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EQUADOR WOMEN TURN TO BOXING TO FIGHT SEXUAL ABUSE

ECUADOR – After surviving a harrowing rape attempt, Any Hurtado took up boxing — and found herself surrounded by other Ecuadoran women using their fists for protection in a country torn by sexual violence.
Statistics paint a disturbing picture of the threats women face in the South American country: six out of every 10 have been the victims of gender-based aggression, and one girl in 10 suffers sexual abuse before the age of 18.
  • Hurtado, a 17-year-old nursing student, lived through her own horror story last year.
  • She was walking home when a group of men surrounded her and tried to rape her.
  • “They started grabbing me and trying to assault me,” she told AFP.
  • “As I was struggling against them I thought I wasn’t going to be able to get away. But I found the strength somewhere. I hit the one closest to me and managed to run away.”
  • After the incident, Hurtado, who lives alone since her father emigrated to Spain four years ago, went to a gym in La Tola, a neighborhood in central Quito, and began learning to box.
There, she found a cohort of other women with stories similar to her own donning gloves and learning to use their fists to defend themselves.
One of them is Tania Lara, a 27-year-old domestic worker whose ex-husband used to beat her.
“Sometimes I wish I could go back in time. I think about what it would have been like then if I were the way I am now, a boxer. I’d have hit him hard,” she said.

Source:  Standard Media...More
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