Eva Cristina Ramirez Larquier was trapped in a violent marriage. She tried repeatedly to seek help but had no success.

Eventually she turned to the Women’s Human Rights Centre (CEDEHM), a civil society organisation in Chihuahua, Mexico.
With help from the centre, Eva Cristina recovered from the trauma and abuse. She also gained the confidence to bring her case to court. Hers was the first case of domestic violence to go to oral trial under Mexico’s 2007 justice reform. Eva Cristina’s aggressor was sentenced to two years of probation.

“It was a landmark victory,” said Luz Estela Castro Rodriguez, CEDEHM’s founder and Coordinator General. “It helped to expose the issue of domestic violence in our society.”

The women’s centre received funding through USAID-Mexico’s Justice and Security Program (JASP), which is implemented by MSI, our America's operation. The rule of law project helped to improve the livelihoods of victims of violence by giving them the necessary tools to rebuild their lives and seek justice. The project helped to fund CEDEHM and other organizations that provide therapy and legal assistance for victims.

“The therapy made me begin to see things for what they really were. It brought me out of the darkness,” said Eva Cristina.

CEDEHM also hosts workshops that teach crime victims about the legal options available to them under the new adversarial justice system. With support from the rule of law project, 919 women participated in the workshops. CEDEHM also registered 144 formal complaints of domestic violence and other crimes with the Attorney General’s Office.

This appeared on MSI's website, our America's operation.