Tegucigalpa.- On the eve of the “celebration” of Children’s Day in the country, there are thousands of children who, far from celebrating, live under the slavery and condemnation of constant harassment, which is often rooted in their own homes and from there they are victims even of their own your parents and close relatives.
Children in Honduras continue to be at the center of sexual abusers who commit numerous crimes against this population and are not prosecuted by justice, boys and girls live in the open and are exposed to the wave of violence bordering on crime and as victims of all kinds of crimes .
A recent report published by the Association for a Fairer Society (ASJ) showed that in Honduras every six hours a minor is a victim of sexual violence in the country, where 83.74% of cases go unpunished and up to 90% of abuse occurs in the middle of the child, according to the same study. Of the total complaints of child sexual abuse, which are 1454, 16.25% resulted in a conviction, which means that 83.74 were unpunished.
In Honduras, between 2016 and 2020, about 8,945 complaints of sexual abuse against minors were registered, of which 8,732 were girls and 1,099 were boys, according to the presented study “Index of Impunity and Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse in Honduras (ASJ).
According to this organization, minors who serve as a focus and are victims of sexual violence are between the ages of 15 and 17, as the group with the greatest impact and suffering the greatest impact.
For her part, the representative of the (ASJ), Ninoska Reyes, told Criterio.hn that “I think the first thing we need to emphasize is that there is a pending bill from the authorities that we have had in recent years and the current one, as well as by justice operators to prosecute and punish the crime.
He explained that according to a study done by the institution he represents, it was found that the girls were abused in their own home and in the afternoon hours.
According to Reyes, the state is still not thorough in dealing with sex education and teaching prevention to children to prevent them from being victims of these crimes, he said the Ministry of Education should include it in its curricula , so that they teach children of boys and girls how to deal with these problems.
“What we have in Honduras is a pandemic of child sexual abuse and violence against children in our country, we hope that the president will fulfill his promise to prioritize vulnerable groups,” Reyes concluded.
According to data from the National Observatory of Violence (ONV) at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), there have been 17,000 victims of sexual violence in recent years.
Of these, 88% are women and girls, at least 9 out of 10 have experienced sexual violence, of which 50% of victims are between the ages of 10 and 14, indicating that the victims are girls in development.
It is estimated that in one day 8 women and girls are victims of rape in Honduras, a situation that is alarming and alarming, as it seems that this phenomenon is becoming more normal every day.
In an interview with Criterion.hn criminologist Zeida González stated that “Unfortunately in Honduras this date is not to be celebrated, many children are victims of various crimes in this country, this phenomenon has increased in the last quarter, 51% of our girls and boys are victims of commercial exploitation sex, we regret that our children are forgotten and that there are still no projects to visualize their future”.
“Our children are exposed to the aggressor from the moment they leave their homes and are within sight of people who are dedicated to using boys and girls for sexual abuse, let’s also remember that many times they are coerced even by their own parents ” added the interviewee.
According to Gonzalez’s criteria, in Honduras there is no work on crime prevention, nor are campaigns to ensure the security and social welfare of minors promoted, “in our country the problem will always be the lack of criminal prosecution of crimes, while no work is done to to reduce these indicators for both women and girls and boys, we will not progress”.
The criminologist believes that in order to counteract this scourge, professional child psychology specialists, parents, teachers and children should be involved so that together they can treat and prevent thousands of children from being the focus of the crime of sexual violence in the country. .
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), among the main physical consequences of sexual violence are the death of the victim, whether by murder or suicide, physical injuries, unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted problems including HIV/AIDS, illegal abortions that expose health and women’s lives among others.
It is important to mention that the first 72 hours after sexual assault are vital in reducing the physical impact on survivors’ lives, therefore the victim must be treated in time to ensure the necessary care.
According to the WHO, this care should include the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) to prevent unwanted pregnancy, antiretroviral drugs to prevent sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, as well as check vaccination against hepatitis A and B. In addition to providing psychological first aid and provide social support as needed.
However, Honduras does not guarantee comprehensive care despite the fact that since 2017 the Protocol on Comprehensive Care for Victims and Survivors of Sexual Violence has been drawn up, where guidelines are established, including the use of (PAE), which remains unapproved.
The state also does not provide psychological assistance to the victims so that they can face the violence they have suffered throughout their lives.
It is important to mention that in Honduras there is no system of care for minors who are victims of child sexual abuse, which restores their violated rights, guarantees their protection and access to effective and efficient justice.
The Honduran health system also does not have the institutional structure nor a sufficient team of professionals to help restore the mental health of boys and girls who have been victims of this crime.