63% of the people recognized that the street is one of the places where women are more outraged.
- Photo for illustration purposes only -

Published on Tuesday, August 31, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

One year after Law No.9877 against Street Harassment became enforced, public institutions launched the campaign "Movamonos Seguras" ( Let's travel safely in English), to encourage women to denounce street harassment.

The campagin motto, "Your safety is a right, report sexual harassment" is intended to encourage the stop to harassment, specifically in the public sphere.

According to the National Survey on the Perception of Human Rights of Women, carried out by the Institute of Women in 2017, 63% of the people interviewed recognized that the street is one of the places where women are more outraged.

Almost all of the people included in the investigation, 97%, agree with punishing acts of street harassment, including those that happen on public transportation.

The law against street harassment punishes exhibitionism, persecution and production of audiovisual material without the woman's consent.

The law recognizes sexist practices which are now considered a crime that until now had previously limited the right of women to travel freely and safely in some public places.

Since the law came into effect in the Courts of Justice, at least 11 men have been sentenced with penalties between 6 months and up to 3 years for street harassment, Marcela Guerrero-Campos, president of the Institute for Women said.

Since the approval of the law, more than 12,000 police officers have been trained in this matter, so that they know how to act in a case of street harassment and guide the victim on how to place a complaint, the Ministry of Security said in their statement.

Just in one year, since August 2020 until now, the police have arrested 102 people on suspicion of committing acts of street harassment, the ministry said.

The campaign is sponsored by the German Development Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ, among other public and private organizations.

"From the German Cooperation we have been working together with government institutions and civil society to encourage actions that promote safer and more equal conditions for all people, giving special attention to the situation of women," Claus Kruse, director of GIZ said. "Information sessions were held for public transportation companies about their role in prevention and reporting. A safer stopping model was designed and built, and an application is being developed for women to move safer. Today we are launching this campaign to promote and explain how to file a complaint."

The law against street sexual harassment has the goal of guaranteeing the equal right to all people to travel free from sexual harassment in public spaces, in private places of public access and paid transportation of people, whether public or private.

In April, the Costa Rica-U.S. Foundation for Cooperation, CRUSA, in collaboration with GIZ, built a bus stop taking into account security elements for women using public transport.

What is the street harassment situation in your country?
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