6 Ways to Say I Love You
1. ‘Te amo’
Female death by presumption of homicide reached a historical peak in Mexico as of 2017, averaging 5.2 per 100,000 people. Roughly one third of these murders were categorised as femicide (homicide prompted exclusively by gender) while the remaining two thirds are said to be motivated by instances of assault and domestic violence. This is only one of several alarming statistics concerning the reality of women in Mexico, including a rate of 12 women murdered every day. These figures are not only haunting, but visceral in their reflection of a woman’s daily life.
2. ‘Je t’aime’
More than 1 in 10 French women have been raped at least once, for 5% of women it has happened at least twice. 31% of women were raped by their partner and 19% by someone else they know. This highlights not only the prevalence of rape, but so too the fictitiousness of the unknown rapist figure as opposed to the reality of most rapists being in a position of trust from within the lives of the survivors. Of perpetrators being active members, friends or partners, in women’s lives.
South Africa has the highest rape rate in the world at 132 incidents per 100,000 people as of 2020. Even though there was some governmental action in the form of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act of 2007, which looked to strengthen the judicial response to sexual violence, crime rates have continued to increase, sexual offences alone increasing by 19% during 2018.
4. ‘Jag är kär i dig’
The number of reported rapes in Sweden has been steadily rising since 2005, reaching local maximum values in 2008 and 2015. This increasing rate has been attributed to several reasons over the years, with none being entirely certain. One of these suggests that it is the result of recent refugee influx, although studies show no truth in this and instead illustrate its use as hate propaganda. A more likely explanation suggests the legal definitions might contributing to rates, where several offences of the same type are recorded separately, giving a more accurate insight into the reality of Swedish society.
5. ‘Eu te amo’
Brazil has become renknown for the worsening state of crime in the region. This attention has come with numerous investigations and reports, and yet have reached an entirely new peak of severity. New studies have shown that rates of violence against women continue to increase. In fact, these new studies have shown four girls under the age of 13 are raped every hour. Brazil also saw the largest amount of reported rapes, with over half of the cases involving girls under 13 years old. Valeria Scarance, public prosecutor, put it as follows, “Brazil is still one of the most dangerous places in the world for women, and the most dangerous place for a woman is her own home”.
6. ‘I love you’
In England and Wales, as of 2017, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 25 men above the age of 16 have experienced some type of sexual assault and this only considers the 15% of cases that are actually reported to the authorities. This poses not only the striking implications of the real rates of sexual violence, but also the more important question as to why this disparity exists at all. Statistics from the U.S. National Library of Medicine suggest that this comes from a sense of embarrassment, where society has failed in reacting with appropriate empathy and understanding.
As shown above, sexual violence in all its forms is a global crisis manifesting differently, but unwaveringly on all fronts of society. All of these figures are holding up a mirror to the realities of humanity, a brief highlight of this terrible failure, of our terrible failure to take care of the people we love.
Fernando Mendez, DC Writer