Dry Law

One of my favorite Panamanian commentators of all time is Flor Mizrachi. She has an incisive perspective and has no problem sharing it. I listen to her every day and I love it! She is like political porn. A form of ASMR in her own way. She is quite different from other commentators who seem to stumble over their own words (or rather lack of them) and have obvious conflicts of interest. She is also an advocate for mental health, still taboo in our country.

However, during the quarantine there is a topic with which I do not agree with the journalist: the dry law. Our country adopted the dry law at the beginning of the total quarantine for several months, to an extent that I am sure must have been unpopular with entrepreneurs, political campaign donors and consumers alike. Among all the mistakes of this Government and all the others in the region, I consider the dry law was one of the important successes and I would like to show my support.

In Panama, we locked ourselves within our family bubbles, limiting the time spent outside our respective homes. The uncertainty of a new communicable disease and its impact on home income due to the slowdown in the economy increased stressful situations that could result in domestic violence. The free consumption of alcohol, with its depressive and disinhibitory capacity, was a recipe for potential disaster.

Can you imagine being a victim of domestic violence on a regular basis and now being locked up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with your  intoxicated, uninhibited abuser?

Domestic violence is not exclusively physical violence, but represents different forms of aggression in which the power of one individual is used over another based on fear and encompasses: emotional, psychological, physical, sexual and verbal abuse, among many others. . Nor is it exclusive against the couple, but can be aimed at children and the elderly.

In general, according to figures from other countries, up to 80% of violent domestic crimes are related to the use of drugs and alcohol. Men are the predominant aggressors and if we add dependence on drugs or alcohol, the probability of being involved in domestic violence multiplies six times.

All the authors on the subject agree that there is an underreporting of these incidents and that the problem must be worse than that registered in any of the countries with available figures. After the pandemic we will find a new panorama in the matter of domestic violence: new figures, new consequences. Let's not overlook this terrible social problem in our communities.

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