Ecuador: Update to ECU28826.E of 18 March 1998 on the effectiveness of the Law on Violence against Women and the Family and whether it has been implemented
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 November 1998|
|Citation / Document Symbol||ECU30524.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ecuador: Update to ECU28826.E of 18 March 1998 on the effectiveness of the Law on Violence against Women and the Family and whether it has been implemented, 1 November 1998, ECU30524.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aab597.html [accessed 12 December 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The following information was provided by the Centro Ecuatoriano Para la Promoción y Acción de la Mujer (CEPAM) in a 15 March 1998 letter sent to the Research Directorate.
Since the passing of the Law on Violence against Women and the Family (Ley Contra la Violencia a la Mujer y la Familia) in December 1995, its application has been seen as adequate because women may now seek protection through an amparo (legal recourse by which a citizen requests intervention of the court for protection) if they have been the victims of physical, sociological or sexual violence at the hands of their husbands or partners.
However, fundamental problems exist within the judicial system considering that it takes on average two years for the system to process cases where the victim has been incapacitated for more than three days, which constitutes a crime. Furthermore, no one under the law has been sentenced for domestic violence. Reasons for this are many, including the inefficiency of the judicial system and attitudes of the judges who cannot imagine trials between husbands and wives.
The annual average number of complaints registered at the seven Comisarías de la Mujer (police stations for women) in Ecuador is around 32,000. Please note that comisarías are located in Quito, Guayaquil (2), Cuenca, Portoviejo, Esmeraldas and Ambato. CEPAM is unaware of how many cases of domestic violence the police have intervened in. The police have not always been prepared to support women who have been victims of domestic violence and do not cooperate in helping them seek legal protection. This reality is compounded further by the lack of staff in the comisarías. An investigation is being undertaken to evaluate whether the comisarías have contributed to reducing the number of domestic violence cases.
In a 23 November 1998 telephone interview, the lawyer responsible for legal services at CEPAM stated that there still has been no sentences handed down under the Law on Violence against Women and the Family. Since April, CEPAM has offered 120 consultation sessions to female victims of domestic violence who have limited resources. CEPAM is also providing assistance to several women who want to take their cases to trial. In reference to the comisarías, the lawyer stated that 11 more have been created since March 1998.
A 25 June 1998 Xinhua report states that domestic violence has increased 166.6 per cent in the last four years in Ecuador. The report states that 27,000 cases of domestic violence were reported in 1997. More victims reported incidents of domestic violence, which explains the increase of reported cases.
For a copy of the December 1995 Law on Violence against Women and the Family, please consult the attachment of ECU24209.E of 21 May 1996.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Centro Ecuatoriano Para la Promoción y Acción de la Mujer (CEPAM), Quito. 23 November 1998. Telephone interview with the lawyer responsible for legal services.
_____. 15 March 1998. Letter sent to the Research Directorate.
Xinhua. 25 June 1998. "Violence Against Women Increases in Ecuador." (NEXIS)
Additional Sources Consulted
Andean Newsletter [Lima]. 1998.
Boletin Contra la Violencia [Santiago].1998.
Latin American Regional Reports: Andean Group Report [London]. 1998.
Electronic Sources: IRB Databases, Internet, LEXIS/NEXIS, and WNC.