The Final Report of ARC Field Research on Women’s Police Stations, Buenos Aires, Argentina is now published in English and Spanish

The Final Report of ARC Field Research on Women’s Police Stations, Buenos Aires, Argentina is now published in English and Spanish, and free to download from the project page

Summary of the Report
Women’s Police Stations are unique innovations that emerged from nations of the Global South in the second half of the 20th century to address violence against women. This report presents the results of a world first study of the unique way these stations called Comisaría de la Mujer (CMF) prevent gender-based violence in the Province of Buenos Aires Argentina. In Spanish and Portuguese these stations are called Police Stations for Women, for the sake of ease in this article we call them Women’s Police Stations. Little is currently known about how this distinctive multi-disciplinary model of policing (that includes social workers, lawyers, psychologists and police) prevents gender violence.
First, we outline the background to the emergence of Women’s Police Stations in the societies of the Global South designed explicitly to respond to and prevent gender-based violence. These stations are distinguished from the women only police units that existed in most parts of the Global North that restricted women in law enforcement to caring for women and children in custody (Cartron 2015, 9). The main substance of the report presents the results of our empirical study on the role of Women’s Police Stations in responding to and preventing gender violence in the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The province established its first women’s police station in 1988 and now has 128. They account for one in five of all police stations in the province and since 2009 have had a legislated mandate to prevent gender violence which distinguishes them from other Women’s Police Stations. We interviewed 100 employees from ten of these unique multi-disciplinary stations.
The final section critically reflects on the virtues and limits of Women’s Police Stations as a model for addressing and preventing gender-based violence. The report compares traditional policing versus specialist policing approaches to the prevention of gender-based violence. While not without limitations, we conclude that specialised Women’s Police Stations in the societies of the Global South widen access to justice, empower women to break the cycle of domestic violence, and engage in a form of community policing that challenges the social norms that sustain gender violence. As a by-product they also provide a career in law enforcement for police (male and female) who specialise in responding to gender violence. The study is framed by Southern Criminology which reverses the notion that ideas, policies and theories can only travel from the Global North to the Global South. The study is funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and includes a multi-country team of researchers whose contributions we gratefully acknowledge.

Citation

English

Carrington, K. Sozzo, M. Puyol, M. V. Gamboa, M. Guala, N. Ghiberto, L. Zysman, D. (2019) The Role of Women’s Police Stations in Responding to and Preventing Gender Violence: Buenos Aires, Argentina: Final Report of Field Research. QUT Centre for Justice: Brisbane. Research Report Series 1.

Spanish
Carrington, Kerry , Sozzo, Maximo , Puyol, Maria Victoria , Gamboa, Marcela , Guala, Natacha , Ghiberto, Luciana , & Zysman, Diego (2019) El rol de las Comisarías de la Mujer en la prevención y el abordaje de la violencia de género, Buenos Aires, Argentina: Informe final de trabajo de campo. QUT Centre for Justice: Brisbane. Research Report Series 1.

For more information about the ARC project click here

Research: Study of Women’s Police Stations in Argentina

Kerry pictured with Superintendent Mabel Christina Rojas, Ministry of Security, Buenos Aries, Argentina (Photo taken by Dr Diego Zysman, a Senior Researcher on the Project)

 

Professor Kerry Carrington was awarded an ARC Discovery Grant (2018-2020) to study the prevention of gendered violence. As part of that study she will be studying the preventative impact of Women’s Police Stations in Argentina with Partner Investigator – Professor Máximo Sozzo Universidad Nacional de Litoral, Santa Fe, Argentina. The Buenos Aries province of Argentina has 138 Women’s Police Stations that employ over 2300 personnel.

Little is known in the English speaking academy about how societies in the global south have approached the prevention of gendered violence. Brazil was the first country in Latin America to establish women’s only police stations in 1985.  Since then, women’s police stations have been established in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, and Uruguay, and more recently in Sierra Leone, India, Ghana, India, Kosovo, Liberia, the Philippines, South Africa and Uganda. A 2011 United Nations Women evaluation found that women only police stations in Latin America enhanced women’s access to justice and their willingness to report, increased the likelihood of conviction, and enlarged access to a range of other services such as counselling, health, legal, financial and social support. Of those surveyed for the evaluation, 77% in Brazil, 77% in Nicaragua, 64% in Ecuador and 57% in Peru felt that women only police stations had reduced violence against women in their countries (Jubb et al 2010).  Women’s only police stations emerged historically at a time of re-democratisation in Latin America. They were designed to enhance women’s confidence in the criminal justice system, encourage reporting, prevent re-victimization, and send a message to the community that gendered violence was no longer tolerated and men who abuse women will be made accountable.

A more recent study of WPS in Brazil used female homicides as a proxy measure for assessing their effectiveness. They compared 2074 municipalities from 2004 to 2009 and found that ‘women’s police stations appear to be highly effective among young women living in metropolitan areas’ . The  homicide rate dropped by 17 per cent for all women, but for women aged 15-24 in metropolitan areas the reduction was 50 per cent (or 5.57 deaths reduction per 100,000) (Perova and Reynolds 2017: 193-194).

Kerry now has all the approvals necessary to conduct the research and will commence in July this year.

You can listen to a broadcast about the research project aired Friday afternoon 27 April 2018 on the Multicultural Show – Community Radio Interview 4EB  by clicking the link below.

http://www.4eb.org.au/node/41

QUT’s Kerry Carrington Visits Women Only Police Stations in Argentina

Argentina Trip 2015 067

Professor Kerry Carrington has recently returned from visiting women only police stations in Argentina where she was granted permission to begin a world-first study after a recent visit to the country’s unique stations. Professor Carrington plans to conduct this research in collaboration with the Ministry of Security, Women Only Police Stations (Comisarias de la Mujer) and colleagues from the University of Buenos Aires and University of Litoral.

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