Child abuse has been one of the most frequent problems in Latin America, and that, despite the creation of different awareness and prevention campaigns, as well as the efforts of the authorities to curb increase in cases of child abuse, today, it continues to affect children around the world.
For example, in Mexico, these figures are alarming. According to the data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), this country ranks first among the countries with the highest number of child abuse cases, among the nations that are part of this institution.
In total, one in 4 Mexican girls have been victims of even one episode of sexual abuse at an early age, while, in the case of children, the figure stands at one in six. But the most troubling is the silence in many of the cases.
According to the statistics, in Mexico only 10 children who suffer sexual abuse talk about it with an adult or with their parents. This means that 90% of the cases usually remain silent and far from receiving the necessary attention to heal the emotional wounds they may have caused in the victim.
On the other hand, the Imaginalco organization indicates that an average of 5.4 million cases of child abuse are registered annually in Mexico, and refers to the direct damage caused by this type of acts in every aspect of the development of abused children and adolescents in Mexico.
Impunity: a frequent problem in child abuse cases in Mexico
The call made by each of the non-profit organizations, governmental institutions and social movements against child sexual abuse is always the same: do not remain silent and report it to the competent authorities.
However, another common problem in Mexico is the impunity in cases of reported child abuse. One of the best known was the complaint filed by Guadalupe Pulido, grandmother of five minors who were victims of sexual aggression by their father in the state of Querétaro.
This case caused great impact among the inhabitants of the entity, but the most shocking thing is that the judge in charge of the case ruled that the abuser could be released from prison upon payment of bail, which he later achieved by paying 5,000 pesos (US$239) for each abused child.
Faced with this decision, the grandmother of the minors commented that she was disappointed by the judge’s decision, but stressed that she will continue to seek justice for the case of abuse of which her grandchildren were victims.
“They suffered what you cannot imagine and felt as you cannot imagine. There are a lot of children being abused right now, there are many mothers who say why do I show up, if the institutions do not pay attention, and it seems that you do not know that abuse exists. I hope it is a rebirth of justice because we want justice,” said Pulido.
Fernanda Lazo Payró, president of Corazones Mágicos, the organization where the five minors received therapy after the events, said that all legal tools are being analyzed to achieve the arrest of the victims’ father.
Payró also accused the judge in the case of negligence, since she ignored the criminal record of the stalker, which included the crimes of aggravated robbery and other sexual assaults.
How to be part of the change?
Given the number of cases of child sexual abuse that are registered in Mexico, and despite the fact that many of them go unpunished, it is important that the fight against child sexual abuse continues and becomes stronger and stronger.
It is important for adults to know how to identify the signs that may indicate a likely abusive situation in a child, listen carefully to what the child says, and then take legal action by reporting the incident to the necessary authorities.
Do you have an experience of abuse that you would like to share?
In the #YoDigoNoMas movement we are here to listen to your story and give you all the support you need.
You can be part of the change. Join this movement, denounce, and continue the fight against child sexual abuse.