Young Dominicans Discuss Ways to Recognize Signs of Aggression to Stop Gender Violence

May 23, 2018

The panel discussion was held during the showing of the short documentary “Un acto de rebeldía” (An Act of Rebellion,  unofficial English translation) at the Funglode Auditorium in Santo Domingo.

Gender violence continues to grow in Dominican society, which is why it is necessary that women learn to identify daily micro-assaults in order to stop the aggressor from escalating their violent actions.

This was one of the arguments presented by Nicole Coiscou and Isabella  Bretón, producer and director, respectively, of the short documentary “Un acto de rebeldía.”  The film showing was held on Monday, May 21, at the Funglode Auditorium in coordination with the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and the Biblioteca Juan Bosch.

The young filmmakers highlighted that the goal of this initiative is to help lower gender violence statistics in the Dominican Republic. They also explained that women are also subjected to various acts of gender violence that aren’t necessarily
physical in nature.

Coiscou explained that the idea that one individual can manipulate the feelings of another person is completely wrong, and that these types of situations are interpreted as signs of violence. “We have to learn to recognize these violent symptoms, and not just to detect the violent signs. All assailants give warning signs that indicate that he is an aggressor,” explained Coiscou who participated as a delegate to the U.N. model
carried out by the Dominican Association of the United Nations (ANU-RD).

The eight minute documentary is divided into five episodes. Verbal attacks, harassment at work, disrespect for intimacy, knowing when and how to say “no”, and being able to talk about female issues without shame or taboos, are the scenarios that various Dominican representatives from show business and social media outlets act out in order to show both men and women when a violent
situation is unraveling.

After the showing, Bretón opened the discussion by highlighting scenes that depict the “micro-aggressions that women are subjected to.” At the same time, she motivated the audience to carry out small “acts of rebellion” that will help stop various kinds of provocations.

“Society is accustomed to accuse the assaulted woman, and encourages beliefs that she deserved what her partner
did to her. However, the person that should be held accountable is the aggressor, not the victim. We must learn that no situation, be it jealousy or infidelity, merits violence in any shape or form,” explained  Bretón, who is also the director of the short documentary “La carta” (The Letter, non-official English translation).

During the discussion several women congratulated the young women for the initiative, and at the same time gave
their personal testimony as to how, at some point in time, they were also victims of violence not necessarily by their sentimental partners but by society in general.

Coiscou and Bretón both expressed that “…stopping the levels of violence is a social responsibility that involves not only the victims but everyone in general, no matter what social class they may belong to.”

The event opened with welcoming remarks delivered by Reydi
Moreta, GFDD’s Social Networking and Promotion Consultant.

The following local personalities participated in the documentary: Carlos Durán, Paloma de la Cruz, June Gómez, Pamel Mancebo, Roger Manzano, JJ Sánchez, Sergio Echenique, Marina Frías, Kat Montes, Nicole Lockward, Lo Blanquito, Natalia Azar, Lola Lora, Jean Michel Zayas, Paloma Richiez, Emmanuel Silverio, Nicole Lockward, Marcos Mañón, Gabriela Ortega and Nicole Coiscou.