Fighting violence against children and adolescents

Araselli Crespo. Image: AE file

We commemorate May 18 each year as “National Day for the Prevention of Child and Adolescent Abuse and Sexual Exploitation.”

The Secretariat for Human Rights has pointed to the fact that the country is shocked by the large number of cases of sexual violence against children and adolescents. With this in mind, the date was set to help combat such violence. The highlight for choosing this date is the recollection of the violence in the “Araselli case”, a crime that shocked the country at the time. Araselli Crespo was an 8-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted and later murdered on May 18, 1973.

National Day Against the Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents was officially introduced in the country through Act No. 9,970 of May 17, 2000.

To this day, various activities such as lectures and thematic workshops on prevention of violence and sexual harassment are conducted in schools and other social spaces.

In Brazil, there is a device that helps to report violations through Dial 100, a free service provided by the Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic of the Republic where anonymous reporting of young people who feel threatened or who suffers. Violence is registered.

Violence against children and adolescents can be of any kind, be it sexual abuse, physical or mental violence, sexual abuse, etc.

Not only sexual abuse, which usually occurs within the family, but also sexual abuse is fought on this date.

There is a lot of confusion between the two crimes against children and adolescents about the meaning of sexual abuse as well as sexual abuse. There are two different behaviors. Sexual exploitation includes the use of children or adolescents as a means of financial gain, giving minors an “instrument” of sexual gratification.

Sexual violence occurs in any situation of abuse of power where children and adolescents are used for sexual gratification of adults, incited or forced into sexual practice. This violation of the rights of children and adolescents directly interferes with the development of healthy sexuality, resulting in harm that is often irreversible. Sexual violence affects children and adolescents of all ages and social classes.

Sexual abuse is any sexual activity between an adult and a child or adolescent for the purpose of satisfying an adult and / or other adult. Behavior can occur through physical threats, verbal, temptation or even manipulation. In most cases, it is committed by a person known to the child or adolescent, usually a family member or close family friend. This can happen with or without physical contact, and not just in the case of intrusive sex, such as caricatures, erotic discourse, showmanship, visualism, pornographic material, among other ways of abusing these victims. Sexual abuse situations do not involve paying or satisfying children or adolescents or any intermediaries. Sexual exploitation, on the other hand, is characterized by the sexual relations of a child or adolescent with adults through the payment of values, favors, or gifts, i.e., children and adolescents are made objective or objective. Sexual exploitation of children and adolescents occurs in a variety of contexts: broker sexual activity (by exploiters), trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, pornography, sexually motivated tourism, and highways and large work scenes, all of which increase the risk of sexual exploitation.

On May 18, there are ways to support the cause of child abuse and sexual abuse against adolescents. First, it is important to know that talking to a child about sex from an early age is an essential tool for prevention. Children are better protected in situations of risk of sexual violence with access to information about consent, intimacy and self-protection.

It is the duty of adults to be with children and adolescents who are victims of sexual violence, as they often show a change in behavior that should be a sign that something is not going well.

Finally, it is important to report any suspicions of child or adolescent abuse or sexual abuse to any actor who protects children and adolescents, such as Dial 100, Tutorial Council, 190, 181, Child and Youth Court, health and education professionals. .

Caring for children and adolescents is the duty of the family, the community in general and the government.

* Douglas Galliazo, Professor of Human Rights at Estacio

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