Peru's minister for women denounced Sunday the impunity that surrounded crimes of gender violence in the country, evoking the urgency to reform the system “from the police officer to the judges” so that complaints could be properly addressed.
As the number of complaints involving gender violence has recently increased in the country, the Minister for Woman and Vulnerable Populations Ana Maria Romero-Lozada told EFE it was urgent to properly implement new laws.
“We don't want to send a lot of people to jail, but if someone must go, then he should go,” she added.
According to a recent report issued by the ministry, there has been a 26 percent surge in complaints about gender violence between January and April this year — a total of 2,415 — compared with the same period last year.
The surge could either mean that there have been more assaults against women during this period, or that women are less afraid to report an assault.
“I am sure that there has always been a high rate of sexual violence, but now women are complaining more, there is a greater awareness of abuses,” Romero-Lozada explained.
Three-quarters of women reporting psychological and/or physical assaults were minors, according to the governmental report.
As for femicides, authorities have reported a 13 percent increase with a total of 35 women killed during the four first months of 2017.
Because of public outrage, the government had to publicly condemn the murders in late May, afters a man killed his ex-wife and another woman by setting fire to the hair salon where she worked.
With one of the highest number of complaints of gender violence, Peru has ranked third in the world since 2013 according to the World Heath Organization, behind Ethiopia and Bangladesh.