VIVO Alliance & Integro Foundation
A joint project between VIVO Alliance and Integro Foundation to advocate for victims' rights.
The Victims' Rights Advocacy & Accountability Project was inspired by Karla Hernandez-Rosario's exhausting legal battle for justice after she was brutally attacked and sexually assaulted in December, 2020. Her plea for basic human rights was overtly denied by continuous roadblocks in the Puerto Rican justice system, which unequivocally favors the perpetrators of such heinous crimes. It's been nearly two years since her horrific ordeal, and yet no progress has been made to incriminate her assailant. After consulting with several legal professionals, multiple assault victims faced with similar challenges, as well as many non-profit organizations battling the scourge of gender/sexual violence, Karla and her husband came to the conclusion that the problem is indeed systemic. In Puerto Rico, victims of crime such as gender violence and sexual assault have no constitutional rights in the criminal proceedings against their offenders. It is common knowledge that the Puerto Rico Criminal Justice System, for decades, has shown callous disregard toward victims of these types of crimes in their fruitless pleas for justice, leaving them to suffer relentless personal, emotional, and financial wounds.
Vision of Project:
To rectify the severe imbalance between the rights of criminal defendants against the absent rights of victims, VIVO Alliance must raise the necessary funding to collaborate with a team of legal and research professionals, whom Karla and her husband, Gerald, have connected with on their own personal battle for legal justice. These professionals, along with the help of the University of PR, shall implement a work-study program for students from the UPR Legal and Journalism departments. Together, they shall harvest critical information to create an in-depth, on-demand database that clearly defines the severe imbalance of Puerto Rico's legal justice