts



5 Author's interview with an activist from the Flora Tristan, Lima, July 2,2004.

6 Alberto Fujimori's government created the "Ministerio de Promoci6n de la Mujer y Desarollo Humano
(PROMUDEH) in 1996 to address women's issues. Recently, the name for "Ministerio de Promoci6n de la
Mujer y Desarollo Humano" has been changed for the "Ministerio de la Mujer y del Desarollo Social".

SAuthor's interview with a lawyer from DEMUS, Lima, June 9, 2004.

8 The "Defensoria Especializada de la Mujer en la Defensoria del Pueblo" was created in October 1996 to
monitor government actions toward the protection and the promotion of women's human rights.









to demonstrate that domestic violence can lead to death, thus pressing the government to

implement protective and penal measures and try to make the legislation effective and

enforceable.

As part of their strategy to raise public awareness about violence against women

and pressure the state to act regarding the increasing number of women assassinated by

their spouses, DEMUS has also been engaged for two years in a campaign on

"feminicidio." This relatively recent phenomenon is described by DEMUS as a

"genocide against women that occurs when historical conditions generate social practices

that violate women's integrity, health, freedom and lives" (DEMUS website). By

framing their campaign under the banner "ni a muerta mas," DEMUS aims to create

debates and discussions within the society and tries to sensitize the population about the

magnitude of the violence issue.9 By raising cases with the legal authorities and by

developing a campaign on "feminicidio," DEMUS creates a context that allows them to

lobby and push for legislative modifications regarding the penal code and the Family

Violence Law. Thus, DEMUS pressures for legislative changes, but also forces the state

to be accountable and to ensure and implement protective and punitive measures within

the Family Violence Law.10

Although Flora Tristan and Manuela Ramos did not embrace a campaign on

"feminicidio," their lobbying activities pressured the government to respect international

and national legislation and they monitor government actions. To force the government

to face implementation problems, Manuela Ramos and Flora Tristan published in 2003 a



9 Ibid.

10 Author's interview with a lawyer from DEMUS, Lima, June 9, 2004.









number of articles on the quality of attention by justice operators, such as Family and

Sexual Violence: a diagnostic on attention services" (Macassi Leon 2003b). This

academic research financed by international donors aims to provide an accurate

representation of the implementation of the Family Violence Law by justice operators

and to lobby for modifications based on the results of the research.1 Flora Tristan

published a report in 2003 on family and sexual violence assessing the current level of

violence, public policies, legislative answers and legal and institutional obstacles

incompatible with the Family Violence Law. In the same vein, CLADEM published a

report in 2003 on the "National Balance on Domestic Violence in Peru" which assesses

government and NGO actions to tackle domestic violence problems and the changes and

challenges to improve the situation. Flora Tristan lobbies for the modification of the

Peruvian Criminal Code. The NGO published an article on necessary changes to reform

the Criminal code and to condemn family violence misdemeanor as a crime against life,

body, and health (Macassi Leon 2003a). Until today, when the assault is classified as a

misdemeanor, there is no penal sanction because the Family Violence Law is a civil law.

Therefore, those publications provide a framework for NGOs to promote and lobby for

policy changes, law implementation and pressure the state to enforce legislation.

Another important strategy for feminist NGOs is to work through "espacios de

concertaci6n" where they create alliances with other civil society organizations. This

space for dialogue helps to generate discussion between various non-profit groups that

might increase grassroots support when feminist organizations present bills to the

Congress, and can also lead to coordinated actions in monitoring government actions.

" Author's interview with the coordinator of the women's human rights program in the Flora Tristan
Center, Lima, May 19, 2004.









Dialogue aims also to increase discussion between government members and NGOs.12

An important improvement has been the creation of the "Mesa Nacional para la

Prevencion y Atenci6n de la Violencia Familiar" where organizations from civil society

and the Ministry for Women and Social Development have created a national committee

to discuss domestic violence problems with Ministries of Justice, Health, Education,

Interior, Public Ministry, and with organizations such as Flora Tristan, UNICEF, and the

Network for Women's Empowerment. This committee aims to create propositions to

decrease and prevent domestic violence and to find solutions to improve legislation

application. However, according to CLADEM, the committee faces problems: ministry

representatives that attend meetings do not have decision-making power or the necessary

leadership to engage their ministry in different projects and agreements or simply do not

participate in the meetings.13

Finally, feminist NGOs use publicity and the media to pressure governments to

enforce the Family Violence Law and to increase consciousness within the society at

large. These NGOs used posters, magazines, website, create public events, and published

articles in magazines and newspapers. For example, DEMUS has published articles on

domestic violence, sexual and reproductive rights, and religion in Peruvian newspapers

such as La Republica, La Industria, El Gran Diario del Norte, El Tiempo.

In sum, my findings show that through a rights-based approach, feminist NGOs

work at the individual and national levels to raise consciousness and provide education

about the existence of domestic violence victims' rights, to increase women's

12 Author's interview with the coordinator of the women's human rights program in the Flora Tristan
Center, Lima, May 19, 2004.

13 Author's interview with a lawyer from CLADEM, Lima, June 1, 2004.







57


empowerment, and to improve the Family Violence Law, making it operative and


enforceable by justice operators.









NGO work to improve legislation



Lobbying work for legislation
improvement and criminal code
amendments. Campaigns on
"feminicidio", amendments,
"espacio de concertaci6n"

NGO work to make legislation on
violence against women effective and enforceable


Taking up individual cases and Workshops training:
cases that can set a legal precedent, police officers,
Complaining to women's state prosecutors,
ombudsman; researches and publications; forensic doctors,
campaign on "feminicidio"; Judges
publicity/media





NGO work encouraging the development of women's
empowerment and awareness, and encouraging women to denounce domestic
violence by providing psychological counseling, legal advices,
therapy groups,and emergency lines




Figure 1. Shows how NGO's work at the individual and national levels on violence
against women. Modified from the table developed by Molyneux and Lazar
(2003:65).

As the above conceptual chart designed by Molyneux and Lazar (2003:65)


indicates, feminist NGOs developed particular strategies working on an individual basis


to empower women through psychological and legal counseling, therapies groups,


educative materials while working at a national level to make the state accountable of the


Family Violence Law through dialogue, lobbying, campaigning, researching and


publishing, workshops, publicity and legal actions.









