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Interior Minister Sánchez addresses Wednesday morning's press conference. Interior Minister Sánchez addresses Wednesday morning's press conference.

911 calls reporting domestic violence up 46% in first half of year

The home is not always a safe place for women and girls, says interior minister, calling it an 'ancestral issue'

Emergency calls related to domestic violence involving women increased by 45.8% during the first half of 2020, with 600,000 calls made to 911 between January and June, Interior Minister Olga Sánchez Cordero reported at the presidential press conference Wednesday morning.

There were 131,234 calls related to attacks on women, 352,526 to family violence and 118,136 calls were related to spousal abuse.

“The impact of the campaign [against violence against women] launched by the Mexican government is shown in the increase in the number of people attended to by the emergency services,” Sánchez said.

She stressed that the home should be a safe place for women and girls, but that is not always the case. “Unfortunately, in this often violent, patriarchal, male chauvinist system in which we live, which is an ancestral issue, on many occasions there are issues of domestic violence that arise against women, adolescents, boys and girls.”

Changing those behavioral patterns, Sánchez said, needs to come over time and through education. “We have to re-educate so that it does not happen so often,” she said.

The National Institute for Social Development has spent 554 million pesos (US $25.2 million) on programs such as emergency shelters, she said, and more than 100,000 women and children have sought refuge in such centers. 

The Ministry of Citizen Security has trained 482 state and municipal police officers in protocols relating to responding to cases of possible domestic violence and the respect of basic human rights.

Sánchez’s comments came shortly after President López Obrador assured citizens that Mexico is doing all it can to promote gender equality.

“We are carrying out many actions for the benefit of girls, adolescents, and women. I would say that equality is being pursued like never before,” he said, calling the lack of equality for women in Mexico “monstrous,” and claiming it is spawned by corruption.

Source: La Jornada (sp), Informador (sp), Milenio (sp), Forbes (sp), El Imparcial (sp)

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