Sex trafficking and abuse of women in Nicaragua

Posted February 22, 2011 from United States
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Solidarity House (Casa Solidaridad) is the first battered women's shelter in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. Constructed by members of the community just last year, it provides a warm "safe" house for women and their children as they rebuild their lives. Working in partnership with the local free school and medical clinic, the shelter offers psychological counseling, educational and job training, and legal support - all in a country where social services are rare or unavailable. A recent survey reported that 52% of Nicaraguan women are victims of spousal abuse. In addition to protecting women, the shelter uses an empowerment framework of rights and responsibilities to reintroduce women to a sense of self determination and authority. Violence against women in Nicaragua is exacerbated by a cultural context that has not only traditionally accepted wife beating as part of "machismo" or male dominance, but has painfully endured decades of violence from social and political warfare. Run by women, Solidarity House aims to interrupt these dynamics that perpetuate violence throughout families in the region and often prevent women from seeking help or leaving abusive situations.

Our project, in collaboration with the Public Science Project and the Newton Sister City Project, will document the continued development of the shelter and its impact on San Juan del Sur. We will focus attention on the lives of local women, their families, and local police and judicial practices. Through multiple interviews we will attempt to unravel the historical and structural realities of violence against women in the region. Solidarity House aims to develop their shelter as a national model for comprehensive community-based battered women's shelters. We believe that a deep local look at how this one low-resourced community has responded to the crisis of violence against women and families has the power to broadly expand our understanding of how to protect women and children's human right to live free of violence. With this film we join Solidarity House in their goal to educate and promote change in Nicaragua and beyond.

Your donations will help with recording equipment and supplies, partial travel expenses, and pre-production fees. We sincerely thank you for funding this film!

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