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Children aged 2-11 years: Most common victims of sexual abuse
A study showed that little girls between six and 11 years of age are the most vulnerable and child sexual abusers often fall between the age of 36 and 40 - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL

Children aged 2-11 years: Most common victims of sexual abuse

30/10/2018
13:40
David Fuentes
Mexico City
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The Citizens' Council of Mexico City revealed that 7 out of 10 child sexual abuse victims are aged 2-11 years

According to a study delivered by the Citizens’ Council of Mexico City, children between two and five years of age are most likely to become victims of sexual abuse and their aggressors are often part of their closest circle: Stepfathers, grandparents, teachers, and to a lesser degree, their own brothers.

For instance, the study shows that little girls between six and 11 years of age are the most vulnerable and child sexual abusers often fall between the age of 36 and 40.

The council specified that a plan to deal with the problem of child abuse had been put in place since 2013.

They informed that they had attended almost 100 claims of sexual abuse, in which they noticed that underage girls were the main victims of sexual abuse, accounting for 80% of cases.

Broadly speaking, children between two and 11 years of age are the most common victims of this type of crime, with 7 out of 10 cases, which is equal to 72% of cases reported. The remaining 28% of victims fall between the age of 13 and 17.

When performing a comparative study by gender, it was noted that girls suffered child sexual abuse between the ages of six and 11 years in 35% of cases, followed by girls between two and five years old in 28% of cases. In the case of boys, most victims of child sexual abuse fell between the age of two and five, with 36% of cases. In 29% of cases, boys were aged between six and 11.

One of the most common myths surrounding child sexual abuse is that victims usually have a mental or physical disability; however, according to the council, it was observed that this was only true in 5% of cases.

As for the offenders, they are mostly male (96% of cases), with very few female aggressors (4%). Abusers are mostly 36 to 40 years old (20%) while in 12% of cases, they are between 26 and 30 years old (12%), and in 12% of cases, they are over 70 years of age.

Another myth that the council debunked was that aggressors are mostly strangers. According to their study, abusers are usually part of the victim’s circle, mainly their stepfathers and grandparents, each of which account for 15% of reports. 13% of the aggressors were uncles, 11% were fathers, 10% were cousins, 8% were neighbors, 7% were teachers, and only 3% were brothers.

The fact that abusers are acquainted with the victim is also related to the places in which these crimes are committed. In 69%, they occur in the victim’s house; 8% happen at school; 6%, in their grandparents’ house, and another 6% happen on the street.

It is also a common misconception that the acts of child sexual abuse are infrequent or that they only happen once, when it has been noted that in 21% of cases, sexual abuse lasts between one and three years, while in 20% of cases, the abuse lasts between one and 11 months, and in 36% of cases, the period during which the children suffer sexual abuse is unknown.

The sexual abuser will usually show him or herself as someone approachable and sympathetic to generate trust, leading the victim to a place where he or she can commit the crime. Likewise, he or she will use fear to manipulate children into keeping the abuse a secret.

In order to prevent sexual abuse among children, parents should be able to speak clearly with their kids about limits and teach them that their body is theirs alone, and no one should be allowed to touch it.

Abusers will most likely use threats to maintain the secret, which is why it is very important that whenever a child decides to speak up, his or her parents and tutors listen to them.
 

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