Pregnant Salvadoran teens committing suicide after rape

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Sorry I got cut off while speaking to Thom about this, but here is the article that reports the rise of Salvadoran teens committing suicide after the get pregnant through sexual assault. Keep in mind that there is NO EXCEPTIONS ban on abortion in El Salvador.

I am the father of a 3-year-old daughter and don't want her to grow up in nation where she would feel shamed into committing suicide because a criminal raped her.

Larry

http://www.diariocolatino.com/es/20120313/nacionales/101356/Naciones-Unidas-alerta-sobre-altos-índices-de-abusos-contra-la-mujer-en-el-paísNaciones-Unidas-alerta-sobre-altos-índices-de-abusos-contra-l.htm

Martes, 13 de Marzo de 2012 / 10:55 h

Naciones Unidas alerta sobre altos índices de abusos contra la mujer en el paísNaciones Unidas alerta sobre altos índices de abusos contra l

Robert Valent, coordinador residente del sistema de Naciones Unidas, hizo un llamado a reflexionar en torno a la problemática de la violencia contra las mujeres.

Roberto Flores
Redacción Diario Co Latino

Robert Valent, coordinador del Sistema de Naciones Unidas (SNU) en el Salvador, aseguró ayer que los numerosos casos de violencia sexual contra niñas y adolescentes, y el alto índice de feminicidios en el país, representan una situación alarmante, escenario que se agrava al ser ambos actos de las peores formas de violencia existentes.

Las estadísticas en que Valent sostiene sus afirmaciones hablan por sí solas: en el año 2010, del total de mujeres víctimas de violencia sexual, el 84 % de ellas fueron niñas y adolescentes menores de 20 años; 2011 se registra como el año en que más feminicidios ocurrieron en la última década, con 647 casos de mujeres asesinadas por razones de género (por el hecho de ser mujer).

Los datos proporcionados por el SNU se desprenden de las estadísticas que maneja el Instituto de Medicina Legal de El Salvador y el Ministerio de Salud.
La dimensión del problema es tal, que el coordinador del Sistema de Naciones Unidas del país dijo que podría considerarse una situación de emergencia en el país. Los datos de violencia sexual contra la mujer y los feminicidios mandan un mensaje para que las instituciones correspondientes (estatales, organismos no gubernamentales y sociedad civil) tomen cartas en el asunto, declaró Valent.

Los datos que se desglosan del 84 % de niñas y adolescentes menores de 20 años, víctimas de violencia sexual en 2010, son los que llaman más la atención: el 16 % de esos casos se concentra en niñas menores de 10 años de edad. El 75 % de los victimarios fueron familiares cercanos o conocidos de las víctimas.

Las estadísticas sobre el grado de riesgo que corren las menores de edad de ser víctimas de violencia sexual, con respecto a las mujeres adultas, demuestran que el primer grupo es mucho más vulnerable que el segundo: 29 de cada 10 mil niñas entre 10 y 14 años sufren violaciones sexuales, mientras que 9.4 de cada 10 mil mujeres adultas son víctimas del mismo flagelo.

Buena parte de estos abusos resultan en embarazados a temprana edad, que en el año 2011 ascendieron a 26 mil 662; un mil 713 de estos casos son de niñas de entre 10 y 14 años. De hecho, según dijo José Ruales, representante de la Organización Panamericana de la Salud en el país, en un 3 % de estos casos las niñas dieron a luz a su segundo hijo en un período menor a cinco años entre el primer embarazo y el segundo.

Los impactos psicosociales de los embarazos en adolescentes han llevado a que esta situación se convierta en una de las causales de los intentos de suicidios en ese segmento de la población, los cuales se elevan a un 33.6 %. Según datos del Ministerio de Salud, el 50 % de las muertes maternas que ocurren en adolescentes son debido al suicidio y a la violencia.

