The Crisis of Violence Against Women in Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico a woman is murdered every 14 days. Twenty-four women were murdered at the hands of their intimate partners or exes in Puerto Rico in 2018 alone.

Say their names!

Jackeline Vega, Moesha Hiraldo, Aida Irizarry, Ilia Millán, Maritza de Jesus, Zuliani Calderon, Lorein Figueroa, Milagros Ortiz, Leissin Ortiz, Annette Garcia, Fransheska Miranda, Frances Pagan, Marisol Ortiz, Rosabell Rodriguez, Nilda Medina, Ingrid Garcia, Sandra Marrero, Pilar Guerra, Ana M. Morris, Shakira Carrero, Marcela Montañés, Maribel Diaz, Dohanna Carrasquillo, Carmen Dominguez.

At the beginning of December, the number of women murdered by an intimate partner already stood at eight more than in all of 2017. The numbers are alarming but only start to scratch the surface of the problem.

The grim reality is that thousands of women in Puerto Rico suffer from aggression, intimidation or some type of expression of male violence daily, including physical, emotional and sexual violence. The statistics are frightening and continue to get worse with every passing day.

In response to this crisis, the Colectiva Feminista en Construcción (Feminist Collective in Construction) has led the way in building a movement against gender-based violence in Puerto Rico.

On November 23, 2018, the Colectiva called for a march and sit-in at la Fortaleza, the mansion where Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rosselló lives. The main demand of the demonstration was to pressure the governor to sign an executive order declaring a state of emergency in relation to gender-based violence.

The sit-in quickly became an occupation of the street leading up to the governor’s mansion that lasted three days and two nights.

Over the course of the long weekend, the compañeras pitched tents and took the street in a peaceful and powerful feminist gathering. They chanted, improvised revolutionary songs against machismo, and held meetings about the political and economic crisis on the island, where many groups convened and gathered in…

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