Casa Fundraisers Will Garner Support against Abuse
By Jesús Aguado
CASA used to hold the Walk against Domestic Violence annually on January 24 alongside the Sanjuaneros—pilgrims on their way to worship Our Lady of San Juan in Jalisco. However, this year the walk was canceled. It will be substituted with new fundraising activities.
The walk started in 2004 as a means of bringing information to the pilgrims about what domestic violence is, how to prevent it, and who can help those to whom it happens. After the first walk, participants (a multidisciplinary crew made up of psychologists, lawyers, nurses, and volunteers) realized that there was more violence than they thought. Lourdes Martínez, director of educational programs at CASA told Atención that the walk was canceled because the participants had lost the spirit of eradicating violence among the pilgrims, and they just wanted to join the crowds. Consequently, CASA decided to launch a program to prevent domestic violence: ELEGIR (Educating for the Freedom and Gender Equality though Nets). Martínez suggests that donors continue to support ELEGIR because the need and the program still go on.
ELEGIR has two main goals: the first is to prevent domestic violence in rural communities, churches, and schools; the second is to provide assistance and orientation to victims of this social problem. Through this program, CASA started a refuge for mistreated women and their children. When they arrive at this refuge, the women can stay for three months, receiving food, psychological treatment, legal advice, and more. The first women who arrived at CASA were some of those who had previously received information during the pilgrimage, comments Martínez.
The director recommended that former participants of the walk should not stop providing their financial support to the organization because the program needs their assistance and it will be further strengthened with two fundraising events this year. On February 14 they will hold the event “Un millón de pie (A Million Feet)” during which men and women will dance against violence. On March 8 they will hold the “high heels race,” in which men will wear high heel shoes and run for a good cause: against violence. She also commented that the ELIGIR campaigns will now be targeted, not just to women, but to men as well because women have the responsibility and the information now, and men also need to be aware.
Martínez reported that violence against women has not decreased, but it has only changed its process as there is now virtual violence, too.
The 24 hour emergency number in case of violence is 415 124 6990.