Mexico ranks first in the world in physical violence and homicide of children under 14 years of age. Rapes in this population group increase year after year so it is urgent to implement solutions. Four girls and boys die daily from violence. The widespread presence of organized crime cartels and social inequity greatly affects children who are regularly traumatized. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), Mexico has one of the lowest budgets in the prevention of these crimes and only 1% of the resources for children are allocated to protection against violence, abuse and exploitation.
In recent years, sexual abuse of minors showed a 39% increase in Mexico. While 2,081 cases were registered in 2015, the number rose to 2,919 in 2018. Eight out of every 10 sexual abuse cases against minors, the abuser is a family member. In the Mexican court system, a minor’s testimony is rarely taken into account. Only the victim’s parents or guardians are legally capable of filing a criminal complaint in family law cases, even though sometimes the child’s parents and guardians are responsible for the abuse. The quarantine due to the pandemic put minors in a situation of extreme danger from rapists. During March and April 2020 alone, more than 159 minors suffered sexual abuse in Quintana Roo, a figure four times higher than the same last year’s period. The actual number is much higher as it is estimated that only one in 10 victims report this crime.
“No child should ever have to endure the trauma of abuse, but it is critical that families going through these excruciatingly difficult situations get the help they need close to home. Expanding access to child advocacy centers and mobile units will ensure more child abuse survivors have a safe place to go to get support from trained professionals and put them on a path toward recovery.”New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
ASCDEM (Agrupation (Organization) Society for the Civil Defense of Minors) is a bilingual child protection organization that puts the needs of victims of child abuse first as a human right and assists local communities to facilitate reports of child abuse effectively and efficiently. ASCDEM is in the process of creating mobile Child Advocacy Centers (CACs). The CAC provides a child-friendly, safe and supportive environment for abused and neglected children. ASCDEM also provides training to local professionals to more quickly recognize the symptoms of child abuse and provide leads of likely abusers to law enforcement partners. Once rescued, the children move into placement of healthy adoptive homes through our foundation, Los Niños Necesitan Familias Saludables, for children who have been trafficked and help them find families who want to adopt them with the approval of the CAC team.
ASCDEM strives to ask them, listen to them, understand them, believe them, and support them.
How you can help
ASCDEM has assembled a team of professionals and advocates, but we lack the desperately needed funding to create the needed mobile CACs and need your help. By sponsoring ASCDEM, you can help us thank the dedicated people whose work helps keep our communities safe and provides healing with hope to the youngest victims. Your donation will also help us continue our ultimate goal of changing the way Mexico responds to crimes against children by building a strong network.
On behalf of the staff, volunteers, advocates, and most importantly the children, we would like to thank you in advance for your commitment to the defense movement for children in Mexico. These children depend on your support.