No more abuse, no more cries for help”
Adeje hosted an institutional act to celebrate International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
The mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, joined school students in the town’s Plaza España today to reiterate his and the council’s total rejection of gender violence and to pledge help for anyone who requests it.
“We continue along the path of working to create an awareness of equality, of peaceful co-existence and respect, the pillars upon which we can build a harmonious society that is rich in human values, and is happy. We are in this fight and we will move ahead and must also fight to make sure there are no cuts in services in this area.”
The mayor was speaking during an institutional act to celebrate International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, with members of the council and students and staff of the borough’s schools as well as members of the public. Two students from one of Adeje’s secondary schools read a manifesto rejecting violence. “We have to change this society; we cannot stand idly by when there are human beings suffering at the hands of others because of their gender. We cannot justify such actions by simply saying, ‘it’s always been that way’”. They spoke directly to women who have been abused saying, “we want to send you our support, our strength, no one has the right to hurt you, you don’t deserve this, you are fighters and own your own destiny. No more abuse, no more cries for help”.
Throughout the months of October, November and December the Adeje council has been running a series of workshops and training on domestic violence issues, prevention and help, for council staff members, associations and local groups.
This week the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, the councillor for welfare Amada Trujillo Bencomo y the councillor for equality Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz attended the closing session of the months long programme, which was held in the local Integrated Security Centre, ESIADE. During the event a representative of the Local Police assisted at the talk given by Patricia G Ojeda a sociologist and expert in equal opportunities.
The integrated programme was funded by the regional government, the Canarian Equality Institute, the Social and Socio-Health Institute, and the Tenerife Cabildo, through the Mirabel programme. It was designed to upgrade the level of awareness, the visibility and public sensitivity to domestic violence.
Mayor Rodríguez Fraga said, “public institutions have a particular responsibility in this regard, and we must report, prevent and condemn aggressive behaviour and discrimination against women. The different actions undertaken over the past few months have been an excellent opportunity to analyse in the right way how to protect and help those victims of this social scourge”.
He said that the Adeje local government would continue to work on prevention of domestic violence as of primary importance, promoting initiatives based on the implementation of equality-based local politics; “because what is want is that we continue to build a fruitful present and an enriching future that will benefit everyone”. The mayor also stressed the importance of the Local Police’s role in the prevention of domestic violence and their readiness to take action when and where it was needed.
The councillors for social welfare and equality said the project had seen a definite increase in the awareness among people of this “serious problem that affects our society. During these three months quite a few welcome initiatives have been developed by different Adeje groups, such as the video created by a group of young people for social networks, or the art exhibition of works by pupils from the IES Adeje. The Mirabel programme has also strengthened the lines of communication between institutions and teams who specialise in working with victims and children in this situation”.
The talks and workshops concentrated on three areas. Firstly, professionals who intervene directly with victims of domestic violence, among them borough employees, those working with minors, health workers, police, family intervention, etc. The second focus was in the educational area, with training for teachers in primary and secondary schools, and the third area of concentration was parents associations with parallel talks taking place for social and borough based organisations.
Workers in communications were also invited to take part and examine how they reported on issues of domestic violence.
Up to 200 people joined together at midday today, November 25th, for a minutes silence at the doors of Adeje Town Hall to show their total rejection of all forms of domestic violence which has taken the lives of 45 women in Spain this year.
The public display was led by Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, with members of the council, students from the Los Olivos secondary school and Adeje council staff. The ceremony was part of a series of activities put in place by Adeje’s equality councillor Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz, to mark the International Day against Domestic Violence against Women.
José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga read an institutional manifesto from all the Tenerife southern boroughs and towns, and said “yet again this year we are saying it loudly and strongly, because South Tenerife reunites to show, via the network of Tenerife South Towns and the departments of Equality, our utter rejection of any form of violence against women. Despite of the laws passed and the resources that exist to attend to victims of domestic violence every year there is a bone-chilling number of women being murdered. This year so far 45 women have died and thousands more live day to day with violence and suffer psychologically and physically because of that threat, and of course we must not forget the children, who are the invisible victims as a direct result of this violence.”
