Child sex abuse reaches alarming levels in Mexico

The fact that these heinous crimes against children are increasing demands urgent attention

Child sex abuse reaches alarming levels in Mexico
It is more difficult for children to understand what constitutes sexual abuse - Photo: Jim Watson/AFP
English 23/12/2019 09:16 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:16
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The fact that a minor is not aware of what is considered sexual abuse and how it goes beyond rape, as it also includes fondling, lascivious words, and other inappropriate actions perpetrated by an adult, makes children more vulnerable to crimes that are the equivalent of rape; furthermore, it is alarming that these crimes have increased in Mexico in recent years.

This situation leads us to reflect that is many of the victims of sexual abuse are not aware or don’t acknowledge that they are being abused. This means that the numbers reported are just the tip of the iceberg, upheld by a sea of ignorance and innocence, especially when it comes to small children, who might not be able to understand what type of actions are right or wrong in their relationship with others.

Child sex abuse cases increase by 39% in Mexico

Official numbers show that until November 2019, at least 3,451 cases of sexual abuse were reported in Mexico; almost 1,400 more cases than in 2015. In Mexico City, the number went from 67 cases in 2016 to 268 in 2019. In Oaxaca, sexual abuse has reached alarming levels: in 2015, only 12 cases were reported but in 2019, there have been 202 reports, which means that the victims have multiplied 20 times in this state.

Moreover, in states such as Hidalgo, Jalisco, Tamaulipas, and Tlaxcala, there are zero reports, but instead of being considered as indicator that everything is going well in these states, it might have more to do with the fact that children and teenagers lack orientation and sexual education that allows them to realize they are being abused. Furthermore, even if they feel like something is wrong, their own families dismiss the situation and refuse to take legal action. In other cases, although there were reports, authorities didn’t report the incidents before the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP), the government department in charge of crime statistics.

In conclusion, the fact that these heinous crimes against children are increasing demands urgent attention.

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