SANTIAGO – Femicide, or murder of women, must be understood and tackled as a national problem in Chile. From that perspective, lawmakers and activists launched the “zero tolerance campaign against violence against women” yesterday in the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral (GAM). Every year, 31 women are being killed in Chile, often by their (ex-)partners.
Thirty-one cases of femicide, 99 attempts. And the year hasn’t ended yet. Yesterday, eight projects were launched to end violence against women in Chile. Violence that according to President Piñera himself is a problem of society: “We have to understand these are no isolated cases”.
The president was accompanied by First Lady Cecilia Morel. Ministers, activists and victims of violence were attending the event in the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral (GAM) as well. All with the same goal: to take a firm stand against violence against women.
“Don’t Let It Happen”
The need of a nationwide campaign became clear the very same day the event was held: a 22-year-old girl was killed in San Miguel. Another victim, who survived the attack of her ex-husband, is now the face of the campaign, that has been dubbed “Don’t Let It Happen”.
That victim, the 29-year-old Katherine Medel, survived two gunshots through her throat. The attack left her paralyzed and she presented the campaign sitting in a wheelchair.
Among the projects and laws, is the “Ley Gabriela” or “Gabriela Law”, named after Gabriela Mistral. This law qualifies femicide as crime. Piñera stated that all projects should be approved as soon as possible.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today.