Limitations to the Rights-Based Approach

The previous section highlights how feminist NGOs used the rights-based approach

to increase women's empowerment and to make the state accountable to their legal

commitments, particularly the enforcement of the Family Violence Law. Although some

important successes have been achieved by NGOs working to tackle domestic violence,

three obstacles stand in the way of their efforts. These obstacles are structural, cultural

and internal (within the feminist NGOs themselves). The following section discusses the

limitations to the rights-based approach encountered by feminist NGOs in their efforts to

improve the situation regarding domestic violence.

Structural Obstacles

NGOs' rights-based strategy implies an operational legal system able to provide

equal access to justice, fair and efficient legal procedures, law enforcement, effective

protection, and a prompt trial. However, NGO themselves face a number of structural

obstacles that undermine their efforts to develop a rights-based approach aiming to make

the state accountable to the Family Violence Law. According to Culliton (1994),

structural problems relate to the legal system, particularly the failures to effectively

investigate, prosecute, and punish domestic violence, which, in turn, results in a failure to

effectively protect victims from further injuries. The results of my research show that

investigative delay, legislative limitations, protective measures and ineffective sanctions

are structural problems constraining the application of the Family Violence Law and

limiting NGO's rights-based strategy.

More specifically, due to the bureaucratic system neither the women's police

stations nor the National Police of Peru are able to complete their investigations within

the legal time period. Police officers' investigations are generally completed within a









minimum of twenty days to two months instead of the required five days.14 Police

investigations are also limited by a legal disposition that empowers them to search the

home of the accused only in cases of"delito flagrante" which means when police witness

the assault or the misdemeanor.15 Because domestic violence generally takes place

within the household, this article has a weak application.

Police officers and state prosecutors have a clear obligation to provide protection to

domestic violence victims.16 While recognizing their obligations, police officers do not

provide any particular protection measures arguing that they cannot legally force the

aggressor to leave the house; they say if the aggressor is unconscious, shameless, and

does not want to leave his house, I can't take him out because the law does not allow me

to do so.17" Police officers argue that they can remove the aggressor from the house and

detain him for up to 24 hours only in cases of"delito flagrante," which rarely occurs

because as I mentioned, police rarely witness domestic violence. State prosecutors are

also legally responsible for providing temporary protective measures such as forcing the

removal of the aggressor from a victim's home.18 However, the state prosecutor that I

interviewed mentioned that judges are the only justice operators legally instructed to

provide protective measures.19 Since it usually takes four to seven months for a judge to




14 Art. 4 Family Violence Law, Lima.

15 Art. 7 Family Violence Law, Lima.

16 Art. 6 Family Violence Law, Lima.

17Author's interview with the Captain from Surquillo's police station, Lima, June 11, 2004.

18Art. 10 and art. 11 Family Violence Law, Lima.

19Author's interview with a state prosecutor from Cono Norte, Lima, May 18, 2004.









become aware of a case and to provide protective measures, the majority of the victims

remain threatened, living with their aggressors.

Lack of effective sanctions for domestic violence aggressors is another structural

problem constraining the implementation of the law. The Family Violence Law classifies

physical violence as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense and relies on the Penal

Code for a deeper classification. The Penal Code establishes a system where offenses are

classified according to the number of days required for treatment and disability leave

resulting from injuries. Injuries requiring ten days or fewer are categorized as

misdemeanors and there is no penal sanction; those requiring more than ten but fewer

than thirty days are simple felonies and the aggressor can receive a penal sanction from a

criminal judge; and those requiring more than thirty days such as disfiguration,

permanent mutilation, or placing the victim's life in imminent danger are classified as

aggravated felonies. The Penal Code was modified in 1997 to stipulate that misdemeanor

offenses can rise to the level of a felony when the injuries are sustained in domestic

violence (Women's Rights Watch report 2000). Based on such a classification,

psychological violence is hardly qualified and is treated as a misdemeanor because it

does not fit the Penal Code's classification, which does not translate psychological

trauma into a quantifiable injury.

According to NGO participants, most domestic violence cases are treated as

misdemeanors and not as felonies. When the offense is classified as a misdemeanor,

perpetrators can be prevented from seeing their children; they can be removed from their

household, they might be held liable for family financial support or civil reparation and









they can receive psychological therapy or be forced to carry out community service.20

However, women's rights activists, state prosecutors and judges mentioned that sanctions

can be expected at most to remove the aggressor from the house (six months to one year)

or to pay a minimal fine for a civil reparation. Those penalties are negligible and do not

dissuade aggressors from committing violence against women. Finally, cases are less

likely to be classified as felonies and prison is rarely the verdict for domestic violence

cases because according to the participants, domestic violence is still not considered a

crime.

The lack of material resources and staffs within the criminal justice system is

another structural impediment that has been reported by participants. To improve the

rapidity and the quality of their work, police officers need equipment such as computers,

faxes, and police cars, and they must increase their coordination with multidisciplinary

teams composed of psychologists, lawyers, social workers and forensic doctors. Police

stations need additional trained staff to attend to calls and to provide better protection to

domestic violence victims.21 In the same vein, there are too few family prosecutors and

judges to deal with the important backlogs domestic violence cases. In Lima

metropolitan, three specialized judges attend domestic violence cases for a population of

6,7 inhabitants.22 In the district of Cono Norte23 in Lima there are five specialized family




20Art 21 Family Violence Law, Lima.

2Author's interviews with captains from women's police stations in Lima, June 4, 2004, in Villa Salvador,
Lima, June 8, 2004 and with the captain from the national police station in Surquillo, Lima, June 11, 2004.
22 "Instituto Nacional De Estadistica E Informatica" 2000.

23 Cono Norte includes districts of Comas, Independencia, San Martin de Porres, Los Olivos, Puente Piedra,
Carabayllo, Santa Rosa y Anc6n.









judges24 and five25 state prosecutors for a population near to 2 millions. Those numbers

reflect the lack of priority attributed to domestic violence and other family issues for the

Peruvian government.

