El Salvador - Human Rights Committee - Violence Against Women - April 2015

The Advocates for Human Rights submitted information to the Human Rights Committee for the adoption of the list of issues prior to the reporting which took place during the Committee's 114th session in June and July 2015. The information pertains to violence against women in El Salvador and suggests topics for the government of El Salvador to address during its review by the Committee.

Despite the enactment of a law in 2012 criminalizing domestic violence, psychological abuse, financial abuse, and sexual assault, violence against women remains a pervasive problem in El Salvador. Prejudice and stereotypes concerning women's place in society have created a culture in which many believe domestic violence is acceptable and a country in which crimes against women are normalized and underreported. An increase in gang violence has also created an unsafe environment for women; gang members sexually assault, traffic, and murder women with impunity, often using violence against women to extort money from their families or to attack political opponents. The legal system is ineffective in investigating and prosecuting cases of violence against women and LGBT individuals, often failing to hold perpetrators accountable.

The state has also failed to establish shelters for victims of domestic violence, despite the 2012 Ley Especial Integral para una Vida Libre de Violencia para las Mujeres providing for the creation of shelters. This same law provided for the establishment of a system to gather and provide data on violence against women to various state agencies. As of September 2014, this system was still not operational.