The most recent data collected by the National Survey of Family Relations and Gender Violence shows that 61% of women in Ecuador have experienced violence based on their gender.
Violence against women, including domestic violence
, is addressed legislatively under the current Constitution, which guarantees the right of women to live free of violence, and under the National Plan for the Eradication of Violence against Women, Girls, Boys and Adolescents.
The 2007 Plan was drafted to bolster the 1995 law on violence against women and the family, which was criticised in 2004 by the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and in 2008 by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Violence against Women, for its lack of a comprehensive strategy to eliminate violence against women.
The new plan aims to address social and cultural contributors to violence, build and strengthen protections for victims, and increase access to justice. Increased protections for victims of domestic violence include 15 external care centres for victims, in place as of 2012, and 15 special rooms at hospitals designed to give comprehensive care to victims of violence, created as of 2011.
While the Ecuadorian government is still under pressure from national and regional women’s organisations to reform the 1995 law on violence against women and the family,
in 2012 the Organization of American States noted that, “although Ecuador does not have a comprehensive law on violence against women, it has incorporated the [Belem do Para Convention on Violence against Women] into its Constitution, where a woman’s right to a life free from violence is upheld.”
There is no information on how routinely domestic violence is reported; however, during the period 2007-2011, 319,748 violence complaints and demands were registered.
In 2007, 4,405 prison sentences were meted out in cases of domestic violence
and, in 2011, 6,807 domestic violence cases were dealt with through the Center for the Protection of Rights, an alternative to the judicial system set up under the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion.
The Penal Code criminalises rape
and provides penalties of up to 12 years in prison.
The existence of family ties or relationship is considered to be an aggravating factor in cases of rape or sexual assault, which also criminalises spousal rape, under the family code.
Although it is unclear whether Ecuador considers death during or after rape to be considered “femicide,” the penalty for rape where death occurs increases from 12 to 16 years’ imprisonment.
According to the US Department of State, in 2012 the National Police received 2,067 reports of rape and detained 789 individuals.
In many instances, victims do not report rape and sexual assault because of their fear of retribution from the perpetrator or further violence and social stigma.
is prohibited in the workplace, education and religious environments under Article 511 of the Penal Code.
Sexual harassment is also addressed under Article 10 of the Organic Law of Public Service, which requires that public servants found guilty of sexual harassment or abuse be discharged.
In 2011, 571 cases of violence and sexual harassment were dealt with through the Center for the Protection of Rights, an alternative to the judicial system set up under the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion, in accordance with the 2007 National Plan for the Eradication of Violence against Women, Girls, Boys, and Adolescents.
Sexual harassment and sexual abuse have been cited as of particular concern within the country’s education system. Organisations such as the UN Commission on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the Center for Reproductive Rights have criticised Ecuador for its failure to adequately address the problem, as NGO reports have shown that sexual harassment in schools generally goes unpunished.
There is no information on whether the justice system is sensitised to the law, but according to the US Department of State, in 2012, there were no reports of police or judicial reluctance to act on harassment claims. 
There is no evidence to suggest that female genital mutilation is practised in Ecuador.
In its 2012 review of Ecuador, the Committee for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights expressed concern at the high levels of sexual violence and abuse experienced in schools
and educational settings, the impunity of perpetrators of such violence, and the lack of sexual and reproductive rights afforded to victims.
Under Ecuadorian law, abortion
is legal only in instances where a woman’s life or health is at risk,
although in certain cases of rape, the president can make use of a veto to allow an abortion to take place legally.
 CEDAW (2012), p. 19  CEDAW (2012) p. 17  CEDAW (2008)  CEDAW (2012), p. 18  CEDAW (2012), p. 7  OAS (2012), p. 18  CEDAW (2012), p. 18  CEDAW (2008)  CEDAW (2012), p. 18  US Department of State (2013), p. 23  CEDAW (2007), p. 19  US Department of State (2013), p. 23  US Department of State (2013), p. 23  US Department of State, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/220651.pdf  OAS (2012), p. 113  OAS (2012), p. 113  CEDAW (2012), p. 18  Center for Reproductive Rights (2012)  US Department of State (2013), p. 23  Center for Reproductive Rights (2013)  UN DESA (2013)  CEDAW (2007), p. 54