To Eva Giberti, the prosecutor’s sayings
, author of the brief in which he described the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in Chubut as
They did not surprise him. “The more perverse are the arguments or judgments of Justice, the less they amaze me. They are the ways of presenting men in society and the thoughts that govern their behavior,” Giberti told LA NACION.
The renowned psychoanalyst, social worker and university professor, is 91 years old and has been dedicating herself to accompanying victims of sexual abuse for 60 years. Promoter of numerous programs and chairs that were pioneers in the country and marked the mark of a path that would deepen, Giberti coordinates since 2006 -the year it was created- the
Victims Against Violence Program
, which depends on the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of the Nation.
-For a long time you have pointed to the Judiciary, except for what you consider “honorable exceptions”, as one of the most macho structures that subsist in our society. Why is it so difficult to modify it?
-It is a patriarchal, vertical, machista, segregationist and prejudiced structure. It has all the idiosyncrasies there have been and because they mark those who have the administration of Justice in their hands as dangerous people. When women who are victims of sexual crimes fall into their orbit, they are in serious danger, because they are people in whom sadism, hatred towards women and their own personal problems can be mixed in a kind of caduceus where different perversions lead them to have conclusions that are in turn perverse. The case of the prosecutor (Fernando Rivarola) does not surprise me at all. We have seen similar conclusions.
The rejection of the statements of the prosecutor Fernando Rivarola soon became viral. Organizations such as Amnesty International and personalities from different fields joined the demand for justice.
-In recent years, do you consider that there have been changes? Are you optimistic that these structures can be transformed?
-There have been changes in Justice with young people, prosecutors, judges and female judges who, from a gender perspective, have introduced new perspectives for the reading of crimes of sexual integrity. I am optimistic because I am a psychotherapist and I have to be, because I believe in the possibilities of repairing the victim and modifying violent behavior. But at the same time I am very clear that perverse people cannot be modified and they enjoy doing perversities, saying them and committing to them, because they are part of their life. All these perversities have been inoculated over the years into the heads of those who administer Justice. The painful thing is to think about the victims and the hopeful thing in the permanent fight that we women carry forward and in which the young women are taking the party with a lot of energy and desire. We have learned to denounce, not to keep our mouths shut and empower ourselves.
The Victims Against Violence Program has free telephone lines that operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year: 137 in the city of Buenos Aires and 0800-222-1717 nationwide. You can also write on WhatsApp at 11-3133-1000. The lines are manned by professional personnel specialized in caring for victims of violence.
-Beyond progress, awareness of the impact and scope of sexual abuse is still scarce in many sectors.
-We lack more awareness and more denunciation. We must remember that in the vast majority of cases, in 85%, sexual abuse occurs within the family and in general the abuser is the father. Many times, there are complicit silences of the family that does not want to denounce, for example, the father or the grandfather. In the Victims Against Violence Program, we specialize in sexual abuse because we have countless complaints. We need to become more aware and that the media calls us and is committed to spreading this reality. We have to take this issue to the universities, to all the faculties, not only in the humanities but also, for example, in agronomy, because sexual abuse cuts across all forms of coexistence.
-How are these complicit silences explained in many families before cases of sexual abuse?
-Fathers and mothers are still surprised when a situation of domestic abuse appears. They find it hard to realize that this which is horrible is nevertheless possible. Admitting that the male with whom you live is responsible for the abuse is one of the most bitter and complex situations, which determine that there is a zone of silence and distraction, and that symptoms that are nevertheless warning that something rare are overlooked it happens to the boy or the girl.
-You have pointed out on several occasions aberrant practices in Justice such as the attempt to link children and adolescents who suffer sexual abuse with their aggressors. How is it possible that these practices continue?
-Many judges do not want to understand that the family is not the sacrosanct institution that they want us to buy, but that it is a dangerous place for many boys and girls. I have seen pathetic attempts to link boys and girls with their attackers. Since I was 30 years old, when I worked in the children’s hospital (today Pedro Elizalde), we have been fighting with prosecutors over these issues. I remember a time when trying to do these relaunches in the Japanese Garden and the boys ran out screaming: “I don’t want to be with him”, “I don’t want to see him”, while a social worker tried to hold them down.
-And it still persists.
-So is. It is a suffering and a revictimization that still persists today. And behind it is the idea that the family cannot undo, that the mother puts ideas to the boy or the girl in the head, when no boy or girl is a puppet who is going to repeat what the mother says and it is enough to look at the drawings they make or listen to their statements to realize that they do not invent. The judges have a head full of prejudices about what sex life is in the family and do not want to accept that it can be absolutely corrupted and boys absolutely damaged. The attempt to link children with their victimizers is so that the family remains whole: they are more interested in keeping it artificially than exposing a rapist father, who is not a father, is a monster.
-Not only the testimony of boys and girls is questioned countless times, but also of women. This means that, many times, they choose not to report or back down, so as not to continue being victimized. Why does this happen?
-If we read the history of rape, which comes from time immemorial, the woman was always accused of lying when the man was pointed out. This was so in archaic society first; industrial, after and consumer, now. It was always the men who took the lead and do not want to be accused by women. The men with power, who are the judges, start the denigration of the woman saying that she lies and exaggerates. There is a tendency to denigrate the intellectual life of women. This is something that we have to dismantle and disarticulate little by little, showing that we are capable of defending ourselves but, above all, of accusing with truth. Women should always be accompanied by a good lawyer who is willing to fight, not to back down, to sustain the complaints, seeking accompaniment in women’s organizations. We must denounce and put aside fear.