Sexual violence in Colombian schools is covered up: NGO

Non-governmental organization Women’s Link Worldwide said Friday there has been a cover-up in Colombia of sexual violence in educational establishments.

Katherine Romero, a lawyer for the organization, said there is “rampant silence and impunity from the government.”

The report, which was presented to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights December 5, showed that sexual violence in places of education occured on almost a daily basis in Colombia — even without the researchers being able to access complete data.

Romero explained that the those writing the report did not have access to all the necessary information, only the figures offered by the Colombian Institute of Legal Medecine and the Inspector General’s Office.

“We respectfully asked for the figures from the Ministry of Education, the Secretariats of Education and of Health, from the Colombian Family Welfare Institute, and none gave us the relevant data,” said Romero. The data which the report writers did have access to revealed that the Institute of Legal Medicine conducted 332 medical examinations for alleged sexual crimes in schools and colleges in 2006. That works out as six exams per week.

Romero added that only 15% of the 208 complaints of sexual violence in school reported to the Inspector General’s Office between 2005 and 2011 have been properly investigated.

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