These structural impediments provide insights into the difficulties of enforcing the

legislation, which compromise the NGOs rights-based approach. Many informants

mentioned the lack of political willingness to really invest in the problematic issues, such

as has happened with the "Mesa National para la Prevenci6n y Atenci6n de la Violencia

Familiar." Ministries send representatives with no decision-making powers or simply do

not send any representative to attend meetings. In her report on "Family Sexual

Violence, Abortion and Reproductive Rights" Yvonne Macassi Le6n (2003c) highlights

the fact that the Ministry for Women and Social Development, which has the most

important programs for decreasing and preventing domestic violence does not have the

necessary budget to effectively implement their plans. Indeed in 2003 the Ministry

received 2.4% of the national budget, which is distributed among two sections of the

ministry: women's affairs and social development. According to CLADEM, most of the

budget is allocated to the social development department of the Ministry. Another

problem that has been mentioned is the lack of continuity of the program from one

government to another. A newly elected government does not have to continue projects

or programs started under former administrations and a political representative has the







24 http://www.pj.gob.pe/cononorte/historia.htm

25 Author's interview with a family state prosecutor in Cono Norte, Lima, May 18, 2004.









liberty to decide or not to carry out a project on domestic violence: "it depends on their

political willingness.26"

By adopting a rights-based approach, feminist NGOs have developed important

strategies trying to make the state accountable to their legal engagements and to develop

women's empowerment. However, those structural challenges are part of the political

and judicial apparatus undermining the NGOs rights-based work, which can appear

pointless without broader programs of institutional and legislative reforms (Molyneux

and Lazar 2003:83). Feminist NGOs confront important challenges maintaining their

right-based work when domestic violence victims do not receive adequate state

protection, when sanction towards aggressors are mostly futile, when access to justice is

limited, when the justice system is overloaded, and when domestic violence does not

appear to be a priority on the government agenda. Moreover, in a country like Peru,

where corruption is associated with the judicial and executive powers and where people

do not believe that justice might resolve their conflicts, NGOs rights-based work is thus

limited by those structural shortcomings.

Cultural Obstacles

According to all NGO participants, a major problem that limits the rights-based

approach and impedes the implementation of the Family Violence Law is the cultural

model based on patriarchal power. Cultural attitudes and biases predetermine justice

operators' reactions. Many NGO representatives mentioned that justice operators apply

the Family Violence Law based on their own personal criteria and ideology. According

to the informant from Manuela Ramos, justice actors still believe that violence against

26 Author's interview with the director of the family violence program in the Ministry of Women and Social
Development, Lima, May 26, 2004.









women is a private matter that does not need legal intervention: the family is what needs

to be protected. As the captain from the police station in Surquillo highlights "without

any doubt, we believe that family is the society's principal nucleus and cannot be

disintegrated: the children are the ones who suffer from the consequences of violence".

The problem of domestic violence seems to remain misunderstood and some justice

operators still blame women for being responsible for the situation. A commentary made

by one state prosecutor from the Cono Norte illustrates cultural bias towards the victims

of domestic violence "women become used to be victims, they are looking for other

partners and the same situation happens. Is it bad luck or are women looking for partners

with such characteristics? Women become used to violence and being injured (...) they

feel comfortable in such situation.27" Others believe that women use the Family Violence

Law as a mechanism to receive medical attention, to have a motive for divorcing for

alimony or to threaten their partners (Macassi Le6n 2003b). Finally, "justice operators"

still believe that the only victims involved in domestic violence conflicts are from the

lower social class and instable families; they do not have education or decent work and

are economically dependent (Macassi Le6n 2003c:19).

On top of that, women's own gender stereotypes add to the biased attitudes and the

idea of being a "good wife" as synonymous with being obedient and submissive (Chant

2003:119). As such, victims of violence still often blame themselves for what happened,

accepting their fault, insisting that they deserved what happened, and family well-being

remains their first concern.28 Other factors, such as family networks that pressure women


27 Author's interview with the state prosecutor in Cono Norte, Lima, May 18, 2004.

28 Author's interview with the lawyer from Manuela Ramos, Lima, May 29, 2004.









to remain with their families, economic dependency on men's incomes, and the victim's

belief that their claims will not be taken seriously, justify women's inactivity and also

contribute to reinforce women's stereotypes (Chant 2003).

Through the organization of workshops for justice operators, Flora Tristan,

Manuela Ramos, and DEMUS work hard to change cultural attitudes on violence against

women. Education is key to improve awareness about domestic violence and "the state

has the obligation to develop programs that discuss this issue and women's subordination

in the society.29"

Those myths or cultural biases among institutional actors as well as of women

themselves are obstacles to the implementation of the Family Violence Law. Molyneux

and Lazar suggest that cultural resistance affects rights-based strategy when it is opposed

to cultural practices (Ibid. 2003:88). As previously discussed, I believe that my

interviews provide evidence of such obstacles: cultural biases and attitudes guide the

decision of justice operators and affect NGO's efforts in their projects to make the state

accountable to the Family Violence law. By providing workshops to justice operators,

these NGOs aim to change their cultural attitudes. Although domestic violence is

socially unacceptable in urban areas (but remains justified in the countryside as indicated

by the Peruvian proverb "mis me pegas, mas te quiero") machismo from both men and

women impede an adequate application of the law.30

Similarly to what has been observed by Molyneux and Lazar, I would say the

feminist NGOs work hard to change Peruvian culture. As an activist from Flora Tristan

29 Author's interview with the coordinator of the women's human rights program in the Flora Tristan
Center, Lima, May 19, 2004.

30 Ibid.









mentioned "one of our challenges is to change behaviors, and to bring effective actions

that will entail cultural change.31" NGOs work on transforming women's cultural

attitudes through workshops, legal and psychological help and publicity materials;

however, although NGOs try to confront women's biases, changing cultural attitudes and

stereotypes is a long-term process. As mentioned by the informant from Manuela Ramos

"we note that mentalities of services' users still need to be changed.32" This is why

education on gender subordination and violence against women is needed among young

people. Domestic violence is an issue that has existed for decades but it is apparently

new for the Ministry of Education and there are no specific programs aiming to educate

students about domestic violence or to prevent domestic violence.33 Notwithstanding that

domestic violence is an epidemic in Peru, the issues of domestic violence are assessed

through broader gender questions but elementary school and high school curricula do not

provide specific information on the problem.34

Internal problems: the "NGOization" of the Feminist Movement

In Latin America the 1990s brought about the return to democratic rule, the

adoption of a good governance agenda, and the formal recognition of women's rights.

This period was also characterized by the adoption of neoliberal reforms that led

governments to cut social programs and public services, increasing the role played by

civil society organizations within social welfare services and compensating for


31 Author's interview with an activist from the Flora Tristan Center, Lima, June 2, 2004.
32 Author's interview with the lawyer from the Manuela Ramos Movement, Lima, May 20, 2004.

33 Author's interview with the representative of the program "Peace and Culture" in the Ministry of
Education, Lima, June 20, 2004.

