Jenniffer González Presents Pro-Women Federal Plan
New Progressive Party (NPP) Resident Commissioner candidate Jenniffer González presented Sunday part of her federal agenda in Washington focused on women.
González directed her efforts toward equating federal funds destined to create prevention and assistance programs for women who are violence victims who, according the Statistics Division of the Puerto Rico Police, by June 30, 2016 there had been 4,638 reported incidents of domestic violence, with an average of 24 daily incidents.
As indicated on a press conference, from 2010 until Aug. 31, 2016, 93 women were murdered by their consensual or former partners, and on 2015, 17,646 protection orders were presented. Puerto Rico is the twelfth ranking country with most murders by domestic violence per capita.
“Of many federal funds aimed toward programs designed to deal and work with gender violence, primarily, that which is perpetrated against women, we received quantities that appear minimal when taking into account our population an unfortunate incidence of domestic violence cases. On others, we don’t even receive funds,” informed the NPP spokeswoman on the House of Representatives.
“The proposals I present today are the result of dialogue we have maintained with diverse third-sector entities that attend victims of family violence. Presently at the House of Representatives, on the Womens’ Caucus we work directly to attend the problem of domestic violence, and on the U.S. capital I will keep advocating for equal treatment on programs to fight this social evil,” she added.
According to González, the federal initiatives go hand in hand with the proposals included on the plan for Puerto Rico developed by her party’s gubernatorial candidate, Ricardo Rosselló, and his work team.
“These initiatives include the commitment to achieve equity on work centers, achieving equal pay for equal work, and a commitment to providing child care as support so they can peacefully fulfill their family and work responsibilities; the program ‘New Beginning’ to help women who are victims of domestic violence, and marginated and vulnerable populations through payment assistance for residence renting. It also includes the proposal of Business Briefcase for Women to eliminate obstacles in their professional development, and other additional initiatives to address the problem of domestic violence, prevent it, and reduce the incidence,” explained González.
Among the listed funds figures the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant, which provides funds to develop and fortify an effective response against cases of sexual aggression, domestic violence, violence among couples and harassment; in addition, it aims for offenders to be held accountable of their violent behavior.
Similarly, the Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) provides funds for direct intervention and assistance to sexual-aggression victims, emphasizing strategic for direct intervention on areas with incidences based on cultural factors, as well as response to victims’ immediate and long-term needs.
The Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Program gives funds to work on rural zones, on which services to eradicate violence are strained due to geographic isolation, transportation barriers, economic structure, social and cultural pressures, and lack of services to address the complex necessities these communities present.
For its part, the Enhanced Training and Services to End Abuse in Later Life Program grants funds to trains criminal justice system professionals to improve their abilities and manage cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation against senior citizens.
The Transitional Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking program provides assistance to victims of sexual aggression, domestic violence, violence among couples and harassment; and people who need transitional or temporary housing and support services.
Likewise, the Grants to Encourage Arrest and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program promotes agreements among states, local governments, courts, service providers and assistance centers for rape victims, to assure that such cases are treated as grave offenses, which would require the entire criminal justice system’s involvement, as well as community organizations that offer services to victims.
González explained the funds also help implement programs and policies about the arrests, including policies regarding violation to restriction orders and their fulfillment across the states; solidify legal assessment services and other support services for victims, including immigration issues, as well as coordinating computerized systems and providing adequate training to improve and guarantee interagency communication.
“If we had those funds, we would be in a position to improve our tracking system of the electronic supervision and preventing domestic violence victims to lose their lives, or once again be victims of some type of aggression by the offenders,” she expressed.