How can an integrated platform improve the protection of women survivors of violence in Chile?

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Santiago, Chile - October 12, 2018: La Moneda Palace, Construction began in 1784 and was opened in 1805. People are visiting and resting in the square. Santiago, Chile - October 12, 2018: La Moneda Palace, Construction began in 1784 and was opened in 1805. People are visiting and resting in the square.

Despite the efforts of the Chilean State, the rates of violence against women have not improved in the last eight years. In 2019, 4 out of 10 women indicated that they had been victims of domestic violence.  Furthermore, a very small proportion of those women who suffer violence file a complaint. Often, this is due to mistrust in the network of state services. The truth is that the public services offered are weak and poorly coordinated for those who do report violence. While there is a range of services, survivors may have very different experiences depending on where their first entry point is.  It is likely that a woman will have to repeat her story multiple times, that she will face long delays in her judicial processes, and if she continues to be attacked, it is possible that no one will follow up or raise alerts even when there are several complaints against the same aggressor.

Faced with this reality, one urgent challenge limiting an effective and coordinated government response is the lack of readily available information on cases of violence against women among public institutions. Currently, each institution involved provides services to women survivors and fulfills its functions and tasks, but there is no integrated institutional care model that ensures a complete package of services for all women who are survivors of violence.

Although each institution has its own processes and systems (some even with multiple systems), these are not interconnected and do not speak to each other, making it impossible to monitor the quality of existing services and to follow up on cases of extreme violence that can culminate in femicides.

Because there currently is no institutional coordination to identify cases of recurrent violence, if a woman files a complaint, the local office will not have information on whether she has already filed a similar complaint in a different region or institution. Likewise, it is not possible to know exactly what services the survivor has already accessed, so she will probably have to repeat her story multiple times, without a coordinated follow-up.

Finally, critical information that could lead to the early detection and prevention of cases of violence is not systematically collected. Additionally, in some cases information is transmitted between institutions either manually or by email, raising confidentiality concerns and significant delays in what are often life or death situations.

The path to a solution

To find a solution to these multiple challenges, a World Bank team worked alongside the Ministry of Women and Gender Equity on various fronts.

First, a quantitative analysis was carried out to measure violence against women in Chile, using the National Survey of Intrafamily Violence (ENVIF 2020). Additionally, a qualitative study was carried out to understand the perception of women survivors on the offer of state services in this matter.

And finally, through a series of bilateral meetings, a comprehensive diagnosis was completed for all the institutions that provide services to women survivors of violence in terms of their operational processes, both within and across institutions; their regulatory frameworks, which govern administrative records and information sharing across institutions; and their existing information systems, identifying possibilities for interoperability.

The consolidation of these five components gave a comprehensive look at how state institutions are structured and coordinated regarding cases of gender-based violence.

This diagnosis makes evident the need to install a new integrated care model oriented towards survivors, which should include a defined minimum package of services and the development of an effective referral system. In addition, a case management strategy should be incorporated that has a logical sequence, regardless of which institution is the first entry point.

The establishment of an integrated case management platform can support this new care model, by strengthening the collection and use of administrative records. The development of an integrated platform would contribute to coordination between institutions, allowing for better follow-up and traceability of cases, reduced re-victimization of women, and the possibility of establishing an early warning system that could save lives.

Chile now faces a great opportunity. The roadmap for the design of an integrated case management platform for cases of violence against women proposed by the World Bank (in Spanish) seeks to define the next steps that are urgent and necessary to develop a new care model that, thanks to the use of technology can generate, among other results, early warnings that contribute to the protection of women survivors who are at risk of situations of extreme violence or death.

Last year alone, 194 cases of attempted or completed femicides were registered, which is equivalent - in a single year - to 2 out of every 100,000 women. This platform could help change the future of these tragic cases and the fate of thousands of women survivors of gender-based violence in Chile. 


Gabriela Inchauste

Economista Líder en la Práctica Global de Pobreza y Equidad del Banco Mundial

Giselle Marie Bello

Social Development Analyst, Gender Based-Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean

Manuel Contreras-Urbina

Senior Social Development Specialist for the Latin America and Caribbean on gender-based violence

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