The connotations of complaints of a rape against a young woman by 5 teenagers in a Brooklyn park, as well as at least two other recent cases, have brought to the forefront the issue of demanding authorities to provide safety for women.
The latest statistics on crime released by the NYPD have confirmed an increase in sexual attacks in New York City. In 2015, 1,439 cases were reported, a 6.3% increase compared to the 1,354 registered in 2014.
On the other hand, it must be taken into account that many other rape cases go unreported. The victims feel shame or fear being stigmatized, so the crime remains unpunished.
Sexual assault in itself cannot be seen at as a matter concerning only the police, in which they merely file a complaint, find the rapist and puts him through the system. We believe that this is a phenomenon that must be analyzed by all social actors to find comprehensive solutions together.
Rape is a despicable crime that causes irreparable damage to the victims. An assaulted woman will carry the scars of the incident for the rest of her life. As a result, we must find a way as a society to prevent this from ever happening.
The political class, community leaders and civil rights advocates must promote a debate that leads to refocusing the topic beginning at the basic educational level, and based on a perspective of human rights, mutual respect among individuals and civilized coexistence.
We believe that the solution to sexual violence crimes should not only rely on the police catching the perpetrators or in toughening the laws against them.
We need to go much further. We must aspire to have a safe city where women are able to take a taxi without the risk of being violated, or exposed to lewd and exhibitionist acts on the public transport system, and walk in their neighborhood without fear.
New York should be a safer city for our mothers and daughters – and for everyone else – because of its respectful, civilized attitude towards its citizens. Let’s take on this commitment.