34 Ibid.









government withdraw from social welfare functions (Radcliffe 2004). Under this

changing political and economic context of the 1990s, Peru, as well as most countries in

the region, saw the proliferation of "specialized and professionalized" feminist NGOs

dedicated to intervene in national and international policy processes (Alvarez 1998:306).

Additionally, the creation of governmental institutions such as women's ministries and

legislation protecting women's rights, entailed a demand for non-governmental

organizations that could provide specific information on women's issues. The spread of

NGOs during that decade was also related to the weakening and ineffectiveness of the

state, and to international funding agencies' decisions to redistribute their financial

resources to more professionalized organizations. This relatively recent phenomena that

took place all over the region has been described by Sonia Alvarez as "NGOization,"

which refers to institutionalization of the feminist movement (Alvarez 1998, Vargas

2002). The rights-based approach involves NGOs engagement in some way within the

governmental process. By their intervention in the policy process and making the state

accountable for women's rights, NGOs were criticized by the broader women' s

movement. As a result, fragmentation and tensions towards the strategies used to

pressure the state increased, and a growing distance between NGOs and grassroots

supports was observed (Alvarez 1998). Thus, the NGOization of the feminist movement

might explain enforcement problems of the Family Violence Law.

While trying to consolidate the gains realized during the 80s and early 90s, feminist

NGO's began to focus more on strategies to deal and negotiate with the authorities rather

than questioning the state. As such, the public, political sphere became the main focus

for feminist NGOs who concentrated their energies developing successful lobbying









tactics (Vargas 2002) as well as other strategies such as campaigning, dialogue with

governments and civil associations, monitoring justice operators, and legal actions with

the objective of influencing government policies and mechanisms. As I discussed in the

previous chapter, the ratification of the Family Violence Law in 1993 provides

information on Peruvian feminist strategies to make the state accountable for women's

rights in the context of domestic violence.

Throughout the changing international context of the 1990s, the NGOization of the

feminist movement and their approach based on rights, increased dialogue and

negotiations between the state and feminist NGOs, transformed their relationships into

closer contacts than in the previous decade. However, as Vargas comments "the policy

of negotiation with actors in the public political sphere (...) gave rise to a series of

tensions and conflicts" (Ibid. 2002:208). Similar to the division between feminist

activists identified as "bourgeois" and feminist militants during the 1980s, the new

situation has provoked a division between "las ongistas" versus "el movimiento"

(Alvarez 1998:312). Such division has taken place in other countries like in Chile where

the campaign for Congressional elections in 1991 highlighted conflicts between "las

profesionales" and "las pobladoras" (Baldez 2002:185). The latter believe that feminists

have abandoned the core of feminist principles, which undermine the NGOs capacity for

innovation and being autonomous from the state and donor agencies. The tension

between the "ongistas" and the "movement" is also emphasized because feminist NGOs

are in a particularly advantageous position in the sense that they have access to important

funding from national or international institutions which allows them to employ

remunerated professionals. They also benefit from a strategic position in terms of their









relationships with public officials, the media, and donor agencies (Alvarez 1998, Vargas

2002). However, this strategic position has caused critics to question NGO's

accountability. Scholars, such as Sara Radcliffe (2004) argue that NGOs are not

necessarily accountable to civil society, but rather to national and international funding

agencies (Ibid. 2004:205).

While all NGOs that I interviewed were clear about the importance of remaining

independent, objective, and autonomous from international and national donor agencies, I

found many examples illustrating this close engagement with the state. For instance,

Flora Tristan signed an agreement with the Ministry of Interior to provide workshops to

police officers on women's human rights and violence against women, telephone services

have been coordinated between Flora Tristan, Manuela Ramos and the Women's

Ministry and Social Development, and Flora Tristan has been also very active in the

creation of a "mesa de concertaci6n" involving ministries and NGOs to discuss domestic

violence prevention. However, the informant from Manuela Ramos mentioned "while

we always remain independent (from the state) and we will always critique and

denounce, cooptation is a risk.35" The rights-based approach used by feminist NGOs to

increase their participation within governmental processes and their attempt to make the

state accountable to women's rights entailed a closer relationship with the state, but risks

of cooptation are still present and impose an important limit to the rights-based strategy.

As during the 1980s, the question of autonomy entailed fragmentation within the feminist

movement.


35 Author's interview with a lawyer from the Manuela Ramos Movement, Lima, May 20, 2004.









Academics have also analyzed the adoption of the rights-based approach,

focusing on state, public policy and the NGOs' integration into the formal political sphere

that have distanced feminists NGOs from popular grassroots support (Alvarez 1998,

Baldez 2002, Vargas 2002). Feminism depends upon the support of a broader movement

in civil society to strengthen its minority position and to counterbalance the impact of its

interaction with the state; however, "without local mobilization with women from

grassroots organizations, feminists might lack the broad social base that would enable

them to press more effectively for the implementation of the many new rights and

entitlements recently earned through increased engagement in political-institutional

arenas on a national, regional, and global scale" (Alvarez 1998:316). Therefore, feminist

integration into conventional ways of doing politics or "realpolitik" have thus weakened

feminist relationships within the broader women's movement, which lost strength from

the 1980s.

Feminist NGOs work to preserve their interactions with grassroots organizations

from the women's movement. As I mentioned, Flora Tristan has been very important in

establishing the dialogue committee between civil society and government, and Manuela

Ramos works in close collaboration with the "Casa del Bien-Estar," supporting a

women's community organization that provides legal, health, and educational services,

along with workshops for women from the urban and popular sectors in Lima. However

NGOs interactions with grassroots organizations appear to be limited. Those limitations

can be explained in terms of budget, staff and NGOs' priorities to work with the state.

The lack of support from grassroots organizations might undermine the capacity for

feminist NGOs to influence public policy implementation. In her study of the Chilean









women's movement and political mobilization, Baldez highlights a similar conclusion:

women at the grassroots levels do not feel that feminist NGOs adequately represent their

concerns. In the same vein, when feminist NGOs promote their policy agenda within the

Congress, they cannot rely on movement activists to support their proposals (Ibid.

2002:191). As Vargas observed "without the alliances and interactions which work to

transform political culture, the social base of the feminist movement disappears, thus

limiting its chances of gaining recognition and its capacity to influence civil society and

the government" (Ibid. 2001:210).

Therefore, due to those limitations resulting from the rights-based approach and

particularly by the decision to become engaged with government processes, feminist

NGO's might have difficulties in articulating their claims within the formal public and

political arenas which are still embedded in patriarchal power. Those limitations provide

important insights that might explain the difficulties encountered by feminist NGOs in

their policy implementation projects.

