Violence against women is more prevalent in Colombia than any other Latin American and Caribbean country, a study by the Pan American Health Organization shows.
A summary of the study compares 12 different countries on reported cases of sexual or physical violence in 2013. It also compares the numbers of women killed by their partner or former partner.
Colombia ranked highest in the study with 88 women reported killed by their partner or former partner. Almost 40% of Colombian women surveyed reported experiencing some sort of violence from their partner. 22% of women surveyed reported having suffered some form of violence in the last year.
This study assumes that these numbers are only a portion of the actual violence, noting that the majority of incidents go unreported.
Data from the study suggests that the majority of Latin American women who are victims of violence from their partner live in urban areas. The strongest factors associated with a violent partner were: being separated or divorced, higher number of live births, and a history of their father beating their mother.
In Colombia in particular, violence against women has been on the rise in the last ten years.
This trend seems to be related to the ideas of “maschismo” and perceptions of gender roles in Colombia. Social acceptance that women can “provoke” violence both facilitates an environment of violence and diminishes the value of reporting violent incidents.
Violence within domestic or intimate relationships is particularly challenging for police and the “machismo” environment in Colombia means that local law enforcement has a difficult time providing the proper sensitivity and safety required for handling these case.
- Colombia primera de Latinoamérica en violencia contra la mujer en 2013 (CM&)
- La Violencia Contra la Mujer en América Latina y el Caribe: Echemos un Vistazo (Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo)
- Violence Against Women in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis of Population-Based Data from 12 Countries (Pan American Healt Organization)