Frente Amplio Progresista (FAP) deputies Virginia Linares and Victoria Donda have called for a ‘national emergency’ to be declared as new information regarding gender-related crimes becomes public.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court’s Domestic Violence Office published bleak new statistics regarding cases of gender violence. The office received 27,959 reports of domestic violence since 2008, and within the last two years the cases handled by it grew by 57%. According to information published by La Nación, out of the cases reported 65% of victims were women, 15% girls, 13% boys, and 7% men; whilst 88% of those accused were men. Of those, 38% were the victim’s ex-partners, 21% their de-facto partners, 20% their husbands, 10% their parents, and 5% their boyfriends. The reports included instances of both psychological and physical violence.
Another report released by an NGO, Femicide Observatory, claims that one woman dies per day due to gender violence in Argentina, usually at the hands of their partner or former partner. However, these cases remain under-reported, as “about 40% of women don’t want to report their cases,” says Eva Giberti, coordinator of the programme ‘Victimes against violence’ from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.
These recent reports, as well a some chilling cases that caught the public’s attention within the last few days, prompted the FAP deputies to state the need to declare a ‘national emergency’ to deal with the problem of gender violence. “We can’t allow these things to keep happening,” Linares said. “We must push the bill to declare a social public emergency due to gender violence, which we have already introduced in Congress.”
The bill calls for an effective implementation of law 26,485 of integral protection to avoid, sanction, and eradicate violence against women, passed in 2009. Speaking with Radio America, Linares said that “we’re asking for the emergency [to be declared] because that would allow the executive to perform budget re-allocations. We want the victim to have access to [an amount equivalent to] the minimum wage, until she can get a job.”
Gender violence is a problem across Latin America. Last week, the Uruguayan government released its own statistics, which also show an increase in cases of domestic violence in the neighbouring country. According to the Ministry of the Interior, 12,000 cases of domestic violence were reported within the first semester of 2012, a 19.1% increase from the same period in 2011.