Finally, structural, internal and cultural obstacles that limit the rights-based

approach are not specific to the Peruvian situation. Structural problems have been

highlighted by many academics and remain present in a number of countries in Latin

America. In Brazil Fiona Macaulay (2000) discusses the lack of support for domestic

violence victims, the ineffective penal sanctions for aggressors and the deficiency within

the judicial system that fail to prosecute many domestic violence cases. Similarly, in

Nicaragua Nikki Johnson (2002) highlights the lack of protection for domestic violence

victims and the legislation enforcement problems. She also mentions that women's rights

are constrained by penal and civil codes that still considered women as equivalents to









minors and by the existence of old concepts such as chastity and family honor. As I

previously mentioned, the institutionalization of the women's movement has been a

regional tendency; the consequences of such changes took place all over Latin America

and are not specific to Peru (Alvarez 1998, Baldez 2002, Vargas 2002). Finally, the

patriarchal model and biases toward domestic violence is common in Latin America. As

Culliton mentioned "a number of degrading myths about Latina women create real

obstacles to the development of legal norms enforcing fundamental rights" (Ibid. 1994:2).

Conclusion

During the 90s, the right-based approach allowed feminist NGOs to work on

enforcing and improving the Family Violence Law. As my research shows, feminist

NGOs work at the personal level on women's empowerment and at the national level

through their participation within government processes making the state accountable to

women's rights. Furthermore as observed by Molyneux and Lazar (2003) the work

undertaken by NGOs aims to change cultural attitudes and public opinions toward

domestic violence. Although feminist NGO participants have realized important

achievements, some obstacles similar to those in other regions in Latin America limit the

rights-based approach. Many obstacles highlighted in a 2000 report by Women's Rights

Watch remain present in 2004. Feminist NGOs are accomplishing laudable efforts to

make rights valuable for women and justice operators, however, NGOs do not replace the

state and many of those obstacles need to be addressed by the Peruvian government itself.

Finally, Fujimori's authoritarian presidency under which these measures began to

be implemented might also explain why today the Family Violence Law has enforcement

problems. As many informants mentioned, Fujimori strategically ratified the Family

Violence Law and other legislation promoting women's rights to maintain his popularity









and to receive international funding.36 While adopting programs on domestic violence,

Fujimori's government was concurrently involved in a series of human rights abuses such

as forced sterilization programs titled "las ferias de la trompas" and against people

criticizing the legitimacy of his government. The authenticity of the motives for adopting

legislation promoting women's rights might have been opportunistic, and without the

necessary governmental willingness to really increase women's status and legal

protection. Up to now, this lack of governmental willingness is still present in the Peru

and is a potential explanation for implementation problems.

































36 Author's interview with the director of Family Violence Program, Ministry of Women and Social
Development, Lima, May 26, 2004.














CHAPTER 4
CONCLUSION

Although domestic violence has traditionally been considered a private issue

pertaining to the family domain, the last two decades have led to the recognition of the

depth of the problem and the importance of state intervention. A principal objective of

this study was to trace the evolution of the Peruvian feminist movement: its attempt to

place the issue of domestic violence on the public agenda; its increasing desire to obtain

government acknowledgement of the problem; and its increasing concentration on

developing women's consciousness. Another purpose was to discuss the current phase of

feminist NGOs' activity in their long struggle against domestic violence specifically as

they try to make the state accountable to the Family Violence Law while at the same time

providing adequate tools for women's empowerment.

Throughout the 80s and early 90s, the Peruvian feminist movement made

successful advances in the field of domestic violence. By applying a two-stage model of

norm diffusion, I argue that feminists played a central role in raising awareness on

violence against women, making domestic violence an issue of political and public

interest while struggling to maintain their organizational and ideological autonomy as a

necessary political strategy. I claimed that under an authoritarian regime and a

paradoxical context, strategic alliances were created between different women's groups

who seized the opportunity to press for the adoption of the Family Violence Law. I

highlighted the interaction between the feminist movement, Congresswomen and

democratss" who acted in a "triangle of empowerment" joining their efforts and bridging









their different interests in pressuring the government to adopt a law against domestic

violence (Vargas and Wieringa 1998). Although the international context was favorable

to women's rights and Fujimori needed to enhance the international image of a

government undertaking the parameters of an authoritarian regime, I demonstrated that

Peru was a leader country in the field of domestic violence legislation.

The changing international context of the 90s contributed to institutionalize the

feminist movement and transformed the feminist approach towards the state, replacing a

traditional antagonist relationship for an interaction based on a careful collaboration. I

argued that through a rights-based discourse, Peruvian feminist NGOs have been working

on an individual and national basis providing services to empower domestic violence

victims, and working to improve law enforcement by training justice operators, lobbying,

campaigning and so forth. However, my research showed that structural, internal and

cultural obstacles limit feminist NGO rights-based approach constraining their efforts

made to improve the implementation of the Family Violence Law. Structural obstacles

within the political and justice system have limited the rights-based approach because

they challenge NGO efforts for policy implementation. A general cultural attitude from

women as well as justice operators has restricted the enforcement of the Family Violence

Law. Finally, internal obstacles have created fragmentation within the feminist

movement and have decreased grassroots supports limiting NGOs rights-based approach

in the sense that feminist organizations might not have the necessary support from the

broader women's movement to work for the advancement and enforcement of the Family

Violence Law.









This study raises important questions on the impact of the Peruvian feminist

movement: has the feminist movement successfully accomplished their objectives

regarding the adoption and implementation of the Family Violence Law over the last two

decades? The Peruvian feminist movement has certainly had an impact on policy

outcomes. Peruvian feminists' actions and discourses have been successful in making

visible the issue of violence against women, in highlighting the problem within the public

agenda, and in pressing for the adoption of a law condemning domestic violence. The

ratification of the Family Violence Law has been an important impetus for social change.

As noted by Rienzo and Wald (1997:11)" law (...) can change perceptions, which can

alter behavior which, in time, can alter attitudes." The law helped feminists to promote

social and cultural changes within the broader society as well as within the public

institutions. The Family Violence Law has been highly significant although there are

enforcement problems. By condemning domestic violence, Peruvian authorities have

legally recognized the problem and made violence against women a publicly and socially

unacceptable behavior.

Although feminist NGOs play an important role in trying to change cultural

attitudes, the task is far from being over. Transforming cultural attitudes remains an

important challenge. On the other hand, feminist actions have not been as successful in

terms of implementation. Do they fail in the enforcement of the Family Violence Law?

