MATIGUAS, Nicaragua -- Women in Nicaragua, often too timid to speak for themselves, have been beaten and sometimes killed by their partners or husbands who were unable or unwilling to see this as a crime, as unacceptable, as a way of life that needed to be changed.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees reports that nongovernmental organizations "estimate that up to 60 percent of (Nicaraguan) women have been physically abused by a partner at least once."
Enter Catholic Relief Services and its partner agency, Caritas Nicaragua, which joined forces to reduce the violence against women by providing programming for men. The agencies' officials said they saw the potential to reduce the violence, save women' lives and promote healthy families in the process.
Women do not need to be convinced that using violence in their homes can hurt or kill them. They already know all too well what can happen when machismo takes over, said Hugh Aprile, CRS country representative for Nicaragua.