Paraguay Creates New Police Units to Deal Exclusively with Cases of Domestic Violence
Tuesday, March 30, 2010 3:50 PM

30 March 2010

Last month, specialized division units for victims of violence against women, children and adolescents were created at two police stations in Asunción, Paraguay. The units were created to enable police officers to better handle domestic violence cases and are one of the several steps the Inter-Institutional Committee for Integral Care for Victims of Violence has taken to protect and promote the human rights of women, children, and adolescents.

Domestic violence has been on the rise in Paraguay. Statistics and investigations showed that in 2009, over 17,000 domestic violence calls were received by the emergency unit, but that only 286 resulted in a formal police complaint. Data from 2008 also indicated that 17 percent of girls and teenagers suffered physical violence before the age of 15 and that 20 percent had been exposed to physically abusive relationships.

“Normally you receive all kinds of complaints in police stations, with domestic violence cases being mixed in with the rest, which means the people filing this kind of complaint often don't receive the proper attention and follow-up,” said Juan Cantero, an officer at one of the newly established units (

The specialized nature of the units ensures that officers have a gender perspective that allows them to better deal with such cases. The officers that were selected for the units underwent two months of training on human rights, gender issues, and the sensitive nature of domestic violence.

In the near future, four more police units for women and children will be created – one more in Asunción and three in other cities, where domestic violence is especially prevalent.

Compiled from: Natalia Ruíz Díaz, “Paraguay: New Police Units for Domestic Violence Victims,” (25 March 2010).