Urgen acciones
El Sistema de Naciones Unidas en El Salvador instó a las instituciones públicas, familiares, comunitarias, religiosas y privadas, a que fortalezcan su trabajo como entidades protectoras de los derechos de las niñas, adolescentes y mujeres. Según Valent, frenar los abusos en contra de este sector es una labor que requiere esfuerzos integrales de toda la sociedad. El empoderamiento de la mujer en todos los aspectos (político, social y económico) juega un papel fundamental en esta tarea, dijo el coordinador del SNU en el país. Evitar la deserción escolar de niñas, agregó el resto de miembros del SNU, también representa otra forma de prevención en los casos de abusos contra mujeres, al ser el ambiente educativo el primer entorno de protección de estas personas.

Los marcos legales que sirven como garantía jurídica para que se detenga la violencia sexual contra las mujeres también son uno de los principales pasos que hay que dar, según Valent. En este sentido, el SNU reconoció que la aprobación de la Ley Especial Integral para una vida libre de violencia contra las Mujeres, la Ley de Igualdad, Equidad y Erradicación de la Discriminación contra las Mujeres y la Ley de Protección Integral de la Niñez y la Adolescencia, son consideradas como avances.

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lladutke
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Comments

Well, this is a rare situation of socialists sanctioning regressive laws in this area. It seems that this kind of violence is perhaps more common today around the globe than it has been. Often it goes hand in hand with war and civil war or a breakdown of civil society. I don't know what the situation is there that is leading El Salvador to embrace this kind of legislation and at the same time these types of instances of crimes against women are occuring.

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nimblecivet
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

There's no accounting for justice where the Catholic Church holds the pen that signs the laws. Socialist or not, this will be the fate of American women should the theocrats take over.

Does your article come in English, or would you care to translate? Anyway, here's a good article on the subject:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/09/magazine/09abortion.html?pagewanted=all

http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/wha/136112.htm

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Probably the "evangelicals" are no better. The competition for souls may not currently be in the form of religious war, but is in full swing in Central and South America and many places in Africa.

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nimblecivet
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Here is the article run through http://www.spanishdict.com/ which I tried to clean up a little. ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////Robert Valent, Coordinator of the system of United Nations (UN) in el Salvador, said yesterday that the numerous cases of sexual violence against children and adolescents, and the high incidence of femicide in the country represent an alarming situation, a scenario which is aggravated by both acts being among the worst forms of violence. {I think the sense here is that the entire nation is terrorized by this phenomenon.}

Statistics that Valent maintains his statements speak for themselves: in the year 2010, of the total of women victims of sexual violence, 84 per cent of them were girls and adolescents under 20 years of age; 2011 is recorded as the year in more femicide occurred in the last decade, with 647 cases of women murdered by gender (by virtue of being a woman).

The data provided by the UNS arise from the statistics handled by the Institute of Legal Medicine of El Salvador and the Ministry of health.
The dimension of the problem is such that the Coordinator of the United Nations of the country system said that it could be considered an emergency situation in the country. Data from sexual violence against women and the femicide sent a message to relevant institutions (State, non-governmental organizations and civil society) take letters on the matter, declared Valent.

The data broken down 84% of girls and adolescents under 20 years of age, are victims of sexual violence in 2010, which attract more attention: 16% of these cases focuses on girls under 10 years of age. 75% Of the perpetrators were known or close relatives of victims.

Statistics about the degree of risk to minors becoming victims of sexual violence compared to adult women, showed that the first group is much more vulnerable than the second: 29 of every 10,000 girls between 10 and 14 years old suffer sexual assault, while 9.4 every 10 thousand adult females are victims of the same scourge.

Many of those abused are pregnant at an early age, which in the year 2011 amounted to 26 thousand 662; a thousand 713 cases are girls aged between 10 and 14 years. In fact, said José Ruales, representative of the Pan American Health Organization in the country, 3 per cent of these cases girls gave birth to her second child in one period of less than five years between the first pregnancy and the second.

The psychosocial impacts of pregnancies in adolescents have led to this situation to becoming one of the causes for attempted suicide in that segment of the population, which amounts to 33.6%. According to data from the Ministry of health, 50 per cent of maternal deaths that occur in adolescents are due to suicide and violence.

