Brazil: 70% increase in sexual assaults against children reported

Brazil: 70% increase in sexual assaults against children reported

Friday, May 19th 2023 – 10:26 UTC

The victims’ cries for help come in very subtle ways, an expert explained

In the first four months of 2023, 17.5 thousand sexual violations against children or adolescents were registered by the Dial 100 emergency line, a 70% interannual increase, according to Brazil’s Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship data released by Agencia Brasil.

Subtle signs such as aggressiveness, lack of appetite, and social isolation can denounce that something wrong is happening in the life of a child or adolescent. This is what the educator and director of a school in Brasilia, Carol Cianni, says. Sexual abuse is one of the causes of such behavior and the growth of this type of crime in Brazil is frightening.

In the first four months of 2023, a total of 69.3 thousand complaints and 397 thousand human rights violations against children and adolescents were registered, of which 9.5 thousand complaints and 17.5 thousand violations involve physical sexual violence – abuse, rape, and sexual exploitation – and psychological violence, the ministry data showed.

The home of the victim, suspect, or family members is among the worst scenarios, with almost 14 thousand violations. Also in the first four months of the year, 763 complaints were registered and 1.4 thousand sexual violations occurred on the Internet. In the entire virtual environment, there were records of sexual exploitation, with 316 reports and 319 violations; rape, with 375 reports and 378 violations; physical sexual abuse, with 73 reports and 74 violations; and psychological sexual violence, with 480 reports and 631 violations.

The data were consolidated by the Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship (MDHC) on the occasion of the National Day to Confront the Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, remembered Thursday.

Cianni highlights that family and school play a fundamental role in prevention. For her, taking the theme to the classroom in a light and assertive way, explaining that the body is something intimate and sacred, helps students understand. She also says that the school needs to be alert to any change in student behavior in order to intervene quickly.

“At school, teachers observe everything: how the child plays, how he eats, how he lies down to relax at rest time, and how he relates to his classmates. So we have a close look at every detail of the child’s behavior so that we can help them. This is because the little ones’ cries for help come in very subtle ways,” she explains.

Psychologist Caroline Brilhante says that most of the abuses against children and teenagers are committed by people close to the victim and in environments known to the family. Therefore, it is important to always be alert.

She stresses that monitoring and restricting internet access can prevent children from being exposed to risky situations.

“One of the ways to prevent this is to restrict the child’s [internet] screen time and even that of the teenager. Implement filters on access to content that is outside the age range. Pay attention to the behavior of the child or young person about sex because a sudden interest in the subject may indicate a problem,” she points out.

(Source: Agencia Brasil)

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