Sexual harassment has to stop
Not only are 9 women murdered in Mexico everyday, they also face rape and harassment everyday - Photo: Edgar Garrido/REUTERS

Sexual harassment has to stop

24/03/2019
09:20
Mexico City
Editorial
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In recent years, a new harassment method has taken place: recording or taking pictures of other people without consent

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Sexual harassment has many faces: from physical attacks such as fondling or brushing to verbal harassment or non-verbal harassment with different intensities, such as sexual hints or comments and even indecent proposals to the victims, even just a look can be intimidating.

Even though polls make obvious how women and men interact in public spaces, we also have to admit that the majority of cases are left out of the polls, and even less are denounced before authorities, as many victims decide not to file complaints and it only becomes an anecdote when there wasn't a material loss. Sometimes, even when the victims reach out to police officers, they are the first to discourage them from filing a complaint at the Public Prosecutor's Office, claiming it is only a waste of time that will have no results or even suggest that the victim will be blamed for being harassed.

In recent years, now that cellphones have cameras, a new harassment method has taken place: recording or taking pictures of other people without consent, especially since they have a sexual connotation. These type of harassment includes pictures and videos focused on certain body parts, especially of women. But a legal void surrounds this type of harassment, which does not punish these criminals, even when they enjoy exhibiting, sharing, and exchanging the material through social media and some even commercialize it by uploading them to pornographic websites. Another method is online harassment when aggressors contact and harass women through social media.

Even when authorities have implemented some measures to prevent harassment in public places, such as the separation between men and women in public transport, these measures have been inefficient. We have settled for establishing physical barriers when what needs to change is the punitive system against harassment, the ideas surrounding differences between genders, and the need for respect between individuals.

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