A WOMAN who attempted to help a homeless man and was raped by him has been jailed for killing her attacker in self defence.
Mum Roxana Santiago, 21, was sentenced to six years and two months in prison and her sentence has sparked protests across Mexico.
She’s been hit with a six year sentence[/caption]
Roxana said after the sentencing: “I feel sad, disappointed in justice. If I had not defended myself, I would be dead.”
Nezahualcoyotl, the municipality where she was assaulted in May 2021, ranks second for femicides and is one of the most dangerous places to be a woman in Mexico.
Nos Queremos Vivas (We Want to Stay Alive), a Mexican organisation that campaigns against male violence, slammed the ruling.
They said: “No woman should be jailed for defending lives that the state does not protect.”
Roxana moved to Neza to sell potatoes on the street in order to support her four-year-old son.
She met the rapist one night walking home, and he asked if he could stay at her place as he could not reach his own, which was too far away – rendering him ‘homeless’ – and she agreed.
Horrifically, she was sexually assaulted inside her home by the unnamed young man, who beat her when she tried to resist.
Roxana retaliated by hitting the man in the face, giving him a nosebleed.
Then, while he was distracted, she grabbed a t-shirt to wrap around his neck and strangled him to death, it is claimed.
She put his body in a bag and dumped it on a street corner in the Benito Juárez area, police said.
She wrote in a public letter: “I felt fear, terror, I didn’t want him to hurt anyone else. I didn’t know what to do, I was in shock.
“He had outraged me, destroyed my dignity, I felt humiliated, hurt, I felt empty.
“I know that I will be condemned for defending my body, for defending myself as a woman, for having punished my attacker, for having acted.”
She continued: “I told them that I had killed him, but he had raped me and I just wanted to defend myself.”
She also alleged that police officers verbally assaulted her and “never performed expert tests” to prove she had been raped,
“They presented me beaten, but they did not take photographs,” she said.
How you can get help
Women's Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available weekdays from 8am-6pm and weekends 10am-6pm.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
“Defending my life is not a crime” is written on many posters supporting her[/caption]