Peru’s ombudsman’s office recently expressed its concerns about the alarming increase in the number of women and girls went missing in the country this year. According to its latest report ‘What happened to them?’, published on December 12, at least 5,016 women, girls and adolescents have been reported missing between January and November 2020.
The office reported that 1,506 women and 3,510 girls and teenagers have disappeared during the past 11 months. In other words, an average of 15 women a day, or 1 woman every two hours, become victims of this serious crime.
In November alone, 190 women and 390 minors were reported missing. The figures represent an increase of 20% and 12% in disappearance of women and minors, respectively, as compared to the previous month.
The report noted that Lima, Arequipa, Apurimac, Callao, Cusco, and Piura are the departments with the highest number of missing women cases.
Furthermore, the ombudsman’s office warned about the connection between the disappearances and the other serious crimes of violence against women. The public official highlighted that of the 127 cases of femicides registered in the last 11 months, 33 victims had previously been reported missing.
Likewise, the office also pointed out that so far in 2020, there have been 188 attempts of femicide and 50 violent deaths, which are still under investigation.
#QuéPasóConEllas Más de 5000 mujeres, niñas y adolescentes fueron reportadas como desaparecidas de enero a noviembre. Último reporte muestra que, a la fecha, en más de la cuarta parte de los #feminicidios, se había reportado a la víctima como desaparecida👉https://t.co/5O7BGGY7XH pic.twitter.com/oSallbzoVz
— Defensoría Perú (@Defensoria_Peru) December 12, 2020
Additionally, there has also been a significant increase in cases of domestic violence, rape and child sexual abuse this year.
According to the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations (MIMP), women’s helpline #100 received over 11,000 calls to report sexual violence from January to November. Additionally, according to the Ministry of Health (MINSA), 994 girls under 14 years of age were impregnated after being raped during the past 11 months.
The rates of femicide and violence against women across the region of Latin America and the Caribbean are at record highs. This year, due to the preventive and compulsory home-quarantine because of COVID-19 pandemic, the incidents of violence towards women and girls aggravated.
Last month, on November 25, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women as well as on December 10, on the International Human Rights Day, thousands of women, feminists, women’s rights and human rights activists from across the region took to the streets and social media networks to urge governments to step up measures to address all forms of gender-based violence.