Photo Via BBC

A National Action Plan for the Prevention, Assistance and Eradication of Violence against Women was presented yesterday by Fabiana Tuñez, president of the National Council of Women, in the Casa Rosada. In the audience were several family members of recent victims of gender-based violence, including the mother of Angeles Rawson, who was murdered by her doorman, and the mother of Lola Chomnalez, who was murdered during a summer vacation in Uruguay.

According to Clarín, this plan is the first of its kind in Argentina, where the tragedy of gender-based violence has continued to weigh heavily on the nation.

The plan is expected to make use of technology like ankle monitors on offenders and cellphone tracking software. It also involves the development of an app to call police without dialing any numbers and produce maps of places where you can ask for assistance.

President Mauricio Macri said, “Gender-based violence is what impacts us the most. We have faced a harsh reality: one victim every 37 hours.”

Protest Against Gender Violence. Photo via http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/
Protest Against Gender Violence. Photo via http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/

Tuñez told Clarín of the plan: “One of the novelties is the ankle monitor tracking device, which raises an alarm if offenders violate the distance they must keep between them and a victim. While we previously had a panic button, this left the majority of responsibility on the victim; now that responsibility has shifted to the perpetrator.” Still, the level of danger that a perpetrator poses in order for an ankle monitor to be installed has to be determined beforehand by a judge.

The idea of using ankle monitors has already been tried and tested in Uruguay, where over 800 of these devices have been installed since 2013.

Another new feature of the plan will include an app that allows for a person to call an emergency line directly by shaking the phone a certain way. This measure will hopefully prevent violent incidences from occurring and track existing ones, such as in cases where victims call for help and then retract the call.

Another feature will include a map that disappears from a person’s phone so that an abuser cannot look at it and become angered further. The map shows places where a person can seek out assistance, such as police centers, psychological centers, NGOS and lawyers.

Tuñez insists that the plan is still in development and will take another three years to be fully implemented, with a budget of AR $750 million. This money will not only be designated to the development of technology but also to the building of houses to serve as shelters for women fleeing domestic violence and for microcredits to enable women to regain strength, financial independence and motivation.

The plans were met with praise in the Casa Rosada, but will still take time to develop and grow.

In recent years, the Ni Una Menos (Not One Less) movement took a significant stance against femicide. The group’s survey on domestic violence reached 40,000 respondents and its call for an end to violence has taken to the streets.