Lilliam Fondeur, a doctor and feminist, expressed regret that systematic killing of women still occurs frequently in the Dominican Republic, where it is occasionally justified, Diario Libre reported.

“Violence against women is political. We live in a violent culture, and it has been proven that this type of violence increases during pregnancy, as happened last Saturday when a man murdered his partner, a 17-year-old teenager who was eight months pregnant," said Fondeur.

“Before a woman is killed, her body carries the burden of violence. The violence permanently inscribes itself in her body and transforms it into a repository for all kinds of traumatic resources and repressed emotions, ” she said.

Fondeur added that the physical and psychological effects of violence against women include rheumatic diseases including fibromyalgia, arthritis, skin lesions, hypertension, diabetes, depression, as well as tense-muscle ache.

The doctor offered these statements during the Femicide in the Dominican Republic seminar, organized by the Institute for Gender and Family Research of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo.

Several international human rights organizations have expressed concern over the incidence of gender-based violence in the Dominican Republic. According to a Prosecutor's General Office report from 2018, there were over 71,000 reports of gender-based violence and over 6,300 reports of sexual offenses.

The National Police provided statistics in a Human Rights Watch report in 2016 indicating that more than 1,300 deaths recorded between 2008 and 2014 were the result of gender-based violence. However, notable human rights group Amnesty International suggests that the official numbers are but a small percentage of the real figures, citing the pervasive culture of sexual violence and torture in the Dominican police force and the small likelihood of officers facing justice due to its normalization in Dominican society.

Officially, the law of the Dominican Republic punishes rape and other forms of gender-based violence, including incest and sexual aggression, with sentences for rape convictions extending to a fifteen-year prison sentence. The law also categorizes sexual harassment in the workplace as a misdemeanor carrying a one-year prison sentence and significant fines, however, union workers have voiced doubt over the enforcement of the law in this regard.

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