Desalambrando, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina works to stop violence against lesbians and bisexual women, including violence within lesbian relationships.
Violence that occurs between women in intimate relationships is a taboo on many levels and is rarely spoken about. The organisation is reframing violence against women by challenging the notion in feminist and lesbian movements that violence against women is only inflicted by men upon women. Lesbian and bisexual women see the violence as an internal problem. It is mainly kept in secrecy, as a protection mechanism of a community that is already faced with violence and oppression from ‘the outside world’. Speaking out about it requires the courage to break through this wall of silence.
A key component of Desalambrando’s work is providing direct counseling and a hotline for lesbian survivors of domestic violence. Desalambrado also conducts research and provides workshops, training and materials for lesbian, feminist and human rights groups and organisations throughout Argentina. The number of organisations that recognise that this problem exists and that are providing support for women who face this kind of violence, keeps growing.
Desalambrando is also taking its work to the mainstream by engaging organisations and institutions, including the State, that have a responsibility in ending violence against women. By relocating the problem from the lesbian movement to mainstream organisations and institutions with an anti-violence agenda, they move the responsibility of ending violence between women from the lesbian communities to the heart of society: ending violence against women and between women is everybody’s responsibility.
Desalambrando received grants by Mama Cash in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2012.