Neither silence nor oblivion

Remaining silent and not legally reporting sexual abuse out of fear does not prevent it from happening, and worse, it increases sexual violence.

Woman making silence sign

The recent acts of gender violence and sexual abuse in Colombia have opened the conversation to the need for change and improvements in the penal system. / Photo: Pexels

The Woman Post | Maria Lourdes Zimmermann

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Leer en español: Ni silencio ni olvido

We live in an absolutely sick society in which those who should protect the rights of the civilian population violate it; a society in which the alleged abuse of 8 women becomes a mass media spectacle were the same victims are erased and silenced due to a lack of trust injustice, the same that almost never acts, which takes years to make decisions, which fails according to the power of the victimizer or abuser and re-victimizes without compassion, exposing women, girls and boys to constant pain and without shame.

Our children abused, mistreated, and violated as the new case of rape of a girl from the Emberá Chamí indigenous community in Colombia, raped by seven soldiers of the National Army reflects a sad future scenario.

Our big problem is that with such scandalous figures of child abuse, the society we are building in the future is one of abused and abusers, a circle that closes in the mistreatment and the violation of rights without end.

These days we met the worst of our misogynistic society of men with power and without shame. And that is why we need women who strengthen their desire and firmness to denounce before justice and not summarize the pain to the scratches (expose the abuser publicly). And in this last point, I do not refer to the case of the indigenous girl raped by seven soldiers of the Colombian National Army, I refer specifically to the case of the eight women, who accused in a feminist magazine, the alleged abuse suffered by the renowned filmmaker Ciro Guerra.

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Now it will be the justice that decides and, thanks to the testimonies of the victims, it will be the legal action that has to give truth to their own stories, although they themselves have decided not to give their names out of fear and pain to that revictimization; not It will stop from now on until the case is resolved.

In this sense and in others, there should be no silence because a magazine cannot be the substitute for justice and it would be a mistake not to denounce for the sake of women abused in our country. Without a doubt, a case like this can go a long way in changing the pattern of an industry with recognized abuse.

The change must take place, the complaints must have a name, we women as victims cannot become the spectacle that feeds the heat of the masses who warm-up for one day and forget the other. We cannot stay in the media complaint and delete ourselves out of fear because in doing so, others will continue to be part of the same circle of abuse and power.

It cannot be that the justice that the assaulted seek only comes through public derision and social sanction forgetting criminal responsibility, so it is essential that complaints about harassment, abuse and any other manifestation of gender violence are raised before who It is the constitutional authority to settle this type of situation, before the justice. Otherwise, the search for public derision and social punishment through the media and social networks could easily confuse the search for punitive revenge with the search for criminal justice.

The penal system must be more humane, understand victims' pain, and generate less painful evidence collection strategies for those who have suffered abuse. We must be much more outraged than the denunciation in networks, that those who did it really are victims, but for that, there is no need to keep silent.

Colombia has to educate, learn to live together, respect and give value to its population with consistent laws that apply to all, with rights that are respected and it has to do so that to a certain extent the circle of abuse and abuse opens and becomes in a line under construction in a country where only the victims with their complaints can change and those of us who surround them can push the change with real actions, with participation beyond the opinion of the networks, which ignites and forgets.

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