Colombia’s Ombudsman issued a warning on Monday about increased violence against women, calling on public and private institutions to take urgent matters to break this trend.
Ombudsman Jorge Armando Otalora admitted being worried about the fact that violence against women is on the rise in Colombia on the occasion of an international awareness day this Monday.
According to the Ombudsman’s office, there have been 15,640 cases of domestic violence against women, 5,545 cases of sexual abuse and 514 homicides with female victims in the first semester of 2013.
At the same time, Otalora women’s access to justice is diminished by the lack of institutional awareness over gender-related violence.
“”Unfortunately it is the impunity and lack of institutional response that becomes another form of violence against women and seriously affects them in the application of their rights. Every day women face difficulties accessing justice. This perpetuates this violence, allowing its repetition,” stressed Otalora.
Furthermore, Otalora reminded authorities that they are required to recognize violence against women as a violation of human rights. Additionally, it is the duty of police and prosecutors to , if possible, prevent or prosecute cases of violence against women, as well as providing guarantees of non-repetition.
According to the Ombudsman’s Office, violence against women is usually characterized by abusive power relationships between men and women causing aggression.
To combat abusive relationships between men and women, Otalora called on Colombian society as a whole to break with macho stereotypes that facilitate violence against women on a cultural level.