Macho violence bleeds the Dominican Republic

The death of women at the hands of their partners or former partners bleeds the Dominican Republic, with more than 80 victims of femicides this year, according to official figures, a violence closely associated with machismo and the economic and social inequality suffered by women in this country. Caribbean.

The complaints are counted by thousands. According to information from the Attorney General of the Republic, Jean Alain Rodríguez, so far this year the authorities have received 55,000 complaints of domestic, gender and sexual violence.

Given the seriousness of the situation, the country’s Attorney General’s Office launched a National Plan against Gender Violence earlier this month, which aims to fight against this type of crime and reduce femicide in the country, and this week held a meeting with experts national and foreign to address the issue.

In this activity, Rodriguez acknowledged that in recent years the country has had a significant economic development, however, “indicators of gender violence are a sign that even society has great challenges ahead.”

For Sergia Galván, activist of the feminist movement of the Dominican Republic, the initiative “is one of the many that have been announced in the country in recent years” and “that have not had any effect due to the lack of political will and of budget to face the problem “.

An example of this, he said in statements to Efe, is the fact that the country only has three shelters for women and children under 14 years of age in situations of violence.

“Violence is a structural, social, multisectoral problem that requires a response from the State, not improvisations from the different actors that should intervene,” said Galván, for whom the situation must be declared a “national emergency.”

To the lack of resources are added “the deficiency of the judicial system and the corruption itself,” which contribute “to the fight against gender violence remaining in roles,” Galván said.

This Friday, on the eve of the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women, a man killed his ex-partner outside his hometown of Santo Domingo, swelling the list of victims in the country, which ranks fifth with the highest number of femicides in Latin America, behind Honduras, El Salvador, Argentina and Guatemala.

In a statement issued for the celebration of this Day, the UN highlighted the efforts made by the Dominican Republic to eliminate gender-based violence, however, said violence continues to be one of the main human rights violations in the country.

According to the United Nations, the country lacks a comprehensive law to prevent, address and punish gender violence, resulting in 200 murders of women each year.

Girls are also victims of this violence, since, according to the UN data, of 86 feminicides committed in 2016 eight were against adolescents or girls and in 2017 four minors have been victims of this crime, according to the UN .

In most cases they have been girls or adolescents living as a couple, or as ex-partners of older men than them.

One of the cases that most shocked the Dominican society this year was the 16-year-old teenager Emely Peguero, who died last August in the northeast of the country after she had an abortion and received a blow to the head, and by whose death the boyfriend and the mother of this boy are imprisoned.

The Dominican President, Danilo Medina, acknowledged on Friday that the country is experiencing violence “without truce” to the detriment of women and girls, and urged to reflect on this reality.

Medina took the opportunity to recognize the Dominican sisters Patria, Minerva and María Teresa Mirabal, murdered on November 25, 1960 during the dictatorship of Rafael L. Trujillo Molina, and that motivated the UN to declare this date International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women.

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