Campaign launched to eradicate gender violence
By John McPhaul
Under the name No to Violence Against Women, Public Housing Administrator Alejandro Salgado Colón, along with the Housing Secretary William Rodríguez Rodríguez, community leaders from the Luis Llorens Torres residential complex and members of the Entrelíneas theater group presented on Monday a new prevention campaign on gender violence, which seeks to educate about the social problem, as well as prevent more girls, young people and adults from being part of the social problem in Puerto Rico.
Salgado Colón said the campaign consists of a documentary that integrates educational prevention tools and testimonies of women from public housing communities who were victims of partner abuse, at different stages of their lives, and managed to break the cycle of violence, so today they are an example of resilience and empowerment for others.
“Today we present a great project for Puerto Rico, which was born in the heart of our communities in the face of the continuous cases of gender violence that continue to be reported,” Salgado Colón said in a written statement. “This campaign is a team effort whose goal is to raise awareness among children, youth and adults about the need to change attitudes and behaviors that directly affect women and their full development. But that, in addition, promotes that, as neighbors, brothers, friends and parents, we are alert to denounce and prevent this social evil that afflicts us and that continues to take the lives of those who are our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends.”
The Housing chief said the extremely important initiative aims to achieve the full development of women, while expanding the efforts made in conjunction with government agencies to eradicate the social evil of gender violence.
“Promoting equality and equity, eradicating all manifestations of discrimination and violence is a priority,” Rodríguez Rodríguez said. “We will continue joining efforts to replicate this type of campaign in favor of Puerto Rican women.”
The short film and all the elements of the prevention campaign were developed with the collaboration of community leaders from the Luis Llorens Torres complex, the largest residential complex in Puerto Rico, the Entrelíneas theater group, and the management company SP Management Corp. In the community project, children, young people, staff of the housekeeper program, resident services technicians and members of the resident councils participated.
The short film was screened on Monday, at an event where community leaders, including Yanmarie Arrufat, secretary of the Coalition of Leaders of San Juan, and Luz Lanza, president of the Resident Council of Las Margaritas, reported their testimonies as survivors of gender violence.
“Great changes come from the hearts of communities when we come together as one voice,” Arrufat said. “We want this documentary, with real faces, to serve to make a change in society, because violence affects everyone equally, regardless of social status, whether they live in an urbanization or a residence, [and regardless of] their economic status or academic preparation. Abuse in all its manifestations, but particularly gender-based violence, is an obstacle to the culture of healthy coexistence, peace, and development that we seek in our communities.”
Lanza added that “We feel honored to be part of this project and in some way contribute to improving the quality of life of so many women who suffer in silence.”