The rapist is you, the Chilean protest song against gender violence that sparked a global movement

Un violador en tu camino – the rapist is you – is an anthem protesting the impunity of gender-based violence. It began in Chile and has become a global flash mob, bringing people to the streets and resonating all over the world.

It all started on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women outside the Supreme Court in Santiago del Chile. A group of women came together for a feminist flash mob, adding their meaningful, powerful voices to the protests against inequality that have filled the streets of the capital for weeks.

Hundreds of women, in unison, sang a moving anthem against patriarchy and its consequent impunity. In Chile, where 42 cases of sexual abuse are reported each day (almost two every hour), only 8 per cent of all reported rapes result in conviction.

El patriarcado es un juez / Patriarchy is a judge Un violador en tu camino
Women sing “El violador eres tú” in Santiago del Cile © Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images
Women sing “El violador eres tú” in Santiago del Cile © Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images

The rapist is you

The song, titled “Un violador en tu camino, el violador eres tú” (A rapist in your path, the rapist is you) condemns the judicial system’s failure to protect women and their rights, and raises awareness on the culture of violence intrinsic to the fabric of our society. In fact, this culture is prospering, with acts of violence being normalised and women being humiliated and often blamed after reporting such acts.

Y la culpa no era mía, ni dónde estaba, ni cómo vestía / And it’s not my fault, nor where I was, nor what I woreUn violador en tu camino

A global movement against violence

Law enforcement has been condemned for using violence to respond to the recent protests in Chile. The reaction of women to such intimidation tactics has sparked a movement that has reached far beyond the country’s borders, resonating not only in other South American countries but all over the world. Because violence against women is a global issue: according to UN data, a third of all girls and women suffer physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5TzGYlFqen/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading

The anthem, written by Chilean feminist art collective Las Tesis, has gone viral. Its chorus has resonated around the world, and can’t be repeated enough: “The rapist is you” (El violador eres tú). You, policeman; you, judge; you, state; you, president; you, ordinary person. In just a few weeks, the protest’s powerful message has reached the streets of more and more cities, from South America to Europe and even India: Bogotá, Lima, Mexico City, New York, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Milan.

El violador eres tu, Milano
A feminist flash mob in Piazza Duomo, Milan on 8 December © Non una di meno Milano

Un violador en tu camino, English and Spanish lyrics

The choreography, song and dance are spectacular. Women wearing black blindfolds stand side by side. Drumbeats keep the rhythm of the chant. Gestures aren’t random, with the right and left arms being raised at different times, or placed behind the head while crouching, as if under arrest. The flash mob can be organised anywhere in the world: the lyrics and sequence of movements can be shared and taken to every corner of every city, every house, every police station, every courthouse, every mind. A global echo calling for change.

Patriarchy is a judge
that judges us for being born,
our punishment
is the violence you don’t see.

Patriarchy is a judge
that judges us for being born,
our punishment
is the violence you now see.

It’s femicide,
Impunity for my killer.
It’s disappearance.
It’s rape.

And it’s not my fault, nor where I was, nor what I wore.
And it’s not my fault, nor where I was, nor what I wore.
And it’s not my fault, nor where I was, nor what I wore.
And it’s not my fault, nor where I was, nor what I wore.

The rapist was you
The rapist is you.

It’s policemen,
Judges,
The state,
The president.

The oppressive state is a rapist man.
The oppressive state is a rapist man.
The oppressive state is a rapist man.
The oppressive state is a rapist man.

The rapist was you
The rapist is you.

Sleep tight, innocent girl
don’t worry about the criminal,
your policeman lover is taking care
of your sweet dreams.

The rapist is you.
The rapist is you.
The rapist is you.
The rapist is you.

/

El patriarcado es un juez
que nos juzga por nacer,
y nuestro castigo
es la violencia que no ves.

El patriarcado es un juez
que nos juzga por nacer,
y nuestro castigo
es la violencia que ya ves.

Es feminicidio.
Impunidad para mi asesino.
Es la desaparición.
Es la violación.

Y la culpa no era mía, ni dónde estaba ni cómo vestía.
Y la culpa no era mía, ni dónde estaba ni cómo vestía.
Y la culpa no era mía, ni dónde estaba ni cómo vestía.
Y la culpa no era mía, ni dónde estaba ni cómo vestía.

El violador eras tú,
El violador eres tú.

Son los pacos,
los jueces,
el Estado,
el presidente.

El Estado opresor es un macho violador
El Estado opresor es un macho violador

El violador eras tú.
El violador eres tú.

Duerme tranquila, niña inocente
sin preocuparte del bandolero,
que por tu sueño dulce y sonriente
vela tu amante carabinero.

El violador eres tú.
El violador eres tú.
El violador eres tú.
El violador eres tú.

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