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Ecuador: The procedure involved in making and pursuing a complaint of spousal abuse at a women's police station and information on what a "boleta de auxilio" is, including whether it needs to be renewed monthly, where it is to be renewed, and the effectiveness of the boleta in addressing spousal abuse

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 February 1999
Citation / Document Symbol ECU31048.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ecuador: The procedure involved in making and pursuing a complaint of spousal abuse at a women's police station and information on what a "boleta de auxilio" is, including whether it needs to be renewed monthly, where it is to be renewed, and the effectiveness of the boleta in addressing spousal abuse, 1 February 1999, ECU31048.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ad178.html [accessed 1 October 2014]
DisclaimerThis 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 General Coordinator of the women's police station project at the Centro Ecuatoriano Para la Promoción y Acción de la Mujer (CEPAM) in a 3 February 1999 e-mail message sent to the Research Directorate.

When women go to women's police stations (Comisarías de la Mujer y de la Familia) the administrative judicial bodies that address domestic violence, they must first direct themselves to an information representative. There, the woman will be asked whether she wants to file a complaint, which can lead to a sanction for the spouse or common-law spouse, or seek legal advice that will provide her with the alternatives. For example, the perpetrator (agresor) of the domestic violence could be invited to the legal office of the comisaría to discuss and help find a solution that will benefit the abused spouse. If the woman wants to make a formal complaint, she will need to present all the personal details about her situation and that of her aggressor. Then, she will proceed to make a verbal complaint that includes presenting one's identity card (cédula de identidad). While the woman is filing a complaint with the comisaría, she may ask for protection measures (boleta de auxilio o medidadas de amparo) that would ensure her security. Once the verbal complaint is transcribed, the woman would read it and then sign it. Afterwards, the case is processed internally which involves the comisaría reviewing it, issuing a ruling, signing it and then bringing forward the orders stated in the ruling. These orders may include a protection order (boleta de auxilio), protection measures (medidas de amparo), an order for a legal medical examination (orden de exámen médico legal), social investigations (investigaciones sociales), the assistance of professional sociologists (peritajes sicológicos) or summons (citaciones).

According to the General Coordinator, a "boleta de auxilio" is an immediate protection measure that enables the public forces to lend assistance to women who have such a document. With the presentation of a boleta, the police may detain the perpetrator of domestic violence, bring him before the competent authorities (autoridad competente) and tell him who presented the boleta. In other words, a boleta de auxilio is a formal request to appear before the authorities (boleta de comparecencia ante la autoridad). When the crime or contravention is flagrant, that is when the authorities or other third parties have witnessed it, the police must bring the perpetrator to the provisional detention centre (Centro de Detención Provisional). There, the competent authority judges the perpetrator.

The boleta de auxilio is to be renewed every month at the comisaría that issued it in the first instance. According to the General Coordinator, the boleta has subjective and objective value. For most women, the mere possession of a boleta increases their sense of security. The perpetrator of domestic violence, knowing that his wife or common-law partner has a boleta against him, is more likely to repress his violence. On the other hand, police do not always carry out their work when presented with a boleta. Many police officers still believe that domestic violence is an internal matter between spouses. However, in some cases, the boleta has been very effective.

Attempts to have this information corroborated by the Embassy of Ecuador in Ottawa were unsuccessful.

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.

Reference

Centro Ecuatoriano Para la Promoción y Acción de la Mujer (CEPAM), Quito. 3 February 1999. Telephone interview with the General Coordinator of the women's police stations.

Additional Sources Consulted

Electronic Sources: IRB Databases, REFWORLD, LEXIS/NEXIS, Internet and WNC.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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