Yesterday the “Ley Brisa” was passed, which ensures that the minor children of femicide (or of the murder of one of the parents at the hands of the other) will receive economic support from the government. The decision was unanimous, with 203 votes in favor; it marks a big step in the right direction in respect to the protection for victims left behind from deadly cases of gender violence.
Con la #LeyBrisa lxs hijxs menores de 21 años de las víctimas de femicidios, recibiran un resarcimiento económico equivalente a una jubilación mínima por parte del Estado.
En los últimos 9 años más de 2500 hijxs se quedaron sin su madre a causa de un femicidio. pic.twitter.com/Fwu980NOi8
— Gabriela Estévez (@gabiestevezok) July 5, 2018
Alarming statistics shared by la Casa del Encuentro affirm that since 2009, there were nearly 2,400 femicides in Argentina, leaving nearly 3,000 children without a mother. 63 percent of these children were minors at the time. Often, their fathers end up either in prison, on the run from the law, or dead – leaving them defenseless and without support. The majority are then left in the care of extended family members who generally have other children of their own, often struggling to make ends meet.
Last year the State had only half sanctioned the financial compensation bill. In its guidelines, it stipulates that the stipend will total around AR $8,000 each month. Children under the age of 18 will receive the funds through the adult guardian caring for them, while minors between 18 and 21 will be paid directly. Dependents with disabilities are also covered by the law. They’re called reparations because as the State understands, guaranteeing healthcare, education, food, and improved standard of living is its responsibility.
La Asociación Civil La Casa del Encuentro, an organization that helps promote equality between men and women, but also protects women against domestic abuse, put the draft bill together and named it “Ley Brisa” after the 3 year-old daughter of Daiana Barrionuevo, a 24 year-old woman who disappeared on the December 20, 2014, and whose body was found on January 10th in a bag in a stream in Moreno, province of Buenos Aires. The prime suspect of her murder was her 26 year-old ex-partner, Iván Rodríguez, who was later sentenced to life imprisonment. This left their two 7 year-old twins, Elías and Tobíás, and Brisa in the care of their grandfather who lives outside the City of Buenos Aires.
It has already been approved in the Senate and deputies are expected to enforce the law at the national level. The bill ensures that orphans, such as Brisa and her siblings, will receive the compensation which they had previously been denied; notably, the reparations are retroactive to when the original crime took place, ensuring that those who have suffered for years will receive their due.
The deputy head of the organization, Alejandra Martinez has stated: “It is a great [step forward] and a great joy. It is a project that includes every child, adolescent, and people with disabilities whose mothers were murdered.”
She also added that, “the law also provides comprehensive care and health coverage to meet all the physical and mental needs of its beneficiaries, which must be contained by the State. It is a solid and transverse legislative work. It is necessary to continue working on this issue to guarantee the rights of children and to indefinitely eradicate gender violence in our society.”
Tragically, in Argentina every 30 hours a woman is still killed because of her gender, and these statistics are not getting better – showing how crucial this policy is to improve the lives of the victims and their families. If preventative measures were put in place, and police reports of domestic abuse were not ignored, the children tarnished with these horrors of domestic violence wouldn’t be so great.