Both Amnesty International and the Campaign Rape and Other Violence: Leave my Body out of the War recently published studies on a problematic that has been frequently ignored: The prevalence of impunity for sexual violence against women in Colombia in the context of the armed conflict. The statistics are shocking. In nine years 489,687 women were victims of sexual violence. Breaking down this figure the result is 1 woman, every ten minutes, suffering sexual violence. The phenomenon reaches pandemic proportions, even though it is not taking into consideration gender based violence outside of the armed conflict. One can only wonder what the real numbers are considering that on 20-30% of the cases the survivor does not denounce. It is important to understand that violence against women is not the expression of a lonely man that was unable to control its impulses. It is about an interconnected ongoing problem in women’s life, which they have to face in most social spaces. It is political. Women in Colombia face these threats not only from individuals in their own families and communities, but from all armed actors in the country. Those who are poor, from specific ethnic origins, or make part of the LGTBI communities are specially at risk as they have to deal with further sources of discrimination. With no centralized, official document, these two documents are important as they are giving a voice to the thousands of women in Colombia that have none. Let’s do our part in our own community and denounce and ACT if you see or experience gender based violence. Holla Back DC! and Holla Back NYC! a are initiatives that provide men and women the opportunity to denounce sexual harassment publicly. Know your rights, demand your rights and holla back!

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