Why have feminist NGOs not been more successful in the implementation of the Family

Violence Law? Although they have taken multiple initiatives, feminist NGOs have

limited resources and they do not replace the state, which remains the main actor

accountable for the implementation of the law.









The Peruvian state has undertaken different means to address the issue. A number

of important amendments to the Family Violence Law have been enacted in the past

years following the publication of the Human Rights Watch Report in 2000. Currently,

the state recognizes sexual violence as a type of domestic violence;1 the Family Violence

Law now protects intimate partners that do not live under a same roof;2 the mandatory

conciliation session between aggressor and victim before the prosecution of the case is

eliminated;3 police investigation is limited to five days and state prosecutors have the

legal authority to provide protection measures.4

The Ministry for Women and Social Development has taken also various important

initiatives to tackle domestic violence. In March 1999, they created Emergency Women

Centers were domestic violence victims can find under a same roof women police station,

state prosecutor, legal and medical services.5 Users are satisfied with the services offer,

however few domestic violence victims attend these centers (Macassi Le6n 2003b: 19).

The Ministry for Women and Social Development implemented a shelter for victims,

telephone service the "linea de emergencia ayuda amiga" and provide workshops for

justice operators as well as for the community at large. They are also making laudable

efforts through different initiatives such as the "Plan Nacional Contra la Violencia Hacia

1 Article 2, Family Violence Law.

2 Since July 2000, the article 2i) of the Family Violence Law protected domestic violence victims in cases
where the abusers do not resided together quienes hayan procreado hijos en comuin, independiente que
convivan o no, al moment de producirse la violencia."

3 Since January 2001, the law 27398 abolished the mandatory conciliation controlled by state prosecutors in
domestic violence cases. Today judges are making conciliation between partners.

4 While the law 27988 modified in May 2003 includes this modification, I previously highlighted in chapter
3 the enforcement problems faced by these measures.

5 They are ten Women Emergency Centers in Lima metropolitan: Callao, Comas, Lima, San Luis, San Juan
de Lurigancho, San Juan de Miraflores, Surco, Ventanilla, Ventanilla-Pachacutec, Villa El Salvador.









la Mujer 2002-2007". This program involves the participation of the ministries of

education, health, justice, and interior, and aims to develop strategies to prevent domestic

violence, to increase the quality of services offer by justice operators, and to investigate

and revise the actual legislation. Nevertheless, the implementation of this program is

seriously threatened. As Yvonne Macassi Le6n observes "the role of the Ministry for

Women and Social Development has a weak position within the executive sector because

their propositions are not mandatory for other governmental sections, which impede a

transversal and multisectorial vision for the elaboration of strategies linked to domestic

violence (Ibid. 2003b:25). Moreover the lack of financial resources impedes the

development of sustainable action and coordination between the ministries involved in

the "Plan Nacional.6" Other ministries have also realized different activities to address

domestic violence. As such, the Ministry of Health organized a campaign on the

prevention of domestic violence in 2001 and the Ministry of Interior organized

workshops and classes on domestic violence to police officers (Ibid. 2003b:21). Finally,

most of the government's initiatives have focused on urban zones rather than on rural

areas. While Peru has 28 million citizens, more than one third of the population lives in

Lima (7.5 millions of inhabitants). As a result, progress in terms of law enforcement has

been carried out mostly in this urban capital, where all governmental institutions are

located.

Although Peru's initiatives are laudable, many expectations have not yet been met,

and law enforcement remains an important challenge for Peruvian authorities. On the

other hand, is it realistic to hope for Peru's implementation of the Family Violence Law?


6 Author's interview with a lawyer working for the Women Emergency Center, Lima, June 4, 2004.









Peru, as a developing country, faces many limitations: one of the factors impeding the

enforcement of the Family Violence Law, as well as most Peruvian legislation, is the lack

of economic resources. Peru has realized a number of important achievements;

nevertheless, given Peru's level of development, we cannot expect Peru to perform as

industrialized countries. Although our expectations should remain realistic concerning

the law's enforcement, Peru has signed legal commitments that make the authorities

accountable to address the problem. According to these commitments, officials are under

the obligation to provide and improve programs, projects and activities that efficiently

address the issue on violence against women in urban areas as well as in the countryside.

While the work of the Peruvian feminist movement and feminist NGOs has been

instrumental in the ratification and enforcement of the Family Violence Law, the broader

women's movement and grassroots organizations have been also important throughout

the years. During the 1980s and early 1990s grassroots organizations supported feminist

groups by participating in marches against domestic violence and, as "promotores

legales", they have taken part in different projects aiming to educate and increase

consciousness-raising within low-income women (Johnson 2002). A complete analysis

on the advances made in the field of domestic violence would require further research on

the role played by the broader women's movement and its contribution to the struggle on

domestic violence. Women grassroots organizations are important as well as other

institutional actors involved within the project of addressing violence against women.

To be effectively addressed, domestic violence should involved the participation of

various actors specialized in diverse fields. Women need state protection to guarantee

their basic rights of being free from violence. They need justice operators adequately









trained to respond to domestic violence cases, they need access to education, they need

more legal and psychological counseling's and they need material support, such as

women's refugees, in order to escape domestic violence. However, as Fiona Macaulay

points out, there is "a general failure to think through strategies to deal with violence

against women as an integrated social policy, rather than as isolated measures" (Ibid.

2000:159). I believe that various initiatives such as the Plan Nacional" involving

ministries concerned by the issue or the "mesas de concertaci6n" creating dialogue

between the civil society organizations and the government are important steps to address

the issue based on a more integrated approach. Future avenues of research would need to

integrate all those different actors that were not part of this study but that undertook

important efforts in the struggle against domestic violence.

Finally, future research on the issue should include more quantitative data in order

to determine, for instance, how many judicial cases have been prosecuted, their outcomes

and how they were enforced. It would be interesting to observe how justice operators

treat domestic violence victims in order to assess operators' behaviors and attitudes

towards victims, and to examine NGOs' activities that strive for greater enforcement of

the law. Peru is currently involved in judicial reform, and future research should analyze

how the reform will address the policy gap that still leaves too many women without real

access to justice, without legal individual protection, and without a life free of violence.














APPENDIX
LAW FOR PROTECTION FROM FAMILY VIOLENCE

The "Ley de Protecci6n Frente a la Violencia Familiar" No. 26260 was adopted in
December 1993 and was amended by the Law No. 26763 in March 1997.



