Fellow Since 2000
This profile was prepared when Carmen Magallón was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2000.
The New Idea
Maria del Carmen Magallón is helping rural men and women identify and prevent domestic violence through a community-based approach that she has created from models developed for urban areas. She has altered the received models, which do not take into account certain cultural and social factors unique to the rural areas, and has applied them to strengthen institutions in rural communities and also to encourage women to form groups as forums for discussion and for support of domestic-violence victims. Carmen is sensitizing residents to recognize and address domestic violence, which is prevalent in peasant and indigenous communities. She roots her approach in local culture by making the prevention of domestic violence a community initiative. Carmen trains promoters to devise and follow through with their own strategies for preventing and handling cases of domestic violence. In this way, she is encouraging rural indigenous women and men to challenge the acceptance of domestic violence as a common practice, and take responsibility for their own and their community's well being. Carmen links the groups through regional and national networks to spread her prevention strategy, while lobbying for the improvement of medical, psychological, and judicial attention to victims.