In the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, the VIII Colloquim About Women with the them Not One More was celebrated from April 5th to April 7th. Attendees presented and discussed proposals, ideas and struggles against violence towards women. This symposium was dedictated to the defunct UPR-RUM student Natalia Sanchez Lopez (1988-2010) for her “unconditional commitment and support for public education and accessible and her commitment for a future more just, equitable and supportive for everyone in the country.

I attended the panel Women and Domestic Violence in Room A in the General Library. It had three speakers who took from twenty to twenty five minutes to expose their theme. The speakers and their respective themes were:

  1. Dr. Diana Valle Ferrer, “Resistance of women to gender violence.” She has a Doctor’s Degree in Social Services in Gender Studies and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Services.
  2. Dr. Rafael Boglio, “Man promise or compromising the men?: Men and the fight against gender violence.” He has a combined Doctor’s Degree in Social Services and Anthropolgy.
  3. Dr. Virgen Caceres Cruz, “The implantation of public policy about domestic violence in the work area from women’s perspective.” She has a Doctor’s Degree in Philosophy in the area of Community Social Psyhology.

In her theme, Dr. Diana Valle Ferrer exposed her belief that violence against women is a centuries old issue and problem. She made a research on statistics and police reports on domestic violence. The statistics provided were shocking. Sure, almost everyday we hear of domestic violence against women, but still it was shocking.

Dr. Rafael Boglio’s speech was revolved around the participation of men in domestic violence, whether is being the victimizer or the one trying to help. He focused on a program established by Puerto Rico’s Governor Luis Fortuno called Man’s Promise. Dr. Boglio quoted Fortuno: “It’s us the men who have to break wrong conditions about women which stills exists in our society and to end with violence cycles.” Man’s Promise is a workshop for men who eventually sign a document that it’s only a promise that they won’t hurt a woman.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for the last speech from Dr. Virgen Caceres, because of the time.

I think that symposiums like these are what help the weak, not only women, but children and old people as well, and even men. It even educates everyone into what’s happening in our society and what can we do to prevent violence.