Needed actions
The system of United Nations in El Salvador urged the public, family, community, religious, and private institutions to strengthen their work as protective of the rights of girls, adolescents and women. Valent, curb the abuses of this sector is a task that requires comprehensive efforts of the whole society. The empowerment of women at all levels (political, social and economic) plays a fundamental role in this task, said the Coordinator of the UN system in the country. Avoid the dropout of girls, he added the other members of the UNS, also represents another form of prevention in cases of abuses against women, the educational environment being the first environment of protection of these persons.

Legal frameworks which serve as a legal guarantee for to stop sexual violence against women also are one of the main steps to be taken, according to Valent. In this sense, the UNS recognized that the adoption of the law "special Integral for a life free of violence against women", the "Act on equality, equity and eradication of discrimination against women" and the "law on comprehensive protection of children and adolescents", are regarded as progress.

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nimblecivet
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

That's great, NC—your translation. Thanks!

Heartbreaking.

I wonder if the State Department's summation/link has it right. [excerpt]: Although the government generally respected the rights of its citizens, protection of human rights was undermined by widespread violent crime, including the following: gang-related violence, high levels of impunity from prosecution, and judicial corruption. Other significant human rights problems included harsh, violent, and overcrowded prison conditions; lengthy pretrial detention; violence and discrimination against women; abuses against children, child labor, and forced child prostitution; trafficking in persons; violence and discrimination against sexual minorities; and inadequate enforcement of labor laws." It sounds so much like other South American states, or cities such as the city of Juarez.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I skimmed that report and it said that prostitution is legal there, by the way.

The quote you provided seems deliberately vague on the part of the authors of it. The conclusions seem to indicate that while the government regularly or commonly functions to enforce the laws, it is also part of the problem to the extent that the prevalence of the problem has led to corruption.

I might have to beg to differ somewhat with your assessment of South America in general. I don't want to sound naive, but there are two countries that I know of (I'm pretty sure the only two but not entirely) in that area with female heads of state: Argentina, and Brazil. Chile recently had one and Costa Rica may still.

Then again, I just started a book called War Is Not Over When Its Over which chronicles violence against females across the globe in the context of an NGO worker whose project is based on providing cameras to women in hopes that they can document the problem. For example, Liberia elected a woman with the last name Sirleaf but that chapter talks about women being "beaten in the streets." I haven't gotten to that chapter yet, I just remember that from glancing over the book, but I read the one about Burmese refugees in camps in Thailand. Some of them are from tribes where women wear those gold rings around their necks (apparently willingly although I read that this causes excruciating pain) and tourists drive by unaware that the "authentic hill people" they are gawking at are refugees.

I remember reading an article in the SF Bay Guardian about a study done to investigate minors who are sex workers. It stated that these children are often abused in such a way as to be called, quote, "breaking." If an abusive parent is knowingly able to inflict a "breaking" upon an offspring we can safely assume that this parent has been indocrinated for lack of a better word into a certain mindset themselves through abuse and trauma. The rape of minors would indicate the aim of permanently debilitating the individual. The section of the book I referred to above on Iraqi refugees is quite harrowing. I might also mention that the health care systems of European countries such as Sweden make them a more desireable place for those who suffer from, for example, the toxic effects of U.S. weaponry. Anyway, this indicates to me that there is a broader cultural problem, related to the issue of armed conflict, both of which are tied to the issue of human trafficking.

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nimblecivet
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Isn't it ironic that prostitution would be legal, while abortion is not? Seems like the two would compliment each other nicely. I wouldn't know how to flush out that particular example of governmental cognitive dissonance. So, "as long as we're going to keep our 'nice girls' nice and dedicated to God's laws, we need need to provide sex workers —often trafficked women and children— to satisfy the needs of our men who have no compunction to be 'nice' or to follow God's laws?" But no. I honestly don't know how this works, never having lived in a culture where the church can dictate a woman's reproductive health and destiny (at least not yet), but the government looks the other way, or is involved directly or indirectly, where women and children are trafficked and forced into prostitution. Well, it's all a part of the subordination and powerlessness of women, exacerbated by social disintegration, yes?

I'm not sure I could bear to read the book you're reading. I think of my granddaughters, such spirited, creative little girls, with all the potential in the world, and also with all that huge tenderness and capacity for love as well; and I think of all the little girls around the world who must not be much different from my granddaughters, and I absolutely shudder to think of any one of them being abused in any way. It's more than horrifying.

