Guanacaste suffers from institutional abandonment in key areas for economic and social development: domestic violence, sex education, and traffic-accident prevention are three Achilles heels that the statistics show.
Although they might be well hidden on an institutional website, or you have to wait two weeks for the statistics department to prepare and send the information, the data are there, highlighting shortcomings and ready to show us which path to take.
Of all the statistics, the most alarming concerns violence against women: Guanacaste has the highest rate of domestic violence. And it gets worse: rates of all kinds of abuse against women increase every year.
We cannot forget that there are men and women whose work assisting victims saves lives; however, the Judicial Authority’s statistics illustrate a clear failure in the justice system: the greatest number of complaints filed by battered women stem from men who violate restraining orders.
After pressing charges on their partners, these women become even more vulnerable to retaliation. If the system is not prepared to enforce the law, victims will have even less protection than before.
Even though there are two domestic violence courts, there is only one office for the INAMU and four functionaries to attend to the entire province. With few resources they do an admirable job, but it is necessary for their human resources to increase and their ability to assist and prevent to grow.
Defending women from internalized machismo is the responsibility of all Guanacastecans. Our life depends on it.