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Researchers present guide to support women victims of domestic violence

By on October 13, 2016

SAN JUAN — Psychologists Verónica Carvallo Messa and Irma Serrano García have developed an educational guide for families, friends and people close to women who are victims/survivors of domestic violence.

According to the experts, the initiative is a viable alternative for people interested in helping, presenting clear options on how to act and intervene effectively.

(iStock Photos)

The initiative seeks to educate people about the measures they can take to combat domestic violence. (iStock Photos)

The guide will be distributed along with an educational panel tomorrow, Friday, at the Inter American University Law School’s Amphitheater 3 starting at 8:30 a.m.

Carvallo Messa explained domestic abuse isn’t a private matter, but a community issue. Therefore, when friends or family members aren’t available or remain indifferent following abuse, there can be greater pain caused than the initial experience of victimization, since it reinforces the victim’s feelings of guilt.

“It is very important for people close [to the victim] to get involved in these cases to offer timely and effective help, which is why it is necessary for these people to have the proper tools,” she said.

She added that merely wanting to help “isn’t enough,” urging instead to be prepared to intervene effectively, because emotions can “cloud judgment,” affecting both the victim and the person interested in helping.

González Castro, the general coordinator for “Paz para las Mujeres” (Peace for Women), said that amid times of fiscal and social crises, universities must assume an active role in communities and encourage research that has a direct social and economic impact.

A 2010 study from the Reina Sofía Center estimated that Puerto Rico has the highest per capita rate of women older than 14 murdered by their partners, and it is the main cause of women’s violent deaths on the island.

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