Valentina Martinez

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2005


This profile was prepared when Valentina Martinez was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2005.
The New Idea
Valentina Martinez is working to end family violence in Chile by introducing a culture of collective responsibility to society. Most often, attitudes and behaviors about violence focus on the otherness of the victim or the abuser, resulting in the “safe” opinion that the problem is someone else’s, not our own. Valentina shatters this myth and demonstrates that family violence is not a problem faced by a single individual or an isolated family, but a societal problem that affects everyone. As such, it is incumbent upon all citizens to work toward its resolution.
To make this happen, Valentina works in conjunction with individuals, municipalities, and communities to implement a comprehensive program that breaks down perceptions and establishes a new set of relationships around the problem. This occurs through a replicable model for the diagnosis and coordination of efforts against family violence within a particular area. More broadly, she works at the national and institutional level to change how other actors in society, such as police or doctors, approach the problem. For each group, whether it is through a national or a community based strategy, she provides a simple set of standard practices which become a protocol for understanding and addressing the problem. This is complemented by the networking of all actors on the national scene as well a media campaign to create a sense of collective responsibility for violence.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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