The government of Costa Rica declared Tuesday that the reduction of violence against women is “a national priority” and announced coordinated actions among several public institutions.
Costa Rica has registered 304 femicides since 2008 and 15 so far in 2018 alone, according to authorities. Last week the murder of two female tourists made headlines around the world, causing tourism authorities to create their own emergency plan.
“There is an attack on women, brutal aggressions against our bodies that take place with fury, like an unloading of rage,” Patricia Mora, Minister of Women’s Affairs, told journalists as she announced the actions. “We are going to work on the roots of this problem from infancy, make the courts’ response more efficient so cases are not dismissed. We will assign resources to dig up a toxic masculinity that puts women’s health in danger.”
Mora and President Carlos Alvarado signed a decree including 40 actions to prevent and eradicate violence against women, including increasing the number of shelters for domestic violence victims, increasing local committees to respond to reports of aggression, and creating specialized offices to address the issue in the 15 highest risk cantons.
The country has also registered an increase in reports of sex crimes against women and girls, with 46,754 reports between 2010-2016. Courts received 286,597 requests for protective measures from 2012-2017, 80 percent from women.
“I am enormously hopeful that this work with communities, close to women, can generate satisfactory results in a very short period of time,” the minister said.