In the context of International Women’s Day, INDEC statistics agency and NGO La Casa del Encuentro have published two reports – independent from each other – which help depict a clearer image of the extent of gender-based violence in Argentina.
INDEC introduced the “Single Register of Cases of Violence Against Women” (RUCVM): a report that is set to be annual and compiles “cases of gender-based violence against 14-year-old women or older and that have been reported to an organization under the umbrella of the government’s ‘women’s area’ and/or have requested any kind of assistance in health institutions [hospitals or medical centers] the judiciary [courts, prosecutors offices] or security institutions [regular stations or precincts especially set up to help women], whether it was directly or through third parties, and that then was taken to the INDEC.”
La Casa del Encuentro’s report, on its end, says that between 2008 and 2017, 2,679 women were femicide victims, with 1,661 of them being perpetrated by current or former partners or husbands.
Let’s take a look at each one of them.
The RUCVM, which didn’t analyze information about femicides, reported that between 2013 and 2017, the public institutions that assisted in the creation of the report registered 260,156 “requests for help, accompaniment or advisory” from women – or people who went to the authorities on their behalf – as a result of situations that fit the legal definition of violence against women.
Article four of law 26,485/2009, aimed at “preventing, sanctioning and eradicating violence against women in the contexts in which they develop their inter-personal relationships,” defines this term as “any behavior, action or omission which affects her life, liberty, dignity, physical, psychological, sexual, economic or monetary, as well as personal security.”
Before delving into the stats, INDEC clarifies that the report – which will be published yearly from now on – still has a long way to go before being able to assure that its figures accurately represent the state of gender-based violence in the country. “The statistical results presented today mark the beginning of a path that is being taken,” reads the report, which was made with the contribution of the organizations that provide assistance to women who are victims of gender-based violence and the National Women’s Institute (INAM).
It is important to highlight that the report talks about cases and not individual women because it is possible they went to the authorities in more than one occasion and filed different reports throughout the years.
Having said that, the report goes on to inform that, out of the registered cases, 82.7 percent of them were filed as a result of violence exercised by a former or current partner (45.8 and 36.9 percent, respectively,) and that in 76.8 percent of the total, the victim lived with the assailant. The most violent demographic against women between 14 and 19 years old tend to be their parents, responsible for 17.3 percent of the cases. In contrast, 46 percent of reports presented by women older than 50 were filed against their children.
Of all possible kinds of violence, 86.9 percent of women reported to have been subjected to psychological abuse; 67.4 percent of them to physical violence, and 7.9 said they suffered sexual violence. The vast majority of all cases take place in a domestic context, with 97 percent.
Furthermore, most women assured that these situations were not isolated: 93.3 percent claimed they had suffered a violence of the kind before. 40.5 percent said they had been subjected to ongoing violence during a period between one and five years, while in 23.8 percent of the cases the abuse had been going on for more than 10 years.
The demographic that called for help the most was the one between 20 and 29 years old (30.8) followed by women between 30 and 39 (29.4). In seven out of every ten cases, sometimes more, women sought advice, orientation or assistance from the organizations. The second most-sought out goal was to report men to a court or a prosecutor’s office (16.9 percent).
In 2017, the government destined AR $163.5 millions to the National Women’s Institute. However, the figure was reduced by two percent in 2018. Taking into account that the government estimates the yearly inflation rate will be around 15.7 percent (although private analysts expect it to be higher), the money destined to enforce and implement policies against male violence would be reduced by 17 percent.
Annual Report on Femicides
As mentioned before, NGO La Casa del Encuentro presented yesterday its annual report on femicides, revealing that between 2008 and 2017, 2,679 femicides were reported in Argentina. “Let’s not think of it as a figure. These are women who were murdered. Women who did not die by accidents, didn’t die as a result of a disease. Someone decided to kill them, and they killed them,” said La Casa del Encuentro President Ada Rico before revealing the stats.
The investigation also indicated that in 83 percent of the cases, the murderers knew the victims, and that more than half of the crimes took place in the woman’s own home. Furthermore, Rico explained that 278 murdered women had already gotten a legal measure aimed at protecting themselves from the perpetrators, but were murdered anyway.
To compile the report, La Casa del Encuentro had the support of the City of Buenos Aires’ Ombudsman; the Avon foundation for women and the City’s Ministry of Human Development and Habitat.