A year ago, Law No. 9877 against street sexual harassment in Costa Rica was published, during which time the authorities have made 102 arrests, according to statistics from the Ministry of Security.
The campaign is jointly promoted by INAMU, the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), the Ministry of Public Security, the Municipality of Desamparados, as well as other State institutions. In addition, it has the support of organizations such as Mujeres en Movimiento, the CRUSA Foundation and the MiTransporte project of the German Development Cooperation – GIZ.
“With the approval of the Law on Street Sexual Harassment, women and citizens have the instruments to stop and punish exhibitionism, persecution, cornering and production of audiovisual material in space and public transport without the consent of the woman,” said. Marcela Guerrero, Minister for the Status of Women.
Persecution and exhibitionism
According to the authorities, persecution and exhibitionism or masturbation are the main harassment crimes reported in the country. In the first semester of the year, a total of 128 complaints of this crime were filed. In one year, the Courts of Justice sentenced more than 11 people, with penalties between 3 and 6 years in prison. The last one to emerge was the neighbor of Cartago who touched a woman’s private parts on public roads when she was walking with her children. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison.
According to the third National Survey on the Perception of Human Rights of Women carried out by INAMU in 2017, 63% of people recognized that the street is one of the spaces where women are most violated.