A project that provides online legal
advice and digital trainings to Bolivian victims of domestic violence
was praised in a recent publication of International Capacity
Building Organization PSO.
The project, which was formerly
supported by IICD in collaboration with local partner Casa de la
Mujer (Woman’s House), was presented as an example of an inspiring
innovative approach to capacity development that leads to the
improvement of people’s lives.
The project consists of an online
consulting service for women suffering from domestic violence, which
provides them legal advice and the opportunity to interact online
anonymously with professional counselors. In addition, these women
are trained in the basic use of computers as well as the use of tools
such as chat and Skype where they can speak to their peers or learn
how to anonymously tell their story.
Given that most women do
not have a computer of their own, Casa de La Mujer has created
computer centres throughout Santa Cruz, which women can visit and use
for free to send messages to lawyers and psychologists who volunteer
in the project or to other victims, anonymously, if they prefer.
a result, the women feel that they are not alone. By interacting with
other women facing the same problems and by being introduced to basic
ICT skills like blogging or using Skype, they are given a voice to
communicate about domestic violence and inspire other women who
suffer in other areas of the country. In addition to this, ICT has
given them the opportunity to seek help maintaining their anonymity,
something that is really important to victims of domestic violence
and gender discrimination.
IICD’s officer Community
Relations, Innovation & Capacity Development, Saskia Harmsen says
that “We are pleased with the results seen from the training of 600
women in the use of ICT, and in the use of the on-line legal services
and in legal rights issues”.