05 | DIC | 2019
Violence against women: over 400,000 aggressors in Mexico
Aggressions against this sector of the population have become a structural problem - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL

Violence against women: over 400,000 aggressors in Mexico

27/11/2019
14:05
Alexis Ortiz
Mexico City
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In the last 12 years, Mexico’s government has identified 406,104 aggressors of women of all ages in the country. The figures show how aggressions against this sector of the population have become a structural problem

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In the last 12 years, Mexico’s government has identified 406,104 aggressors of girls, adolescents, and adult women in the country. The figures, collected through the National Bank of Data and Information about Cases of Violence Against Women (Banavim), show how aggressions against this sector of the population have become a structural problem.

The attacks can take place in different ways and are committed by minors, adults, people without any kind of education and even with higher education. The aggressions can come from the nearest circles or from the community.

Cases of violence against women are counted by thousands and experts fear Banavim’s data, attached to the Interior Ministry, fall short.

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As a reply to an information request, the institution revealed some of the epicenters of violence: in Jalisco, 44,206 aggressors have been detected; in Michoacán, 24,439; in Chiapas, 21,629; in San Luis Potosí, 20,385; in the State of Mexico, 19,497; in Nuevo León, 19,172; in Zacatecas, 17,098; in Aguascalientes, 17,053, and in Quintana Roo, 16,428.

This information is processed by the authorities in charge of the attention, prevention, punishment, and eradication of violence against women.

Natalia Calera, an expert in programs management of the U.N. Women in Mexico, warned that “violence is a continuum; women suffer both in the public and the private spheres and in all the spheres of their life. The origin of this violence is discrimination and gender inequality.”

As part of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which takes place on November 25, UN Women has launched a campaign to generate awareness about sexual violence. In this regard, Calero says that globally, one of three women has suffered this kind of aggression and that 15 million teenagers were forced to have sexual relationships.

Have you heard Mexico City issued a gender alert over alarming femicide and gender violence numbers?

Given this scenario, the expert urged Mexican authorities to protect the most vulnerable sectors, such as indigenous women, young women, women with disabilities, or women from the LGBTTTIQA community.

Aggressors at home
Banavim detected that 91% of the aggressors attack their victims in the domestic sphere. Out of the 406,104 aggressors registered by the agency, 372,687 perpetrated their attacks in that space.

This figure exceeds by far the 20,269 incidents that took place in the community, while in the work and school sphere there were 4,480 attacks and 2,466 took place in the institutional sphere. In the rest of the situations, it was not possible to identify the modality of the aggression.

As of the kind of aggression, authorities have detected 285,125 cases of psychological violence; 173,776 of physical violence; 103,170 of economical violence; 37,083 of sexual violence; and 36,508 of hereditary violence. There were 10,073 cases without classification.

The number of aggressions is higher than the aggressors because a single person can commit more than one attack at a time.

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Despite these numbers, experts showed their concern because the 2020 Federation’s Expenditures Budget cut resources to prevention programs on this issue.

Cecilia Toledo, a researcher of the Gender, Rights, and Public Policies Program of Fundar, criticized that the project to Promote the Attention and Prevention of Violence Against Women will have fewer resources for the next year; the only thing for which there will be more money will be the construction and equipment of justice centers for the female population.

“We know that justice centers were the main program in the previous administration. With that action, we saw an increase of 46% to their budget, but in actions to contribute to gender alerts, there has been a diminution of 78%.

“They are betting on the construction of justice centers that are indeed necessary but that do not address the structural character of the problem,” he commented.

For her part, Cecile Lachenal, coordinator of the same gender program, asserted that authorities are in debt with the generation of information about aggressors and their relationship with the victims.

“If we want to design public policies with a real effect, it’s important to know about the relationship. If we are in front of domestic violence, the public policies should be of prevention and by developing protection orders.

“If we’re facing femicides, that has to do with security policies,” asserted the specialist.

Have you heard of Mexico's Gender Violence Alerts?

There is not a profile of the offender
Banavim also has information regarding the level of education of some aggressors.

According to the documents, 66,140 aggressors studied until junior high school; 38,666, until elementary school; 32,229, until high school; 19,020 until college; 4,335 until kindergarten; 1,024 have a masters degree; 333 have studies that do not require official validation; 9,431 do not have any kind of study, and the rest is unknown.

Despite this information, Julia Escalante, regional coordinator of the Latin America and the Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights, warned that there is not a unique profile of aggressors.

“There is not a profile of the aggressor; misogynistic violence is related to several factors that include access to education, the life history of each person, and many other things. Misogyny is so rooted in our society, that it doesn’t make any distinction between class, age, or level of education.

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