Strategies to Help Reduce Violence and Poverty in Argentina

Violence and Poverty in ArgentinaViolence and poverty in Argentina have been increasing in recent times. The statistics concerning violent crimes, including homicide, domestic disputes and gang violence, have become concerning. From 2018 to 2021, the percentage of violence was recorded as “5.37, 5.16, 5.37, 4.62.” While the trend shows a steady decrease, much remains to be done to curb this problem. Economic disadvantage is a catalyst for why perpetrators commit crimes.

Violence in Childhood and Beyond

Alejandra Martínez, in his article “Masculinity, Poverty and Violence in Argentina – Analyzing Children’s Discourse,” shows that violence and poverty in Argentina root back to childhood when poor male children are indoctrinated with a gender role emphasizing strength as essential for navigating a brutal world. To get something, you need to take it. This is conveyed through gender norms, which are not always articulated explicitly. Instead, they are conveyed implicitly through language and symbolism. These norms are models for perceiving and reproducing valuations characteristic of their gender norms.

As such, gender norms play a role in shaping how individuals interact. It is vital to understand the implicit messaging conveyed by gender norms and to strive for equitable and inclusive practices that do not reinforce traditional gender roles. By doing so, individuals and organizations promote environments that value diverse perspectives and foster success. In the context of the lowest social strata, boys strive to distinguish themselves by emphasizing physical value and masculine honor. These attributes are necessary to prepare for physical challenges and violent activities. This aspect leads to countless factions vying for superiority in a cacophony of ingrained violence, spilling out and affecting those not directly involved in violence.

Míguez’s study found that violence and poverty in Argentina are reflected in crimes recorded in statistical records involving predominantly young males below 25 years of age hailing from impoverished urban areas. The social profile of those involved in criminal violence originates from impoverished urban enclaves of major cities. For instance, poverty was a recurring factor in 90% of the households with juveniles undergoing legal proceedings.

Bouzat and Gabriel, in their study “Inequality, Crime And Security In Argentina,” state that violence and poverty in Argentina are fueled by income inequality, which is associated with education inequality, impacting crime rates. Education is critical in reducing crime by promoting social capital, facilitating communication and peaceful conflict resolution. A lack of quality education hinders the development of social capital and contributes to increased crime. Although there is debate regarding how education reduces crime, research has demonstrated a positive correlation between the years spent in formal education and reduced crime.

Psychological and Social Solutions

Maria Esther Epele highlights that one solution being offered is to tackle the psychological consequences of poverty, which cause violent behavior. One strategy for reducing violence and poverty in Argentina is “Psychotherapeutic treatments,” where trained professionals are consulted to talk with individuals with histories of violence. They help the criminal understand their issues using ordinary language to help the subject relate to them.

The most important feature of this method is that the violent individual may have never been listened to or had their interior life considered, leading to lashing out to express themselves. They are taught to ask questions later because they were never listened to. Instead of punishing violence with violence, a more holistic approach is taken. This method will not work in all cases, but it has obvious benefits if you are looking to rehabilitate rather than punish.

As Krook indicates, social media is a powerful strategy for increasing awareness and combating violence. In Argentina, the U.S. Agency for International Development has funded programs offering gender training to targeted women. This two-pronged approach aims to enhance gender sensitivity in media coverage, with an emphasis on exposing acts of violence against women and violence broadly. Social media serves as a compelling tool for individuals and communities to expose such acts of violence and mobilize support for initiatives that empower women. In summary, leveraging mainstream and social media is a practical approach to combating violence by raising awareness and taking steps toward a safer and more equitable society.

Conclusion

By increasing awareness and visibility, Argentina is taking a critical step towards reducing violence. The country’s efforts have the potential to allow victims to share their experiences while encouraging perpetrators to recognize the harmful consequences of violent behavior. By creating an environment that fosters understanding and encourages communication, Argentina is taking significant steps towards reducing the impact of violence on its society.

– Jordan Cunningham
Photo: Flickr

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