By Daniela Morales, 10th Grade
On a Saturday night during the month of April, a 25-year-old Dominican commentator and influencer named Chantal Jimenez was shot to death by her ex-boyfriend, who committed a murder-suicide. The Dominican community received her assassination with shock and grief for a tragedy that could’ve been prevented. Why preventable? Surely you may think it’s not possible to prevent or predict a murder, and while that may be true, Jimenez’s death was preventable because she was a victim of gender violence that tried to put distance between her and her partner, Jensy Graciano.
After the murder happened, a sister of Jensy Graciano came forward and talked about the toxicity in Chantal and Jensy’s relationship. On the Wednesday of the week the murder was committed, Chantal and Jensy got into a discussion which ended with him shooting her by her feet. After this happened, Chantal went to the Unity for Attention and Prevention of Gender Violence to denounce her partner and file for a restriction order (Aybar, 2023). This restriction order might have saved her life had her father not asked her to take it down a few days later, with the naivety someone can only have if they choose to believe an aggressor over their daughter.
Her father convinced her and himself it would be good to cancel the restriction order, because he’d had a private conversation with Jensy in which the perpetrator promised he would stay away from his daughter. We clearly know that’s not what happened, and although the restriction order may have helped Chantal, based on the interview with Jensy’s sister, his violence was not spontaneous, but rather planned. The subject admitted to his sister having placed microphones in Chantal’s house to spy on her, called his sister on the Wednesday he first shot Chantal saying he was going to jail, and ended his life with a ghastly Instagram post. His caption stated: Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes, because for those that love with the heart and soul, there are no goodbyes (Hoy, 2023).
Chantal Jimenez’s death is a reminder of the disastrous state of gender-based violence and femicides in the Dominican Republic. In 2020, the Dominican Republic was the country with the second-highest rate of femicides, with 2.4 women killed for every 100,000 citizens (UNFPA, 2022). From 2016 to 2020, 486 femicides occurred in the Dominican Republic, but only 11 of them were reported (elDinero, 2021). The substantial amount of cases that go unreported is simply shocking. The United Nations Program for Development found in 2021, that 95% of women that experience violence in the workplace and/or public spaces don’t report it. Most of the women that experience violence in the workplace first experience violence in their homes (60%) and most women that were victims of violence overall did not report it because they considered the incident something minor (UNPD, 2021).
These statistics point to two main facts: in the Dominican Republic there’s a culture that promotes violence against women, and a system that is not effectively handling the cases which are reported and that discourages victims from reporting their aggressor because they don’t have confidence in the government’s actions. Sexism is something Dominicans grow within their homes, with women as the main targets and men growing up seeing their fathers abuse their mothers and idolize these actions. The accessibility to firearms, and the lack of a national ethic that protects and respects women, among other factors, is what keeps this cycle going. Chantal Jiménez will not be the last woman to die at the hands of this country if a change doesn’t occur, but she is another reason for the government and citizens to reevaluate their positions and what they could do for the women in their country.
Aybar, J. A. (2023). Muerte de Chantal estremece sociedad — El Nacional. El Nacional. https://elnacional.com.do/muerte-de-chantal-estremece-sociedad/
Hoy. (2023, April 10). Tres detalles de la relación de Jensy Graciano y Chantal Jiménez que confirman él era violento. Hoy Digital. https://hoy.com.do/hermana-feminicida-chantal-jimenez-detonante-asesinato/
Día internacional de la eliminación de la violencia contra las mujeres: el desafío de contar con una ley integral. (2022, November 25). UNFPA República Dominicana. https://dominicanrepublic.unfpa.org/es/news/d%C3%ADa-internacional-de-la-eliminaci%C3%B3n-de-la-violencia-contra-las-mujeres-el-desaf%C3%ADo-de-contar-con
elDinero, R., & elDinero, R. (2021). OPD-Funglode: En RD ocurrieron 486 feminicidios en los últimos cinco años. Periódico elDinero. https://eldinero.com.do/154508/opd-funglode-en-rd-ocurrieron-486-feminicidios-en-los-ultimos-cinco-anos/
Más del 95% de las mujeres víctimas de violencia en el trabajo y/o espacios públicos no lo denuncian | Programa De Las Naciones Unidas Para El Desarrollo. (n.d.-b). UNDP. https://www.undp.org/es/dominican-republic/news/m%C3%A1s-del-95-de-las-mujeres-v%C3%ADctimas-de-violencia-en-el-trabajo-y/o-espacios-p%C3%BAblicos-no-lo-denuncian
EditorPs. (2023, January 26). Violencia en República Dominicana: factores y perspectivas. https://www.psicologiacientifica.com/violencia-en-republica-dominicana-factores-y-perspectivas/