Strong statement from Argentine Actresses to accompany Thelma Fardin: “The time of impunity is over”

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“Today, with the start of the oral trial in Brazil, we accompanied Thelma Fardin as on December 11, 2018, when her criminal complaint against Juan Darthés was made public for the rape suffered nine years before, as a minor, during a tour working in Nicaragua. Thus ends a three-year cycle for the cause, which continued through the courage of our colleague, a journey that establishes international jurisprudence.: Three public prosecutors from different countries (Argentina, Nicaragua and Brazil – where the defendant fled to avoid his responsibility -), considered that there was more than enough evidence to criminally accuse him. Whatever the ruling, the oral trial against Darthés constitutes a triumph and is in itself restorative”.

This is how Dolores Fonzi began reading the statement that the members of the collective Actrices Argentinas they read on the door of the headquarters of the Specialized Unit on Violence against Women (UFEM), of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Nation. It was today, in support of his partner Thelma Fardin, on the first day of the trial that brings Juan Darthés to the bench accused of rape in São Paulo, Brazil.

Dolores Fonzi begins by reading the statement from Argentine Actresses
Dolores Fonzi begins by reading the statement from Argentine Actresses

With a poster with the legend “Action against abuse”, a large number of actresses were present, such as Juliet Diaz, Muriel Santa Ana, Juliet Ortega, Alejandra Flechner, Soledad Villamil and Mirtha Busnelli, among others, while Fardin entered the prosecutor’s office to give a statement via streaming, since the trial will be done virtually by protocols related to Covid because the judge who has the cause is a group is at risk and is in session from his home. The sentence is expected for the next few weeks and if Justice finds him guilty, the actor could face a penalty of between 6 and 12 years in prison for “aggravated rape.”

“We are together again to embrace Thelma, call for her abuser to be convicted, and reaffirm that despite all obstacles, this is a path that for women and dissidents in Latin America has no turning back“, They maintained in the reading on the street Perón at 600.” We do not shut up anymore, “they raised the flags again and warned:”we empower ourselves; we are transforming a system that has historically silenced us, naturalizing abuse, violence and impunity”.

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“This case is just one of countless stories. Its enormous impact and effect are demonstrated by: After Thelma’s public denunciation, calls to the hotlines for victims of gender violence increased by 1,240% in just 24 hours and added to the registry of thousands of cases of sexual abuse per year, of which 65% are minors old”, they explained, putting the abuses at the national level in numbers and highlighting the importance of Fardin’s complaint.

In that sense, they set the axis on the journey that any woman must go through today to make a complaint and be taken seriously: “We will not stop pointing out the cruelty that the victim must suffer in the current judicial order. Instead of legitimizing it, it is questioned; he must face the dissection of his private life and the constant test of what a good victim should be. Added to the trauma and the economic costs that it implies, from the moment it dares to report it, it is limited, exposed and subject to opinion. The construction of the social gaze, instigated and sustained by the mass media, is always clearly directed towards it. His name, face, body, customs are published, his faults are sought but of the rapists, nothing. Be quiet”.

Faced with a patriarchal criminal system that time and time again tries to discipline those who denounce and those who dare to testify on their behalf, we insist: a judicial reform with a gender perspective and respectful of human rights is urgently required.. We demand effective reparation mechanisms, so that those people who have suffered these aberrant events can feel recognized and accompanied, instead of being judged, denigrated and re-victimized, ”they argued.

Here and all over the world this is the only crime that examines the victim and not the perpetrator: it is she who is subjected to innumerable tests. Without going any further, in the hearings of the trial that begins today, they gave place to a psychologist on behalf of the accused to evaluate and make a report on Thelma. Enough of subjecting the victim to testify six times the same. It is imperative that his word be ratified in one go, by all the specialists involved in the process, and that their time is respected, since it is proven that it takes years to be able to speak ”, they read visibly moved.

“In that sense, Thelma’s case is both the rule and the exception; many survivors of abuse have gone through the same thing but few have its public relevance, support and media interest. The vast majority of rape cases go unpunished; in fact, only 1% get a conviction. In case it was not heard, we repeat it: only 1% get a conviction. Can that be called justice? ”They asked.

In the rest of the writing, they made an analysis of the struggle during these years and how the union strengthened them to move forward. “We are united to say, as we did three years ago, that the place of oppression and objectification of women and sexual diversity makes us vulnerable to this violence, in all its degrees. Sexual violence is encouraged by eroticizing and overexposing the bodies of children and adolescents in the entertainment industry or by neglecting to send minors on tour without sufficient and adequate custody, as happened to Thelma.. Our partner suffered it in the workplace that should have protected her, as a child and as a worker. This negligence, allowed by the State, is functional to violence and is generalized – they affirmed -. Just a few days ago, after years of negotiations, the business chambers were able to adhere to the International Labor Organization agreement to eradicate gender violence in the workplace. We welcome this commitment and we will be attentive to the application of the protocols, as well as the recommendations for areas free of harassment and emotional and sexual abuse ”.

“We will continue to fight so that no more person is abused. It is urgent to protect children, prevent this violence and eradicate it. It is urgent that the State provide greater resources for the care of the victims. That we can live and work in safe environments ”.

“And where the State Justice obstructs, dismisses, stigmatizes the victims or fails in an aberrant way in favor of the perpetrators, we convene to say enough. Because the time for silence and impunity is over. We have a historical, political and social obligation to do so. With the certainty that injustice is faced together and organized, our union is already a triumph ”.

Finally, a general desire for all the actresses there nucleated at the door of the UFEM: “We await with great attention a decisive ruling. With Thelma and for all the victims of sexual abuse, #AccionContraElAbuso #NoNosCallamosMas ”. And they melted into the classic “war cry” and container hugs.

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Strong statement from Argentine Actresses to accompany Thelma Fardin: “The time of impunity is over”