U.S. will help set up centers for victims of family violence

In Costa Rica, 50 percent of the population is not safe in their house, according to U. S. Ambassador Anne Andrew. She was speaking at a gathering to announce funds to fight domestic violence here.

To combat these statistics, the U. S. government is partnering with Costa Rican organization Fundación Paniamor and the government to develop programs to reduce domestic violence and the demand for drugs in the country. The programs will use a donation of $1.67 million from government institutions and non-governmental organizations.

The aim is to improve Costa Rica’s security problems which will ensure economic growth and meet educational and health challenges, said Ms. Andrew.

This fight will come in two parts, explained William Brownfield, assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. It will be a program of mutual support where the government puts priority in the communities. The second part will be an effort to incorporate more partnerships. Brownfield delivered this announcement during the gathering Tuesday in San José.

An immediate effect will be that victims of abuse, whether they are children or adults in a violent relationship, will be able to receive direct help.

Currently, women who seek help must travel long distances using public transportation and end up in places where they can’t shower or even comb their hair, said Ms. Andrews.

In the plan are three centers across the country. The locations are Liberia, Puntarenas and Cartago.

Also, the Costa Rican government will have the opportunity to collect more evidence of crimes as the victims will be given more opportunities to present their case. This will create more justice, Brownfield said.

“Together I believe we can construct a better future,” he said.

“Domestic violence is one of the most serious forms of violence that threaten Central America, surpassed only by the violence generated by organized crime in its various manifestations,” said Marcela Chacón Castro, vice minister of Gobernación in a release.

Brownfield is spending two days here, according to the State Department. He came from Honduras.

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