Nicaragua: Laws Meant to Protect Women from Violence Lose Effectiveness

Many women’s advocates in Nicaragua believe that the country’s laws and policies are failing to protect women from violence. In response to high levels of gender-based violence, Nicaragua passed legislation in 2012 designed to strengthen legal protections for women victims of violence. Among other things, the law established specialized gender violence courts and tightened criminal sanctions for violent crimes against women. However, due to a lack of resources to investigate claims, and societal pressures that force women to mediate cases of domestic abuse, many women have been unable to take advantage of the law’s new protections. Local advocates say that mediation is not appropriate in cases of gender-based violence because such violence often involves an intimate or familial relationship, making fair mediation difficult, unenforceable and dangerous for women.

Compiled from: Van Note, Sara, The Promise of Justice is Receding, Nicaraguan Women SayPublic Radio International (September 10, 2015).