Sunday, June 3, 2012

No More Violence Against Women!

'Life sentences for rapists'
The capoeira dancers also lent support. 
Thousands of people filled the National Park in Bogotá today to protest against violence against women. Such violence has been in the news recently because of a series of vicious attacks, including the rape, torture and murder in the National Park of Rosa Elvira Cely, a crime which galvanized public sentiment. There has also been a recent wave of acid attacks in which spurned lovers have thrown acid into the faces of the victims, almost always women.

'If they touch one of us, they touch all of us. Not one more!'
Tragically, the kind of men who commit these atrocities are sick and not likely to respond to laws or rallies. However, raising public consciousness can make women more aware and the general public less apathetic than they often are to abuses.

A suspect arrested for the Rosa Elvira's murder had, it turns out, been convicted of killing another woman in 2002, but was released after only 15 months in prison because of mental problems.

Leaving notes on a message tree. 
'My body is not a battlefield, nor war booty.' Tragically, all the illegal groups involved in Colombia's armed conflict have committed widespread abuses against girls and women, including forced recruitments, forced abortions and the use of young girls as quasi sex-slaves by making them sexual partners for older militia leaders. I wonder whether the Young Communists (Juventud Comunista), who made this sign, also criticize the guerrillas?

Almost all of the police at the event were women. These wore pink flowers. 

'Life is sacred!'
This guy was preaching with his mannequin. 

'Not one more! We demand no more impunity!'

Women police officers read signs carried by young women denouncing gender violence. 

Rose petals scattered around a sculpture of a prostitute by Bogotá's National Park. 

'We are not objects. We deserve respect. No more violence against women.'

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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