The mayor also said “reality requires us to look to our young people. This is fundamental for three reasons. Firstly we are concerned at the rise in the number of sexist crimes by adolescents with the increase in victims this year the worst in 30 years. Secondly because it is never to soon to discuss and make people aware of domestic violence, and finally, the age at which young people enter into relationships is dropping every year, and were are concerned that, despite our best efforts to date, a section of our young people are continuing to display the kind of macho behaviour which promotes and encouraged inequality.
“Because we want a soceity that is more just and more equal, and an Adeje that is inclusive, we state in no uncertain terms our total and absolute rejection of this social blight, and we reiterate our committment and responsiblity as an administration to further promoting all the means necessary and at our disposal to prevent, protect and report abuse where necessary”, promised the mayor.
The Manifesto also took on board the committment by relevant bodies to continue working in schools and secondary institutions in promoting values of equality and models of non-violent behaviour, a task that is not confined to the classroom but must continue in the playground and the home and wider community. With this Manifesto the Adeje council has renewed its promose to defend the inalienable universal rights of women
The act ended with a mintues silence as a signal of respect for those who have died and in recognition of the women who have taken the brave decision not to continue to suffer in silence and have reported their abuser, and for all those who work in the field of the promotion of equal rights.
The council have also urged those women who continue to suffer in domestic violent situations to come forward and use the resources the council is offering them and beyond, reminding them that all it takes is a call to 112 and the help will be forthcoming.
Young people committing to equality
The students present at the act also shared their thoughts on macho violence. They have been working throughout the term on a Equality Project with specialised training to help them. The student body prepared a reading for the event and a manifesto of their own committing to equality and rejecting all forms of sexist behavior, including jokes and comments which trivialises equality and reinforces existing levels of discrimination. They also promised to work to resolve all problems and conflicts in a non-violent manner and help women who are victims of domestic violence and report cases that they are witness to.
Desiderio Afonso Ruiz and Amada Trujillo Bencomo
Adeje council has designed a programme of activities that says NO to domestic violence
As part of this programme Adeje will host activities on the 25th of November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
To mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25th, Adeje council has put in place a programme of events which will continue to the end of the month aimed at spelling out a positive message of help and support for women who are find themselves at risk, as well as distributing information at a general level to people outlining the actions they too should take if they are aware of an existing or potential domestic violence situation.
The Adeje councillor with responsibility for equality, Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz, has said that “with this programme we hope that society can being to better understand that domestic violence is a contemptible act that must be totally eradicated from our society. To make that possible it is essential that women understand that YES there is help and they are not alone”. The programme has the support of Amada Trujillo Bencomo, Adeje councillor for social welfare, with both departments working side by side to rid society of this form of violence.
“This is a problem within our society which affects many women, who need to report this kind of suffering because you cannot compromise within a domestic violent situation. Society too needs to learn not to ignore the reality; our mission needs to be the protection of victims of domestic violence so that they can move away from the risk situation they are in, and the programme we have designed this year sees the increased implication of social agencies simply because we cannot leave any women at the mercy of this scourge”.
On November 21st there will be a talk on domestic violence (in Spanish) in the Adeje Cultural Centre, entry is free. Following this, at 9pm, there will be a theatre performance by Clichéteatro, entry is €5.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
The programme of events on November 25t begins at 10am, with an informal information session and the handing out of ribbons by the Asociación Mujeres de Blanco por la Igualdad (Association of Women in White for Equality) and the Asociación de Mujeres Tara Condesa (an Adeje based group that works for equality). At midday there will be a public minute of silence on the steps of the town hall to remember all the victims of domestic violence and a reading of the council’s manifesto. All are welcome to join in.
From 7pm there will be a ceremony handing out the prizes in the III Short Stories about Domestic Violence competition, and this year’s winner is Aída Méndez García from IES Adeje II with her entry, “Mi decisión” with second prize going to María Lucía Sepe, Colegio Costa Adeje with “Recordar el dolor”, and third prize to Sara Lorenzo Díaz, Colegio Costa Adeje, “Todo por un despiste”. Following the prize-giving an exhibition of art against domestic violence by secondary school students will take place.
Running throughout the month, until December 5th, the project “Living Equally” is taking place, which works to improve living together through a series of activities taking place in schools in the borough teaching about non-violence and equality on a day to day basis. This programme has been designed by the University of La Laguna and is directed in the schools by trained social workers.