Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico - In Mexico there are 60 shelters and just over 30 External Resource Centers (centers associated with shelters that offer the services of psychologists, social workers and lawyers) for women and their children who are victims of domestic violence.
All of the shelters and external resource centers (ERC's) depend on federal government assistance to help cover their operational costs. This year over 50% of the shelters and external resource have been denied this federal assistance due to technical reasons. The shelters and ERC's that will not receive assistance will be forced to drastically decrease the services that they offer - or close.
This financial crisis comes at a time when there is a need for more shelters, ERC's and other resources. During the last two years Gender Alerts have been announced by the government in 12 states due to a sharp increase in gender related violence and homicides.
Puerto Vallarta is among the municipalities that have an active Gender Alert. Additional alerts are pending in 8 more states. The state and municipal governments are responding, but there is much more to be done. We look forward to the opportunity to work with the government wherever and whenever possible.
Banderas Bay Women's Shelter has responded to this crisis. In Tepic, Nayarit, we have opened an ERC where women receive services of psychologists, child psychologists, social workers and lawyers at no charge. The ERC also has an emergency shelter where families can stay up to 4 days while they are processed to go to the Banderas Bay Women's Shelter or are sent to live somewhere else where their aggressor cannot locate them.
In Puerto Vallarta, we are distributing fliers in many neighborhoods that include information about domestic violence and a hotline number. We assist women in finding the resources that they need. We have plans to open a ERC in Vallarta this fall that will provide the same services as the ERC in Tepic.
If you are a woman who is in a domestic violence situation, or you know of someone who is, you can contact us at 322-150-8181 or 322-247-0639. You can also seek assistance by email at unavidasinviolencia(at)hotmail.com.
About The Banderas Bay Women's Shelter
The Banderas Bay Women's Shelter is working with Vida Reavivida/Compassion for the Family Inc. and Mexican Social Services to provide an immediate, temporary and safe living environment for women and children who are the victims of domestic violence; to prepare them to be financially independent through jobs, education, English second language education, non interest small business loans; and to assist them in living a life free of violence through professional counseling.Vida Reavivida A.C. is a not for profit charitable organization that is registered with the state Jalisco. For more information about Vida Reavivida A.C. and the Banderas Bay Women's Shelter, please visit CompassionForTheFamilyMx.org, find them on Facebook, or contact David Zude at compassionforthefamily(at)yahoo.com.mx.