A new study released by Mumulá (Mujeres de la Matria Latinoamericana, Women of the Latin American Motherland) revealed that there have been 216 femicides so far in Argentina this year alone.
A femicide is a murder that is perpetrated on account of the person’s gender. The study revealed that 191 of the aforementioned cases were direct femicides, 12 involved teenagers or girls, 9 men and boys, and four affected trans individuals.
The data provided by the feminist group hopes to raise awareness of the prevalence of the issue in Argentina and across the Latin American continent, as well as to encourage increased government funding towards protections against gender-based violence.
Of all the femicides that have taken place this year, 93% of the perpetrators were known to the victim, and 63% of them took place in the victim’s home. A worrying data set is that 22% of the victims had previously reported their murderer to the police and 12% were under some form of protection, showing the flaws in the current system of protection provided by the authorities.
For girls and teenagers, 71% of the aggressors were family members, 28% were not family but already known to the victim and 78% of the girls had been abused before being murdered. This highlights an already-controversial topic in Argentina, after high rates of teenage pregnancy caused by inter-family abuse have prompted calls for integral sexual education in schools.
The four top causes of death were with a knife (28%), a gun (23%), being beaten (19%) or strangled (17%).
Violence against women or individuals on account of their gender is by no means unheard of in Latin America.
Heavily entrenched in Catholic beliefs, countries from Mexico down to Argentina continue to possess a chauvinistic attitude, fuelled even further by impunity that mean most gender-based attacks go unpunished.
However, out of the $234.3 million peso budget for 2019, only $11.35 million is going towards combating violence towards women.