Velázquez on Gender-Based Violence Protests in Puerto Rico
Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement today regarding protests taking place in San Juan this week to call for action to address gender-based violence on the Island:
“Puerto Rico is seeing a crisis of violence against women, with at least 22 women having perished this year alone at the hands of husbands and domestic partners. This is a moral affront that requires immediate action. The women who are calling for an Executive Order from the Governor are making a just and reasonable request and one that I support. The fact that they are being met, instead, with force from the police is unacceptable. I call on the police to show maximum restraint toward these women who are exercising their First Amendment right of free expression. I further ask the Governor to heed the calls for tangible steps addressing violence against women on the Island.
“For too long, Puerto Rico has had one of the highest rates of domestic violence, which has been exacerbated following Hurricane Maria. The Puerto Rican government has an obligation to respond swiftly and I stand with these women who are calling for responsible leadership on this issue.”