TITULO PRIMERO
DISPOSICIONES GENERALS

Alcance de la ley
Artfculo 1I
Por la present Ley, se establece la polftica del
Estado y de la sociedad frente a la violencia familiar,
asf como las medidas de protecci6n que
correspondan.

Definici6n de violencia familiar
Artfculo 22
A los efectos de la present Ley, se entenderA por
violencia familiar cualquier acci6n u omisi6n que
cause dafio fisico o psicol6gico, maltrato sin lesi6n,
inclusive la amenaza o coacci6n graves y/o
reiteradas, asi como la violencia sexual, que se
produzcan entire:

a. C6nyuges
b. Ex c6nyuges
c. Convivientes
d. Ex convivientes
e. Ascendientes
f. Descendientes
g. Parientes colaterales hasta el cuarto grado de
consanguinidad y segundo de afinidad
h. Quienes habitan en el mismo hogar, siempre
que no medien relaciones contractuales o
laborales.
















Oefensorlas del Nifo y del Adolescente y
servicios municipales para que asuman una
funci6n eficaz en la lucha contra la violencia
familiar. Las acciones dispuestas en el
present artfculo seran coordinadas par el
Ministerio de PromociOn de la Mujer y del
Desarrollo Humano.,l;e (6A)
h) Establecer las medidas necesarias a fin de
implementer acciones de prevenci6n y atenci6n
de la violencia familiar en las zonas rurales del
pais.(7)


TITULO SEGUNDO
COMPETENCIA

CAPITULO PRIMERO
De la Intervencl6n de la Pollcia Nacional

De la denuncla policlal
Articulo 4o
La Policla Nacional, en todas las delegaciones
policiales, recibird las denuncias por violencia
familiar y realizard las investigaciones preliminaries
correspondientes, dentro de los cinco dias hibiles

Ca tamatxr&a3atLevilrer
lM, ataisimFowxunve nu.mw .Taf)Braitcriunivflvniiishy..tu s
djtrJA*nsic lsm r EmaMA EI~
[1 h jorm ibtfxrn rX LeteraiSef.f Aireamotrk,,adiardoiWa.0
tI4e*lsfNlZfalcMioe 15.fO7..


tada para allanar el domicilio del agresor. DeberA
detener a 6ste en caso de tiagranie delto y realizard
la investigacin en un plazo mAximo de 24 horse
poniendo el atestado en conocimiento de la fiscalia
provincial que corresponda en un plazo mAximo de
15 dias.

De igual manera podra conducir de gradeo tuerza al
denunciado renuente a la delegacidn policial para el
esclarecimiento de los hechos denunciados.t o)
Del Atestado Policial
Artfculo 8'
El atestado policial sera remitido al Juez de Paz o
Fiscal Provincial en to Penal, segin correspond, y
al Fiscal de Familia, para ejercer las atribuciones
que le sefiala la present lay.

La parts interesada podrd Igualmente pedir copia
del atestado pars los efectos que consider
pertinent o solicitar su remisi6n al juzgado que
conociere de un process sobre la material o vinculado
a 6sta.


CAPITULO SEGUNDO
De la Intervencldn del MInisterlo PLiblico

Del conocimiento y acclones Iniciales del Fiscal Provincial
Articulo 9S

f'OlflSw.f.poaBw.
Bcufci*(w(Akha* Iaatt7iijtXi fiamea TM? IR
10


de recibida la denuncia, bajo respcnsabilidad. Las
denuncias podran ser formuladas por la victim o
cualquier persona que conozca de estos hechos y
podrAn ser presentadas en forma verbal a escrita.()

De los formularios tipo y de la capacitacl6n pollclal
Articulo 52
Para tal efecto, el Ministerio del Interior expedira
formularios tipo, pars facilitar las denuncias y
asimismo, cartillas informativas de difusidn masiva.
Asimismo dispondrA la capacitacidn de personal
especializado en la Polrcia Nacional, para la atenci6n
en lo dispuesto on esta Ley. (9)

De la investigation polleal
Articulo 62
La investigaci6n policial se sigue de oficio,
independientemenle del impulse del denunciante y
concluye con un part o atestado que contiene los
resultados de la investigacl r Durante la misma,
pueden solicitarse los informes necesarios para el
esclarecimiento de los hechos. La Policia Nacional,
a solicited de la victim brindara las garantias
necesarias en resguardo de su integridad.

De las atribuclones espeefflcas de la Policea
Articulo 7'
En case de flagrante delito o de muy grave peligro
de su perpetraci6n, la Policia Nacional esta facul-

AmhuamocskbdapordAbtkA Ir'debqt4yAF27Ml?82&5
31i 4a Frxr &cila we lA"nc d rg naMMi LNa 3 aUcsc M aIM 5tJ''


El Fiscal Provincial de Familia que correspond,
dara trAmite a las peticiones que se formuten
verbalmente o per escrito en form direct por la
victims de violencia, sus familiares. cualquiera de
los mencionados en el Articulo 2t de esta ley o
cualquier persona qua conozca de los hechos, o
por remisi6n del atestado de las delegaciones
policiales. Tambi6n podrA actuar de oficio ante el
conocimiento de los hechos.(It)

De las medidas de protecci6n Inmedlatas
Articulo 10
Recibida ta peticidn o apreciados de oficio los
hechos, el Fiscal deberA dictar, balo responsabilidad,
las medidas de protecci6n inmediatas que la
siluaci6n exija.

Las medidas de protecci6n inmediatas que se
adopten a solicitud de la vfctima, o por orden del
Fiscal incluyen sin que la enumeracion sea limitativa.
el retire del agresor del domicilio, impediment de
acoso a la vfctima, suspension temporal de visits,
inventarios sobre sus bienes y otras medidas de
protecci6n inmediata que garanticen su integridad
fisica, psiquico y moral.

El Fiscal de Familia debe poner en conocimiento
del Juez de Familia las medidas de protecci6n
adopiadas, en case de formalizar la demanda.(12)

i QAra2~!mIxlkporWal Atm i' lxals N;',W6sal l-0
I M t VAei~~cieA ih'fBL- MW25ZOaik5C








83


De la solIcitud de medidas cautelares De los efectos de la concillacidn
Artfoulo 11i Art(culo 15V
Si la seguridad de lavictima o de su familiar requinera Eliminado por el artculo 2 de la ley 27982 del 28-
de una decision jurisdiccional, solicitar las 05-03.
medidas cautelares pertinentes al Juez
Especializado de Familia, las que se tramitardn De laegtimidad procesal
como Medidas Anticipadas fuera de process, de Artfculo 16
canrmidad CO Cutminada la investigacikn, el Fiscal, ademss de
conformidad on dispuesto par los Articuos 635 haber dictado las medidas do protecci6n inmediatas,
y siguientes del C6digo Procesal Civil. Es inlerpondra demands ante el Juez de Famloa, la que
especiatmente procedente la solicitud de uia se tramitar* con arreglo a Io dispuesto an el Artlculo
asignaci6n anticipada de alimertos. Las medidas 18' de las proesentO lay. (14)
cautelares se concederan sin el requisite de
contracautela. .


