By Illa // London Latinxs, Wretched of the Earth
On the 13th of August more than 500,000 women and supporters took to the streets in Peru, unified under the chant “#NiUnaMenos” (Not One Less). Weeks before the march, Cindy Contreras was sexually assaulted, beaten and dragged by her hair by her partner Adriano Pozo in a hotel in Ayacucho. Despite being presented with footage of the assault recorded by the hotel’s CCTV camera, the judges dismissed the claim that this was a clear femicide attempt. On the 15th of August Ronny Garcia, a well-known singer who avoided a kidnapping conviction after abusing his ex-partner Lady Guillen, publically stated on national TV how he was only a “victim of love”.
Like a spark lighting a fire, this triggered thousands of people to share experiences and testimonies of misogyny on social media, initiating a wider feminist movement that has continued to grow. In Peru, 10 women have been murdered every month since 2009 and 79% of these murders are committed by their partners or ex-partners. This year, according to the Registry of Family and Sexual Violence (SAU), 7 in 10 women have reported having suffered some type of sexist violence. A total of 2069, have reported suffering gender violence in the past 8 months.
The 13th of August was not only a day to challenge patriarchal norms in society through personal accounts, but to denounce the State as the root of patriarchal violence and juridical injustice.