Women's shelter in Wiwili in Nicaragua

For two years, the refuge of the women's group works "mujeres emprendedoras" in Wiwilí / Nicaragua

An interview with Victoria Moncada, the director of the shelter during their recent visit to Freiburg in April 2013.

Since to years now the women's shelter "Mujeres Emprendedoras" in Wiwili / Nicaragua managed by women for women and children is in operation to break the silence.

Why was a women's shelter necessary?
It was a very sensitive issue and no one wanted to tackle. Every day there was mistreatment at home, at work, at school, but it took courage to face this problem. Therefore, in 2010, 10 women joined together to begin the project women's shelter.

How are you organized?
We are a non-profit organization named "Mujeres Emprendedoras in Nueva Segovia Wiwili (AMEWINS) to ultimately improve the social situation.
We have women's committees in the districts and communities and a board of directors for the municipality. Right now we have formed 20 women's committee from a total of 42 communities.

Who supported your project?
The council of Nueva Segovia Wiwili offered the women's group the house for free, a ruin worth $ 27,000 and the German Embassy gave us $ 15,000 for renovations and equipment.
At the moment the community only pays a secretary and the group of women does the rest of the work voluntarily.

How do you solve the problems?
To operate the shelter we sell meals, lunch, and snacks, which we offer to state institutions. With the income we pay the light and water and ensure food for the victims that we accommodate.

How do you work?
The committees and the women’s shelter do the work jointly. We cooperate with the police and the Women Commissioner in the complaints and the investigations.
In addition we inform the public about the women's shelter, and try to make preventive educational work with the teachers in the schools.

How do the people get informed about the women's shelter?
Primarily through the Women's Committees, however, we also take every opportunity to talk about the abuses and the possibilities of the women's shelter, and also do radio broadcasts.

Where is the women's shelter?
It is located in the town center close to the police station for safety reasons. The place is not a secret, every woman in Wiwili knows where the house is.

How long are the victims cared for in the shelter?
Usually a week, but on recommendation of the police or the Commissioner also longer without any problems. This can also be a month depending on the case at hand.

How are the rapist punished?
In Wiwili we have a good cooperation with the police, the Commissioner and the local judge. In addition, the Government has enacted the new law 779, which benefits substantially the women, i.e. it is a law, which punishes the abuser, the rapist. E.g. a man has raped its 7-year-old niece, we complaint about him, and he received 15 years in prison. Of course, there is a court procedure.

How many cases do you serve each month?
On average 10 people come per month, some also to demand to alimony.

What has changed in the last two years?
The essential thing is to break the silence. What is clear, even if women and children press charges, the abuses do not stop, but at least they get less.

What is still missing?
We lack money to pay a psychologist for the care of victims and to pay a doctor, because we currently have to drive the victims 4 to 5 hours for an investigation.

What does "mujeres emprendedoras" mean?
Loosely translated, it means "women with power, without fear, to fight with joy and progress for women's rights.


in Freiburg:   emil.guennel@t-online.de
in Wiwili:   Victoria Moncada: vikymon5abril@yahoo.es