A young Mexican mother has been sentenced to six years in prison after she strangled a man with a t-shirt after he raped her. The case has sparked outrage and protests across the country, per the New York Post.
The Mexico State Court that though Roxana Ruiz had been raped, she had used excessive force in defending herself. The authorities suggested that striking the perpetrator in the head would have been enough to sufficiently defend herself.
However, Ruiz’s lawyers have condemned the ruling as “discriminatory,” noting that the decision sets a poor precedent in a country that has been dealing with gender-based violence, per the report.
Angel Carrera, Ruiz’s defense attorney, said: “It’s sending the message to women that, you know what, the law says you can defend yourself, but only to a point.”
“He raped you, but you don’t have the right to do anything.”
Additionally, women’s rights activists have also condemned the legal ruling, noting that it is just another example of Mexico’s authorities doing a poor job of holding accused rapists accountable for their actions.
However, six years of prison is apparently not enough for the woman, as she will also be ordered to pay $16,000 in restitution to the family of the man who sexually violated her, per the report. There were a number of supporters outside the courtroom, chanting “Justice!”
Ruiz thanked all of the feminist groups that helped her along the way in fighting through the years-long judicial process, but the one she was really thinking about in the midst of her sentence was her four-year-old boy: “My son, I hope to see him again. I hope to stay with him, to be the one who watches him grow up.”
Gender-based violence has raged across Mexico. According to MacroTrends, Mexico experienced approximately 346.15 rape cases per 100,000 people in 2018, resulting in a 198.15 percent increase from the previous year.