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    Dominicana On Line - El Portal de la República Dominicana

    Public Policies

    Dominican legislative policies for confronting violence against women:

    Law 24-97 modified the Penal Code to categorize violence against women or domestic violence as a crime.

    Violence against Women in Art. 309-01 establishes: “Violence against women is all actions or conduct, public or private, due to her gender, that cause physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to a woman, through the use of physical force or psychological, verbal violence, intimidation or persecution.”

    Intrafamily or domestic violence in Art. 309-2 states: “Domestic or intrafamily violence is any conduct through the use of physical force or psychological or verbal violence, intimidation or persecution, against one or various members of the family or against any person sharing a mutual residence, against the spouse, ex-spouse, partner or ex-partner or consensual partner, or against the person that has a child in common in order to cause him/her physical or psychological harm to his/her person or harm to his/her goods, committed by father, mother, tutor, guardian, spouse, ex-spouse, person sharing a mutual residence, person formally sharing a mutual residence, or consensual partner, or a person who has authority, protection or care over the family.” (1 to 5 and 5 to 10 years of imprisonment)

    Sexual Aggression, Art. 330: “Sexual aggression is any sexual act committed with violence, constraint, threat, surprise or trickery.”

    Rape, Art. 331: “Rape is any act of sexual penetration, of any nature, committed against a person through violence, constraint, threat or surprise.  It carries a sentence of 10 to 15 and 10 to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of one hundred to two hundred thousand pesos.”

    Violence in a Romantic Relationship, Art. 332: “An equal sentence (10 to 20 years) will be invoked against the person that engages in a non-consensual sexual activity in a romantic relationship, in any of the following cases: a) Through the use of force, violence, intimidation or threat; b) if the person has annulled his/her consent and ability to resist by any means; c) when, for illness or mental incapacity, temporary or permanent, the victim was unable to understand the nature of the act in the moment it happened; d) When physical or psychological violence is inflicted on the partner in order to obligate him/her to participate or involve him/herself in undesired sexual relations with a third person.”  Fine of one thousand to two thousand pesos.

    Law 86-99 Changed the Dirección General de Promoción de la Mujer into the Secretaría de Estado de la Mujer.

    Law 88-03 instituted temporary refuge homes for women that are victims of violence and their children.

    Law 137-03 on illegal trafficking in emigrants and persons.

    Source: Secretaría de Estado de la Mujer

    Dominican Women: more education, but victims of violence

    With more access to education and better economic conditions, which allow them to have economic independence, Dominican women are seeing improved possibilities for themselves in society in the last decade.  However, their full emancipation remains a difficult goal to achieve.

    Together, the figures that show that females have a greater proportion of the school population than the males, 1,204,774 versus 1,194,316, and that there is a considerable decline in the birth rate, 7.4 children in 1955 to 3.0 in 2002, also reveal great suffering in the gender: domestic violence and violence against women.

    A recent study, ENDESA 2002, determined that 24% of the generation of women from 15 to 49 years old had fallen victim to physical aggression after turning 15.  It estimates that the risk of aggression can reach values of up to 40% in the case of separated or divorced women and 33% among domestic service workers.  And it established that the aggressions are committed, for the most part, by the husband or ex-husband (63%) and in lesser part by the mother (14%), the father (10%) or another relative (9%).

    The existence of a Secretariat of the State of Women, with a national program of prevention and attention to intrafamily and domestic violence; the creation by decree 423-98 of the National Commission for the Prevention and Fight Against Intrafamily Violence (CONAPLUVI) and its strategic plan, as well as the Existing National Model of Assistance to Women each show what has been accomplished on this phenomenon.

    Regarding migration, Dominican women lead the flow of departure to Europe over men, who have, for the majority, emigrated to the United States.  Dominican women, says a study from the United Nations International Training and Research Center for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), send more remittances to their families than do male Dominican migrants.  “55.1% of the remittances received by people polled in the study were sent by women, while 44.9% were sent by men”, stated the organization’s document.

    Numbers from another international body, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) also reveal another large social weight that Dominican women bear: 27.2% assume the position of the head of household.  The same source also indicates that poverty is not greater in homes that have a single female head of household.




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