Submitted by: Sarah Rarick

According to a survey by Unimer, deliquency, drug trafficking, and insecurity were cited as the most pressing problems for costa ricans.  The general discourse suggests that these problems are entirely new phenomenons here in Costa Rica.  However, while drug trafficking and related crime may be unintended consequences of growth, violence against women is not new. The National Survey of Violence Against Women (2004) found 57.7% of women in CR have suffered at least one incident of physical/sexual violence since age 16.  For a significant portion, it was not an isolated event.

This is not the result of a new crime wave; it is the product of a structural violence that is part of a social and political fabric, in times of strife and peace.   This reality of violence for women is as much part of the history of this country as the legacy of peace. If we insinuate that violence is somehow new, we insinuate that perpetual violence against women is not a peace impediment.

Women also have the right to peace, to equality, to security, to protection under the law, and to the maximum possibilities of physical and mental well-being. Let us not be so attached to a “peace legacy” that we make invisible a very real and historical barrier to peace right here in Costa Rica.

*The views and opinions expressed in the above article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of TheCostaRicaNews.com