Beyond the cruelty and sadism displayed by the attackers, I was also shocked to see a woman present in the room, standing there as if nothing were wrong. [Editor’s Note: The woman in question appears at the very end of the video, when the two victims are tied to the pole].
Unfortunately, these acts of violence are quite common in my country because there’s a severe lack of respect towards women. Many similar crimes have gone unpunished. The men who filmed this horrible video naively published it on YouTube because they never thought they would get punished. And even in the cases where culprits get caught, they often get handed such light sentences that they don’t hesitate to attack women again.
There is also a double standard when it comes to crimes of passion. Prison sentences are much longer for women than for men. Take the case of Nerika Loureiro. In 2011, this young woman was sentenced to 17 years in prison for having killed her husband, under unclear circumstances. Meanwhile, last year, another woman, Romana Belarmino, was beaten to death by her husband, in the presence of their 5-year-old son. The husband was never officially found and no details about the case were ever rendered public.
"Some women see violence as being inevitable because there are no institutions that they can turn to for help"
In July 2011, our national assembly passed a law on domestic violence, but it is worded so vaguely that it has been of no help to women who are victims of violence. The law calls for education about sex equality, but the government has done nothing since then to educate people.
However, our entire society needs to come together to change attitudes toward women; it’s not just the government’s responsibility. Some women see violence as being inevitable because there are no institutions that they can turn to for help, not even just to talk about their problems. This means that children grow up in a really unhealthy atmosphere, where violence against women is practically normal. If nothing is done, some of these children will undoubtedly repeat their fathers’ mistakes when they grow up.