Cuenca, Ecuador: Through the Centuries one thing that has not changed, violence against women

Posted on April 16, 2017 • Filed under: Crime, Ecuador, Ecuador Emergency

Centuries pass, violence against women is maintained Díez wrote: The News accedes to some violent episodes happened since the XVI century. According to the documentation of the Provincial Historical Archive, women and children, due to their greater vulnerability, have always been the main victims. In six centuries of history neither weapons nor types of harassment change

Gorka Díez
During the past centuries, the woman was also especially constrained by social conventions that made her either marry or live in a convent

The historian and governor of the Roman Empire Cornelius Tacitus, who lived between 55 and 120, already warned that if there is a sin that carries an “irrevocable penance” is that of the homicide of the master or the wife. These words are a good sign that violence within the couple has been especially frowned upon by society. But, in spite of this, it is an unquestionable fact that it has always existed, exercising mainly on the woman. And that it has become indestructible despite the laws – where Castilla-La Mancha was a pioneer in 2001 and wants to be again with a new regulation that will come to light in 2017 – awareness campaigns or concentrations such as this 25 November, Day Against Gender Violence, will again fill the streets of much of the country with proclamations of denunciation of this social scourge.

In Cuenca, judicial documents from the 16th century to the present day are preserved in the Historical Archive, which is full of files that contain, with dates and proper names, numerous cases of violence against women, a material studied by the director of the Archive, Almudena Serrano, who last Wednesday offered a conference that included several references to violent episodes recorded in the province. There are also episodes that differ little from those which, unfortunately, continue to occur today, which confirms that, despite the passage of time, little has changed: men from before, such as now, are They were worth of the same instruments to mistreat women, especially of the hands, but in fact of whatever they had at hand (knives, forks, daggers, scissors, pincers, trébedes, jars of wine) and exercised both the Physical abuse such as psychological abuse, coercion and threats, verbal intimidation, stabbing and blows that sometimes led to the murder of the victim.

During the past centuries, the woman was also especially constrained by social conventions that made her either marry or live in a convent. It was not conceived that they were single. The first thing was for them to depend economically on the husband and to be relegated to the care of the home, socially marginalized, which only surrounded their freedom, making it difficult for them to leave home if they were mistreated.


And it was also a time when, as now, there were no women’s centers, victim assistance telephones or specific support programs, so their only way out was in the courts: they could file a complaint Knowing that, as long as they could prove the damage received, the courts would defend them to preserve justice.

Attempted Murder Failed in 1610

The case of one of the many women who have suffered mistreatment throughout history is that of Ana López. According to a sentence of 1610 consulted by Almudena Serrano, the woman denounced her husband, Miguel Abarcas, for bad treatments like “sticks, coces, slaps” that “hurt and debarred many times”. Thus until the attack that almost ends his life, in which her husband “put his sword to kill and threw with it some stab and stabs”, so that “were it not for the people who put themselves Half, killed her. ”

Another, more recent, is that of Dorotea, who in 1944 was 36 years old and was remarried to a man of 51. She had four children from a previous marriage, including a newborn baby. Her second husband could not bear to make noise during the siesta and “not being able to restrain himself in a moment of nervousness” caused to the woman numerous injuries, according to the presented complaint.


To these cases we must add that of the father of sixteenth-century orphans Alonso de Mata, who, using his post, whose purpose was to help the orphaned children, deceived several children by convincing them to go to Valencia, where they supposedly awaited them A better life but where, against her will, they were prostituted, being “delivered to infidels and exposed in public parts where they became bad women.”

Another case highlighted by Almudena Serrano is that of rape in a group, and for several times, a child of the sixteenth century, named María, to which some men, led by Agustín de la Torre, persuaded him to come to the wee hours Of the night to the then Molino del Postigo, in the current environment of the Huécar.

Or the deception suffered by dozens of women to whom a man promised marriage only to obtain his sexual favor, fruit of which the unwanted pregnancies abounded.

Likewise, many women who went to work in a house to perform housework suffered some type of violence, sexual abuse, or non-payment of the agreed wage.

False accusations

There have also been false allegations of mistreatment, such as that of a seventeenth-century woman who had not been invited to a wedding held at the man’s house with whom she wanted to have a relationship and showed up at her door shouting at Voices to be let in. When he returned home, he was beaten and reported that whoever had beaten him was the master of the house.

Violence against man

And, although smaller in number, there are, also, cases in which the victim is not the woman, but the man. Especially the most vulnerable men, such as vagabonds, who were subjected to taunts and physical violence.

And a curious case, dated 1561, is that of Juan Martinez, poisoned by his wife, Ana Marco, in a conspiracy in which also the lover of this one, Benito Hernandez. His objective, as it was said in the sentence, to get rid of him to “use his sin and bad life with freedom”. They used one of the most popular poisons of the time, the Soliman, composed of mercury chloride. The woman threw him “into a certain thing that she cooked and fed” to her husband, who soon suffered the first symptoms. He said that his guts and his mouth burned and his sores came out and his black teeth went to die, in a few days, of “sickness and poison.”

The lovers continued to gather together “in sin, sleeping and eating together, until one night they were seen naked together on a bed in the house of Anna Marco by ordinary mayors.”

To all these cases must be added the last episode with tragic end occurred in the province that still recent August of 2015 in which gender violence took ahead the life of the young conquenses Laura del Hoyo Chamón and Marina Okarynska. One more sign of the need to strengthen policies to support battered women and, above all, to try to prevent violence.

Child Abandonment

Together with women, children, economically dependent on the elderly, make up the group that has suffered the most violence in history. Of this there are documents in the file of the Diputación, where is the old fund of charity, where they kept the files that were opened every time an abandoned baby appeared.

Although he does not count them, Serrano warns that many children have been abandoned, always at night and often at the door of parishes or private homes, but even in the middle of the street or the mountain. And of all classes: those from poor families were poorly dressed, “with barely a lamb’s foot,” while those of the wealthy classes, who in many cases were discarding the baby to save their honor, having contracted Outside the marriage, in some case they accompanied a jar of honey to guarantee their care in the first days. Most had a piece of paper hand-written with the baby’s name (if it had one), and the indication of whether he was baptized.

“The abandonment is something regrettable that indicates the little that was valued the life in spite of the demographic situation, when exposing to the death to children who were the future of the country”, considers the director of the archive. And it is not a thing of the past: this same week appeared an abandoned baby in a container of San Sebastián. Read Article

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