Puerto Rico Declares State Of Emergency Over Deep-Rooted Violence Against Women Problem
After years of demonstrations, the Puerto Rican government has declared a state of emergency due to the frequent and deep-rooted problem of violence against women and transgender people.
The state of emergency was declared yesterday, January 25, and will be in effect until June 30, 2022. The US territory has experienced long-term problems with violence committed against women; while there are other regions with similar issues that appear to be rooted deeply in culture, the problems in Puerto Rico have seen a sharp increase in recent years.
The Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, said, ‘Gender violence is an evil that has caused too much damage for too long’.
Gender violence increased significantly in the wake of Hurricane María in 2017. In 2020, Puerto Rico’s Gender Equality Observatory found that 60 women were killed because of gender-based violence – a 62% increase from 2019.
Puerto Rico will now be launching an app that allows women, as well as members of the LGBTQ+ community, to report attacks. The authorities will also monitor women who have been previously attacked or filed a restraining order, while more education, support and rescue around gender violence will be given.
The governor added:
For too long, vulnerable victims have suffered the consequences of systematic machismo, inequity, discrimination, lack of education, lack of guidance and above all, lack of action.
It is my duty and my commitment as governor to establish a STOP to gender violence, and for these purposes I have declared a state of emergency.
As part of this new order, the government has launched a committee called PARE (translated from Spanish it stands for Prevention, Support, Rescue and Education of Gender Violence). The committee will have 17 members and will push for programmes that protect people from gender violence. Naturally, this will take several different initiatives and time to reverse a deep-rooted problem.
Pierluisi noted the effort required from the committee and authorities:
To eradicate gender violence, we have to make concerted efforts between the state and society in which, in addition to a comprehensive plan, there is an educational approach to teach our boys and girls that every human being has to be respected, as well as empower to our next generations to eradicate this evil.
Equality between boys and girls, men and women is key to achieving the Puerto Rico without gender violence that we all want.
Many will hope that these measures begin to address the emergency in Puerto Rico and make it a safer island for all its citizens.
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Topics: News, Puerto Rico, violence