De la potestad especial del Fiscal Provincial
Articulo 122
Para el ejercicio de su funci6n. el Fiscal gozari de la
potestad de libra access a los lugares piblicos o
privados donde exist peligro de perpetraci6n de
violencia o 6sta se haya producido.(s3)

De la conclllaci6n ante el Fiscal Provincial
Articulo 13'
Eliminado par el articulo 2 de la lay 27982 del 28-
05-03.

De las facultades del Fiscal Provincial en la conclllacl6n
Articulo 149
Eliminado por el articulo 2 de la ley 27982 del 28-
05-03.

-'3 r4arctmpxakdAmrcsif I'bLayWT1 'gLb;3S t ofa 1507.a


Juez Especializado de Familia del lugar donde
domicilia la victim o del lugar de la agresidn,
indislintamente.

De la regltlmidad procesal
Artfcuio 192
El process se inicia per demand:
a) De la victim de violencia o su represenlante.
b) Del Fiscal de Familia.

Del procedimlento
Artfculo 20'
Las pretensiones sobre Violencia Familiar se
tramitan coma Proceso Onico, conform a las
disposiciones del C6digo de los Niios y
Adolescentes, con las modificaciones que en esta
ley se detallan.
Es improcedente el abandon an los process de
viotencia familiar. (1s)

De ta sentencla
Artlculo 212
La resoluci6n judicial qua pone fin al process
determinarA si ha exisido o no violencia familiar y
establecerd:
a) Las medidas de protecci6n en favor de )a
victim pudiendo ordenar entire otras, ia
suspension temporal de la cohabitaci6n, la
salida temporal del agresor del domicilio, la
prohibicl6n temporal de toda clase de visits


0r4wasinPekai.htAMjo r'daL2yWNZ.aiWariS
14


De las otrasa unclones Oel isca r-ovnm
Articuto 17'
Corresponded ademrs, al Ministerio POblico en su
funcidn tuitiva visitor periddicamente las
dependencias policiales para conocer sobre la
existencia de denuncias sobre violencia familiar, e
intervenir de oficio cuando corresponda conforme
esta Ley.

CAPITULO TERCERO
De la Intervencl6n Judicial

Sub Cepitulo Primero
De la Intervencl6n del Juez
Especlalizedo de Familla

De la competencia del Juez Especlalizado de Familla
Articulo 18'
Corresponde el conocimiento de los process al
fl4AtoalrA m~r 1 *u>NB2313
13


por pate del agresor, ademms de cualquier otra
forma de acoso para la victim, entire otras,
conform Io prescribe el segundo parralo del
Adlculo 10 de esta Lay.
b) El tratarnieno que debe recibir la victim, su
familiar y el agresor, si se estima convenient.
c) La reparaci6n del dano.
d) El estsblecimienlo de una pens16n de alimentos
para la victim, cuando correspond
legaimente, si a criteria del juzgado ello es
necesario pars su subsistencla.
En atencd6n a la funcion tuitiva de este process, el
Juez puede agregar a su decision los mandates que
aseguren la eficacia de las pretensions exigidas y
los derechos esenciales de la vfctima.

De aI ejecucl6n forzosa
Articulo 222
En caso de incumplimiento de las medidas
decretadas, el Juez ejercera las facultades
coercitivas, contempladas on los Art(culos 532 del
C6digo Procesal Civil y 205* del C6digo de los Ninos
y Adolescentes, sin perjuicio de las responsabi-
lidades penales, a que hubieran lugar.

De las medldas cautelares y concillactln ante el Juez de
Familla
Artfculo 23'
El Juez podra adoplar medidas cautelares
anticipadas sobre el fondo, desde la iniciaci6n del
process y durante su tramitaci6n, sujetindose en
15







84





tal caso, a lo previsto por el C6digo Procesal Civil De las medidas de protecei6n
Podrd ejercer igualmente la facultad de conciliacidn Articulo 26~
en los t6rminos previstoa por el Articulo 132 de lI Cuando el Juez en to Penal o el de Paz Letrado,
presented Ley. conozcan de delilos o lallas cuyo origen seen hechos
de violencia familiar, estan facultados para adoptar
De las medidas de proteccion todas las medidas de protecci6n que selala la
Articulo 249 present Ley.
Si el Juez Penal adopt medidas cautelares Las medidas rlteridas en el parrato anterior, podrAn
necesarias para salvaguardar la integridad de la adoptarse desde la iniclacibn del process, durante
vfctima, no procederd ninguna solicitud en la via su tramitaci6n y al dictar sentencia, apicando en to
civil. que fuere pertinente, lo dispuesto por el Codigo
Procesal Civil. Podran imponerse igualmente como
Las medidas de protecci6n civil, pueden sin restricciones de conduct, al moment de ordenar
embargo, solicitarse antes de la iniciacion del la comparecencia del inculpado y al dictar sentencia
process, como medidas cautelares fuera de bajo apercbirniento de ordenar detenci6n en caso
proceso.(if) de incumplimienlo.


Sub Capitulo Segundo
intervenci6n del Juez
Especfaliazdo en Io Penal

De las medidas cauterares
Artlculo 25'
Dictado el auto apertorio de instrucci6n por hechos
tipificados como delitos y que se relacionan con la
violencia familiar, correspond al Juez dictar de oficio
las medidas cautelares que seiala la presented Ley, asf
como, segdn )a naluraleza o gravedad de los hechos, o
su reiteracidn, disponer la detencidn del encausado.
(rn asaffnclmb1r aWMWt[ Ib flLsyNW27n u ln-a*ai.nr


TITULO TERCERO
DISPOSICIONES COMUNES A TODOS
LOS PROCESS

De la reserve de las actuaclones
Articulo 27
Los antecedentes y documentaci6n correspon-
diente a los process se mantendran en reserve,
salvo para las parties, letrados y experts
intervinientes. Las actuaciones tenderan a seo
privadas.















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