There is widespread impunity and lack of adequate protection for crimes against Colombia’s displaced women, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) Wednesday.
“Approximately two million internally displaced women and girls face high rates of rape and domestic violence,” claimed Amanda Klasing, who authored the report.
“For many displaced women and girls, the hardships of displacement are compounded by the trauma of rape and domestic violence,” she said.
Figures cited by HRW revealed that nearly 48% of displaced women reported suffering domestic violence compared to 37% of women in the general population.
While Klasing acknowledged Colombia’s legal and policy framework to protect women from gender-based violence has improved in recent years, she found that, “More often than not, the framework and pathway are not properly applied, the victims do not receive the medical attention they are entitled to, and the perpetrators are not brought to justice.”
After interviewing 80 women and girls in the field, HRW found that victims were frequently denied justice due to unjustified delays, poorly trained officials and fear of reprisal.
“When violators are not punished for their crimes, it not only undermines the laws of Colombia on sexual violence, but encourages the perpetrators to rape again,” concluded the report.