Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Domestic violence is a serious problem in El Salvador with growing numbers of murders of women. From the IPS news service:
SAN SALVADOR, Nov 23 - The man attacked his wife, as he had done many times in the past, but this time he went further than ever before: he beat her almost to death, then killed their son, and finally committed suicide. No matter how tragic, it was just another everyday case of domestic violence, which claims the lives of nearly 300 Salvadoran women every year.
It happened at a home in an upper middle income neighbourhood in San Salvador, confirming the fact that no social group is free of the scourge of violence against women and children at the hands of a relative or acquaintance, as human rights organisations have amply reported.
However, women in the lowest income brackets are more vulnerable, make easier targets and, to cap it all, "they are of less concern," according to non-governmental organisations. El Salvador is ranked the second country in Central America, behind Guatemala, for its number of femicides, a specific term for misogynist killings of women.
Between January and August, 286 murders of women were reported in this country, indicating an increase in the annual average. From 2001 to the end of 2005, 1,320 women were killed, according to a study by the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsperson (PDDH).. (These figures do not distinguish between femicides and other murders of women, nor do they take account of unreported crimes.)
El Salvador is fertile soil for domestic violence, according to women's groups, because recently adopted laws to protect women are not enforced, and the judicial system is ineffective.(more)