News, Human Rights, Special Stories

Sexual violence terrorizes us in Guanacaste

Esta publicación también está disponible en: Español
Translator: Arianna Hernández

At The Voice of Guanacaste, we put together a new edition to raise our voices on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. On this occasion, we focused our efforts on creating awareness about sexual violence and combating it.

Thousands of women are sexually assaulted inside and outside of their homes every day.

Jodie was raped by her husband, a man who promised to love and respect her. Cristel was touched in her crotch area by a man she didn’t know when she was traveling on a bus. Eva was raped by someone she knows, which made her feel guilty when facing the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

All of them are Guanacastecan women who told us their stories in the investigative reports of this 25N special edition. Their survival stories remind us that no place is 100% safe in Guanacaste or in the world.

Even home can be a terrifying place. There, many women face sexual, physical and psychological violence from their mates.

The streets are full of land mines toothey’re full of men who leer at women, say obscene things to them, touch them and display their genitals… men who pursue women, who instill terror, who seek to kick us out of public places.

For several years now, social networks and the internet have shown that gender-based violence extends to all areas of life and that men continue to exercise power over our bodies, no matter what the cost, no matter where they are.

We talk about this in our 2021 25N edition, but we know that there are tasks that still need to be addressed.

This year, a Costa Rican tourist publicly denounced a man with intentions of committing sexual exploitation crimes in Playas del Coco, in the canton of Carrillo. Dozens of girls live with their abusers.

While women of all ages sunbathe on the beaches of our province, there are men who walk by using their phones and other devices to take pictures of their bodies, without their consent.

We need to immerse ourselves in precisely this practice, that of consent. It’s about relearning to live together in the light of consent, educating boys and girls in the light of consent.

Our job isn’t over and we’ll continue to do journalism with a gender perspective: not only by bringing stories like these to light, but also by giving visibility to how the challenges in the province and in the country affect women in a particular way.

As part of our informative special edition, we also took extra steps:

  • We designed a limited edition bracelet to commemorate that women are unstoppable. Get one here for yourself or as a gift to an unstoppable woman with a contribution of ¢10,000 (about $16). This is the last week to order it.
  • We set up a workshop on new masculinities for men and women to reflect on the gender roles that we have grown up with. It will be held next Tuesday, November 30, and you can sign up here. With your registration fee of ¢14,000 (about $22), we’ll donate a spot to someone else.

Thank you for supporting us in this new special edition! We won’t stop until “not one more” becomes a reality.