Many Americans are unfamiliar with the term “femicide” which is being used to describe the investigation into the death of Shanquella Robinson because the United States has not defined this type of crime based on gender. Winston-Salem State University student Robinson, 25 was staying in a high-end vacation rental in Baja California Sur, Mexico when he tragically passed away in the month of October.
Mexican authorities are trying to extradite Robinson’s friend because they believe he is a suspect. In relation to Robinson’s case, the attorney general of Baja California Sur, Daniel de la Rosa told local media last week that an arrest warrant had been issued for the crime of femicide.
American tourist Shanquella Robinson is accused of murder in North Carolina. Nobody has been arrested and the authorities haven’t even revealed who Robinson was friends with. Despite the fact that the United States does not have a law distinguishing femicide from homicide as is the case in Mexico and other Latin American countries.
According to @wsbtv, several Mexican authorities have issued an arrest warrant for the death of Shanquella Robinson. The Diario El Independiente and NBCS Noticias, a Mexican prosecutor, say the warrant was issued for Robinson’s friend, who was identified as the direct aggressor. pic.twitter.com/JEiZ4agFwb
— TheShadeRoom (@TheShadeRoom) November 24, 2022
According to Dabney P. Evans, director of Emory University’s Center for Humanitarian Emergencies and a scholar of violence against women, femicides happen all the time in the US and many famous murder cases that we all have in our consciousness are actually femicide, but we don’t put that label on them.
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While the investigation into Robinson’s death continues it is important to understand what constitutes femicide in Mexico, why gender-based violence is a worldwide issue and why some experts believe that including the term “femicide” in United States law would be beneficial for women.
This Situation has Reached Crisis Proportions in Mexico
Femicide or the intentional murder of women because they are women is the most extreme form of gender-based violence. There are two types of femicide: those that occur within close relationships and those that do not. Female homicide by intimate partners and female homicide by strangers are two distinct forms of violence against women.
Although femicide is not treated separately from homicide in the laws of the vast majority of nations, Mexico is one of at least 16 nations to do so. Prison terms in Mexico can reach up to 60 years if a person is convicted under federal law. Women’s murders or femicides are legally defined differently in each of Mexico’s states.
@TamronHallShow Could y’all cover the Shanquell Robinson case She died over in Mexico her friends beat her up. It is all over social media and you tube. She is from Charlotte NC, and laid to rest on November 19. Don’t know her but has hurt when I saw the fight
— Latonya Goins (@LatonyaGoins2) November 23, 2022
For example, if the victim was in the community and if she was killed and her body was public, explained Beatriz Garca Nice who heads the Wilson Center’s initiative on gender-based violence. When a record number of women are being murdered in Mexico, the country’s leader claims that the majority of 911 calls are false.
A video that has been going around the internet for the past few weeks appears to show Robinson getting into a fight with another person inside a room. Bernard Robinson, the girl’s father, told that in the clip his daughter could be seen being thrown to the ground and struck in the head.
It is unclear when the footage was shot or if it shows Robinson experiencing the injury that ultimately proved fatal. Although there is a law against femicide in Mexico, the main problem is the execution. She claimed that national statistics on cases of violence against women were inaccurate and that the law was under-executed in the courts.
According to reports, nearly 95% of femicide cases in Mexico are never brought to justice. You don’t have a great chance of being found guilty of femicide if you commit the crime. That’s why it’s not surprising that interest rates remain so high.
Professionals Agree that more work needs to be done in the United States
Cases that could be classified as femicides according to specialists include the disproportionate murder of Black women, the crisis of missing or murdered Indigenous people and the 2021 shooting deaths of women at Atlanta-area spas.
It’s important for us to realize as a community that these deaths are not isolated incidents. According to reports from a scholar at Emory University these are linked to patterns of masculine violence and more attention should be paid to preventing this kind of violence.
Data from the Violence Policy Center shows that 2,059 women were murdered by men in the United States in 2020 and that 89% of victims knew their killers. At a protest for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021, in Mexico City, Mexico, a woman lights candles and places them on a mock tombstone representing women who have been murdered for being feminists.
While the United States does have domestic violence tracking mechanisms and laws in place, both are inadequate. Hate crimes are defined as acts of violence or property damage that are motivated in whole or in part by bias based on a victim’s race, religion, disability, ethnicity, gender or gender identity. A number of states do not include discrimination based on gender in their definitions of hate crimes and state definitions of hate crimes vary widely.
Federal lawmakers reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act earlier this year. The laws are intended to aid and protect victims of femicide’s known precursors such as domestic violence and stalking. President Joe Biden acknowledged the need for additional action at a March ceremony commemorating the act’s passage.
As a Worldwide Epidemic Violence Against Women is a Serious issue
According to reports released just last week, an estimated 81,100 women and girls were murdered intentionally in the world in 2017. Approximately 56% of these killings were committed by intimate partners or family members. The report states that it is difficult to describe the full scope of gender-based violence because nearly four out of ten killings reported to authorities have no contextual information to allow them to be identified and counted as gender-related killings.
These rates are alarmingly high as we can see however, that is the tip of the iceberg. According to reports, police cannot do their jobs properly if murder is not properly classified as femicide. The lack of resources and training for authorities expected to implement laws also presents difficulties in stopping and preventing femicides.
Mineiro argued that women and girls everywhere should live in a world where their opinions and rights are respected. We must have the same protections. We have the fundamental right to live without fear of physical or psychological harm because only in an environment free of such threats can we truly flourish.
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