The State designs policies to solve social problems. With successes or errors, officials try to cover needs in health, education, economy or security, among others. Conflicts in the private sphere, however, present an even more complex edge because in these cases the State can only intervene if the people so request.
domestic violence It is one of those situations because, in order to ask for help, the violated person must overcome enormous personal obstacles. The violent person exercises control over him by asserting his family, institutional or even political power over the other. The victim feels completely helpless before the aggressor. He fears defending himself, has no strength or does not feel capable of doing so. In this context, the complaint is usually filed after repeated and increasingly serious injuries.
Asking the police for help in the case of domestic violence implies an act of enormous courage and implies an infinite leap of confidence: with that complaint the victim is placed under the full care of the State. She trusts that the institutions will defend her and, if there are any, also her children. Regardless of the form of this violence, be it psychological, symbolic, economic or, of course, physical, it is imperative to separate the violent person from that victim as quickly as possible. But, how can we get victims of violence to appeal earlier in the State? How to build that trust?
The State must accompany the victims from the moment they arrive to ask for help
Word must spread that it is easy to file a complaint and be protected by the institutions. For this notion to spread, it is imperative to improve direct communication with the victims, seeking a close, friendly and frank relationship with them. Nothing gives victims more peace of mind than understanding that the law is on their side and that the official mechanism is designed to help them.
The violated person has to understand with simplicity what is being asked and what is being reported in order to be able to access their rights in a simple, concrete and quick way. Excessive bureaucratization in the midst of such a critical situation gives rise to fear and frustration in people who, in addition to having been intimidated, must complete innumerable and incomprehensible procedures. In these highly sensitive cases, it is essential that the officials pose the questions in a simple way and that they offer something as simple and useful as forms written with clear slogans to thus facilitate the responses of the complainants.
The State must accompany the victims from the moment they arrive to ask for help. It must simplify their lives and must assume the emotional burden and trauma with which people make their complaint and put their lives in the hands of public bodies. The role of the State in these cases goes far beyond preventing the aggressor from continuing to attack: it is about ensuring that the person attacked stops seeing himself as a victim and can regain control of his own life. For this, the certainty of feeling protected is as relevant as the protection itself.
*GCBA Legal and Technical Secretary.
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