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The booklet of Nicaragua, a model, a base of discussion  

The foundation Puntos de Encuentro (Points of Meeting) of Nicaragua is a feminist centre of education, investigation and communication, whose programs aim at checking the unequal relations of being able and violence in the everyday life.  It directs its actions to fight authoritarianism and the discrimination which assigns the women, the children, and the young people of  both sexes;  and to promote new models of interpersonal and social relations.

Puntos de Encuentro worked out a booklet " Of man with man " (7 things whom any man must know to avoid a disaster in his relations with the women).  This folder is a thought on what the men can do to avoid violence and thus to give the best of themselves in their couple.

“For men with men” the 7 things which any man must know
to avoid a disaster in his relations with a woman.

1)      The real problem is machismo.  Don’t let it dominate you.

Like men, we don’t like that nothing nor nobody dominates us, but without us to give an account of it, we almost let ourselves control by the machismo.  Since very young, one inculcates to us that the women must deal with the men:  have to serve us the meal, to do our washing…"understand" us, and to support our machismo.

We like to feel superiors. But reality is that they have the same dignity and authority that us, and today they are less incline with being treated like inferior beings.  The machismo is disastrous for our relations with the women. Indeed, if she "does not obey us ", much among us are seen trying to use violence and to maltreat it.

2)      Use violence makes only  things worse

Violence does not make us more strong, on the contrary, it weakens us. We can believe that that " went " because she " was calmed " or " obeys ". To maltreat our partner brings only additional problems and conflicts. Our family will be afraid of us, mistrust, and even of hatred. Our family does not have to support our violence and ill treatment.

One day, they can  leave us and even, if it is necessary, denounce us to the police force.

3)   Violence on  women is not tolerated any more in our country

Times are changing. The whole world proclaim high and loud "stop violence on the women and the children! ".  A man who strikes and maltreats his wife is criticized today by the society.  It is a shame and an offence!  Since 1996, we have Law 230, punishing not only physical violence, but also psychological violence within families. A violent man can see himself confronting with justice and finishing out of his home or in prison.

4)  To be a responsible man means…. 

The machismo led practically all of us to an unspecified kind of ill treatment towards a woman. Because violence is not only to strike his wife, it is also to control her,

to insult her, to ignore her, to make her feel inferior. But after having done it, we try to defend us, to deny it and to minimize it. "I did not do anything, she invents ".  " I hardly touched her". Sometimes, we shift the blame on her: " She provoked me ". To be responsible men, we must answer of our own acts, repair the pain which we made - in the measurement of possible- and to compromise us with never again be violent.

5)  It is worth : your life will be better if you help to create a sure and interdependent home environment.

In an interdependent environment, people support and take care to each other.  In a sure environment, one feels free to express oneself, without fear of being made strike.  If we, the men, contribute to create this environment in our houses, we will reward of it. We will face the economic difficulties under better conditions.  One will speak well about us. Our children will rely on us.  We will feel proud… Our life will change into better if we do not let ourselves anymore dominate by the machismo.

6)  Today or never:  to rebuild the country and our lives depends on treating the women on an equal footing. 

The situation of the country and in our houses is difficult.  Everyone is trying to go on after the hard blows of Mitch.  To rebuild the country, it is not only to start again to build houses and bridges.  We, the men, we can also think of rebuilding our relations with the women in our lives, by exchanging selfishness male chauvinist against solidarity, by exchanging violence against safety.  The country requires it, our families need it and we, we can carry it out.

7)  To prevent the violence made to the women is in our hands.

If we feel on the point to maltreat somebody, we can do what follows:

·        To recognize our anger, to be able to control us.

Anger is a feeling and violence a behaviour. There are many ways of fighting anger.  Violence is the worst manner of doing it!

To prevent that anger leads us to violence, it is important to be conscious of what we are feeling, to recall us mentally that we must calm ourselves. To arrive there, it is necessary to be attentive with the signals of the body which indicates an anger.  For example, when the muscles are contracted. Only recognizing that you are in anger can already decrease it.  If not, you will accumulate much tension in your body, and afterwards, that becomes more difficult to control it.

·        To leave to walk and clear up the spirit.

 If at the time of an argument with our partner we are too in anger, say to him that you need to leave the house during one hour, to return later and to tackle the problem with more serenity.  We can walk and breathe deeply so that the body and the spirit become "cool ". While you are outside, leaves every negative thought on the side.  Calm yourself, breathes the fresh air, and try to see the things more positively. When you come back, ask your partner if she wishes to discuss to try to solve the problem.

·        To drink is not the solution.

 To drink will not solve our conflicts, on the contrary that will worsen them!  Under the effect of alcohol, we believe that we " can do everything ", we are more easily touchy, we control less ourselves and, we run more risk to maltreat other people.  

·        To find a person with whom to speak about our states of heart. 

Even if we have shame or sorrow for our problems, to get us closer from somebody who listens to us and does not make fun of us, that can help us very much.  When we speak to someone else, not reject the fault on our partner or wife.  Let’s try to analyse how we contributed to the problem, and to think of possible solutions which will take into account the claims of the two parts.

·        To discuss with our partner and to respect his opinions.

 To discuss well, it is not only to speak, it is also to listen. Let’s take turns:  first a person listens attentively while the other speaks, and after we change. This does not mean to agree with all what she’s saying, but always listen to her with respect. And when it is in your turn of speaking, does not attack her and does not insult her. If we do ours best, there will be more possibilities that she makes efforts and that we managed to communicate.

They finish the booklet by comparing the hurricane " Mitch " and violence made to the women like two national disasters.  According to an investigation, 3 people out of 5 in the areas touched by " Mitch ", think that the violence made to the women stagnates or has augmented after the hurricane. 


This booklet forms part of an educational campaign " Violence on women: A disaster that we, men, can prevent ", which is the first massive campaign on violence, directed specifically to the men of Nicaragua. The campaign had as objective to foment at the men the conviction that they must and can prevent violence towards their wives.

Also, the campaign promotes the recognition which conjugal violence deteriorates the situation of the families and harm to the rebuilding of the country.

 " We, men, we can prevent violence " is a campaign with advertisements on television and on the radio ;  with materials for the distribution on a large scale (transfers, posters, and folders);  and with educational activities (workshops for the men, workshops for promoters), festivals and public presentation