The Foundation rejects possible closure of shelters for victims of gender violence

San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 30, 2022 – The Puerto Rico Women’s Foundation (FMnPR), made a call today for urgent attention to the possible closure of two shelters that offer services, outside the metropolitan area, to victims and survivors of gender-based violence following the revocation of more than $400,000 funds from the Crime Victims Assistance Program (VOCA) administered by the Department of Justice.

The Foundation described this action as a lack of government response and commitment to the eradication of violence against women, particularly unacceptable in the face of a state of emergency declared by the governor, which seeks to address the crisis of gender violence in Puerto Rico.

“This situation puts us in a very precarious situation to respond and protect the lives of women, with their sons and daughters, who need to escape and seek safety, and protection. It is inconceivable that, during a state of emergency due to gender violence and the crisis that we are experiencing after Hurricane Fiona, shelters are going through such a terrible situation; it is something that could have been prevented and avoided,” said Sara Benítez Delgado, Co-chair of the organization, which is the only fund in Puerto Rico that directly supports women and the LGBTQ+ community.

The potential closure of the Capromuni I and Capromuni II shelters would leave thousands of women and their children unattended in the archipelago’s west and north central zones.

This is especially important considering that, to date, 52 femicides have been registered by the Observatorio de Equidad de Género, and that women represent 84% of the victims on complaints for violations of Law 54 on Domestic Violence, according to data from the first four months of 2022.

Making the already precarious conditions of victims of gender-based violence more vulnerable, precludes much-needed escape routes and immediate help. With the closure of both shelters, up to 60 beds would be lost to receive women victims of violence; a situation that will exacerbate the current crisis, a statement expressed by Coraly León Morales, executive director of Casa Protegida Julia de Burgos, in an FMnPR needs survey of its ecosystem of subsidized organizations.

Shelters are an essential service, especially in times of emergency caused by hurricanes. This cut in funding would not only reduce security options for victims alongside their children but also involve the displacement of professionals specializing in gender-based violence.

At times like these, government partnership with the community and feminist nongovernmental entities is essential.

“The State must ensure that its emergency plans include the necessary actions to prevent and work against all forms of gender-based violence and protect the lives and integrity of survivors. Since Hurricane Maria, women’s organizations have developed guidelines and protocols to adequately address the needs of survivors and victims of gender-based violence during an emergency like the one we are experiencing. We reiterate our call for the government to maintain effective collaboration with women’s organizations that know the needs of their communities,” concluded Veronica Colón Rosario, executive director of the FMnPR.


En la FMnPR, visualizamos un Puerto Rico en equidad, comprometido con la justicia social donde las mujeres, niñas y personas de géneros fluido, son protagonistas y puedan desarrollarse plenamente desde su libertad a lo largo del transcurso de su vida. También, proveemos subvenciones y acompañamiento a organizaciones de base comunitaria dirigidas por mujeres que mejor representan y defienden los puntos de vista, las fortalezas, las necesidades y las situaciones de esos grupos.


Danelys Estévez Dávila, Gerente de Comunicaciones, Fundación de Mujeres en Puerto Rico

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Conoce sobre servicios directos que se ofrecen en programas, iniciativas y organizaciones a mujeres y personas de la comunidad LGBTQ+ en todo el archipiélago.