Brazil institutions join efforts against child abuse

In approximately 40% of the cases reported on the Disque 100 hotline,

Published in 18/05/2017 - 13:50 By Camila Boehm reports from Agência Brasil - São Paulo

To raise people's awareness on May 18, Brazil's National Day for the Combat of Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, social organizations and the National Secretariat for the Rights of Children and Adolescents joined efforts to launch such initiatives as seminars, flash mobs, studies, and the distribution of material related to the topic.

In 2015 and 2016, the National Ombudsman's Office for Human Rights received over 37 thousand sexual assault reports on its Disque 100 hotline targeting victims of up to 18 years of age—10% of the calls.

Sexual abuse (72%) and sexual exploitation (20%) were the cases most often mentioned in the survey. The other calls were related to other violations, such as child pornography, sexting (sharing sexual content through mobile text messages), grooming (an adult's attempt to win the trust of the victim), sexual exploitation in tourism, and rape.

Most victims are girls (67.69%), followed by boys (16.52%). Victims did not have their gender specified in 15.79% of reports. Men (62.5%) and adults aged 18-40 (4%) are the perpetrators in the majority of cases.

In some 40% of calls, victims were children of up to 11 years of age. Teenagers aged 12-14 and 15-17 totaled 30.3% and 20.09% of victims respectively.

Claudia Vidigal, National Secretary for the Human Rights of Children and Adolescents, said that sexual violence against children and adolescents “is a heinous crime, which is often trivialized and naturalized in our society.”

In the view of Carlos Tilkian, head of the Brazilian Association of Toy Manufacturers (ABRINQ), one of the institutions taking part in the campaign, the best fight is prevention through awareness-raising initiative involving parents and the population in general, as well as educators and health workers.

The National Day for the Combat of Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents was introduced by means of a federal law enacted in 2000. The date was originally an opportunity to remember Araceli Crespo, 8, who was kidnapped, raped, and violently killed in Vitória, Espírito Santos. Despite the heinous crime, perpetrators were never punished.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira

Fonte: Brazil institutions join efforts against child abuse

Edition: Graça Adjuto / Nira Foster

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