Chile President Under Fire Over Violence Against Women Remarks

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Chile President Sebastian Pinera came under fire on Monday over comments that seemed to suggest that victims were partly to blame for violence against women.

“Sometimes it’s not just men’s desire to abuse, but also the women’s position to be abused,” Pinera said while announcing a new law expanding the classification of femicide, alongside his wife Cecilia Morel and Women’s Minister, Isabel Pla.

“We need to punish the abuser, and we also need to tell the person abused that they cannot allow this to happen and that the whole of society will help and support them in denouncing these events and ensuring they don’t happen again,” he added.

The new law, named after Gabriela Alcaino, who was murdered by her boyfriend in 2008, provides for sentences of up to 40 years for femicide.

It widens the categorization to include boyfriends, whereas before it only concerned married couples or unmarried those living together.

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