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Antonio Morales stresses that the Island Corporation has allocated the largest budget in its history to promoting equality and combating gender-based violence during this term of office.
Sara Ramírez indicates that, with these instruments, the aim is to strengthen municipal services and achieve greater specialisation in the care and support network for victims.

The Cabildo de Gran Canaria is launching two new services to strengthen the island’s Gender Violence Network: the Island Service for Gender Violence and the Island Service for the Prevention of Gender Violence, promoted by the Department of Equality, Diversity and Transparency, under the supervision of Sara Ramírez. Two instruments in which the Island Corporation has invested 550,000 euros of its own funds, in an item that, as remarked the island president, Antonio Morales, “is part of the largest budget that the Government of Gran Canaria has allocated for the promotion of equality and the fight against gender violence, given that the Area has gone from having 6 million in 2019 to 10 million in 2023”.

President Morales led the presentation of these two services today, flanked by the councillor of the Department, Sara Ramírez Mesa; Ana Lidia Fernández-Layos Fernández, director of ‘Opciónate’ and coordinator of the Island Service for Gender Violence, and Mónica Concepción Gómez, director of ‘T-Acompañamos’ and social worker.

Antonio Morales stated that equality and the fight against any type of violence or discrimination based on sex, gender or sexual orientation has been one of the priorities of the current Government of the Cabildo of Gran Canaria. “Already in 2015, we created a department that integrated both the services for women victims of violence and the Equality unit, in order to offer a comprehensive response to this structural problem,” she said. “Subsequently, we launched the Strategic Framework for Equality ‘Gran Canaria Infinita’, an excellent tool to articulate public policies aimed at advancing equality on this island and to transform the feeling and scope of pro-equality measures”.

In this respect, she emphasised the important advances that have been made on the island in the specialisation of services for victims of gender violence, with the aim of providing the best service to women and children who suffer from it. “With this objective in mind, the two new services are being set up, with this half million euro investment, for which we have taken a step forward without the participation of any public administration, which is reluctant to go further in a project that we believe is essential for Gran Canaria,” she said.

In short, he stressed that we have sought to strengthen these services throughout the island territory, “so that the care that victims receive does not depend only on the municipality in which they live, and we have also increased the emergency aid they receive by more than 60%, from 300,000 euros in 2019 to 800,000 euros in 2022”, concluded the president.

Sara Ramírez, for her part, added that this 50% increase in the budget of her Department has been allocated to the Gender Violence Network, with the aim of strengthening municipal services and achieving a greater degree of specialisation in care and in the Shelter Network itself, as well as indicating that the Regional Ministry has worked on implementing care policies both for women and child victims and for the professionals who work in this Network.

“In 2019, the Island Service of Attention to Victims of Sexual Violence was opened; in 2020, we inaugurated the Island Service of Psychoeducational Attention to Minors, and in 2021, we launched one of the lines that has generated special pride within the Department of Equality, which is the Madai Therapeutic Shelter, for victims of gender violence who had addiction problems,” the councillor listed. “And this year, thanks to the budgetary support offered by the Cabildo to these policies with its own funds, we are opening these two new services”, she pointed out.

Guarantees of comprehensive protection and awareness-raising and prevention activities

The Councillor explained that the Insular Service for Gender-based Cyber-violence, managed by the entity ‘Opciónate’, aims to guarantee comprehensive protection, guidance, advice and multidisciplinary care for women and minors who are victims of gender-based cyber-violence, as well as to advise the professionals of the prevention and care services belonging to the Insular Network in this area, and to develop actions aimed at raising social awareness and prevention of this type of violence.

This department has a budget of 200,000 euros and has a multidisciplinary team made up of a psychologist, a legal advisor, a cybersecurity and digital protection advisor, an equality promoter, a coordinator and administrative staff.

It also intends to draw up a communication plan to educate and raise awareness among the general public on the prevention of gender-based violence, and to make the programme’s actions visible on an ongoing basis. It will also concentrate on creating a publicity campaign for the programme, from a municipal and island perspective, as a mechanism for raising awareness and preventing gender violence.

This service has been allocated a budget of 350,000 euros and is made up of two social workers, four social educators, three equality promoters, a social integrator, a community manager, a graphic designer and administrative staff.

On the other hand, she explained that the Insular Service for the Prevention of Gender Violence, coordinated by ‘T-Acompañamos’, aims to develop actions aimed at raising social awareness and prevention of gender violence, with special emphasis on the community and educational areas of the island; in addition to increasing the level of knowledge, visibility and social awareness of this violence in any of its manifestations, as well as the existing resources and means to combat it. “It arises from the need to reinforce prevention on our island, with teams that will be located by districts, trying to go to the causes of gender violence and not only to its consequences”, Sara Ramírez pointed out.