04 August 2008

women in mexico let down by failures in justice system...

thousands of mexican women who survive violence in their homes are being put at risk of further abuse by a justice system that often fails to take their safety seriously...one in four women in mexico has suffered abuse at the hands of their partner...

marcela was stabbed when her former husband broke into her house in the state of sonora in 2005...following the attack, she was paralyzed for four months...over the years, marcela had made over 10 complaints to the public prosecutor’s office about the abuse she was suffering but every time she was advised to resolve the issue directly with her partner...one time, she was told “when you come with a bruise, we’ll do something,”...after the stabbing, marcela’s former husband was prosecuted for attempted murder and sentenced to 10 years but is now appealing the length of his sentence...marcela is scared that when he is released he will find her and kill her...

reporting abuse
women face a range of obstacles when trying to report cases of domestic violence, including:
• the refusal of officials to accept complaints
• deficient investigations
• poor enforcement of protective measures

women who find the courage to report the abuse are often treated with indifference and have to prove they are subject to violence...in many cases officials even ask them to deliver summons to their aggressor...

law to stop violence against women
mexico passed a law to counter violence against women 18 months ago, the general law on women’s access to a life free from violence...since then, many states have approved similar legislation...these are positive first steps, unless law is properly funded and enforced, or it will make little difference to the lives of the many women at risk...

mexico’s federal and state authorities need to:
  • prioritise the implementation of the 2007 legislation to protect women from violence and invest the necessary funds to put it into practice
  • investigate and publish findings on why reporting, prosecution and conviction rates for violence against women remain so low and take specific measures to tackle obstacles identified by these investigations

mexico: violence against women in the family in mexico

download: pdf

amnesty international believes that mexico has made some important advances in recent years in defending women’s right to freedom from violence...in june 2008, wholesale reform of the criminal justice system began...amnesty international hopes this will also lead to strengthened investigation and prosecution of those responsible for violence against women...the challenge that faces all levels of government is to ensure that new legislation to protect women’s rights are implemented and that the barriers women currently face in accessing safety, justice and reparations are removed...

this document is also available in: spanish: pdf

peace out <3

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