Nimblecivet, I fear I have misunderstood you as a person. I apologize for that. Now I begin to see you better. Thanks for all that info.

You're right about South America probably being better than I imagine it to be. It's quite the mixed bag, actually. I don't know if I'm alone in this, but I happen to like Hugo Chavez and don't quite understand what makes him a dictator. His parliament apparently has plenty of say over policy. Of course, the usual crime and drug corruption goes on. On the other hand, they've got universal health care, which makes them far advanced ahead of us.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Keep up the good work Zenzoe; and "don't let the bastards get you down." We're all somewhat mixed up aren't we? Although I do believe that some of us, such as yourself, have a handle on something that gives us the kind of grounding we need to carry on.

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nimblecivet
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Thanks, Nimblecivet. And, yes, we're all somewhat mixed up, for sure. I hope I have a handle on something, but I'm not sure sometimes, 'cause I sure fly off it from time to time. ; )

I can't help thinking of what it must be like to be a pregnant child, without options, driven to suicide, just by the prospect of the misery of having to give birth, to suffer the stigma of pregnancy outside of marriage, to say nothing of the prospect of a life in ruination and poverty. And I can't help wondering why it is that priests and legislators and parents and communities allow women and children to suffer and endure such things!

Where did Iladutke go?

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

"Where did Iladutke go?"

Do you have a specific question you would like me to answer?

In general, the situation in El Salvador is getting worse and worse. The removal of the military from public security the keystone of the 1992 peace accords. There were always problems with the implementation of this provision, but it has been effectively killed by the appointment of generals as the head of the Ministry of Public Security and the National "Civilian" Police. Homicides have gone up since these appointments were made. There was a recent drop, with rumors that authorities have negotiated with the gang leaders.

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lladutke
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Hi Iladutke. I just wondered. I always wonder why folks post, then disappear. Glad you came back, and thanks for the information.

These discussions compel me to continue my education, I'm happy to say. I'm wondering if you have lived in El Salvador and can shed some light on how life is there for the average person? I understand that 20% of the population exists in extreme poverty?

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I first visited El Salvador in July 1990 (during the war). I returned in April 1999, September-December 1999, and January-March 2000 for my dissertation research. You can see slideshows of my dissertation trips below. The dissertation is available as Freedom of Expression in El Salvador (McFarland & Co., 2004). I also published an article in the November 2008 issue of Latin American Perspectives on the use of "anti-terrorist" legislation against water rights activists.

Life for common Salvadorans is pretty bad. Fear of crime (with one of the highest homicide rates in the world) is a big issue. The media also fans the flames of this fear with irresponsible coverage. Poverty is, of course, a major contributing factor to the crime problem. Most Salvadorans rely on remittances from relatives in the US. Threats of massive deportations (and thus and end to remittances) are made by conservatives in the U.S. to try to make sure Salvadorans vote the "right way" in elections. The prison systems is at 300% capacity, with many prisoners awaiting trial (or even charges). Others have completed their sentences but fell through the cracks and continue to rot in jail. President Funes has proposed a draft of "at risk" 16-18-year-olds--in other words, poor teenagers. The police/military often round up every teenager in an "at risk" (poor) neighborhood and try to force them into confessing. This, naturally, generates false confessions through coercion and torture. Currently, there are rumors that the government has cut a deal with gang leaders to reduce homicides in exchange for better prison conditions. The government denies this and claims that the dangerous inmates were transfered to LESS SECURE prisons TO PREVENT A BREAKOUT.

Here are the photos:

April 1999 El Salvador Trip: http://youtu.be/0pDfU1Wtkdo

  • Chapel at the Universidad Centroamericana
  • Museum at the Universdiad Centroamerican
  • La Laguna Botanical Gardens
  • National Theatre
  • Joya de Ceren (“The Pompeii of the Americas”)
  • Murals at the Universidad de El Salvador

Fall 1999 El Salvador Trip:http://youtu.be/0Y5ZXl9r_Ow

  • Commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the massacre at the Universidad Centroamericana, including an art exhibit and alfombras (temporary pictures made of colored sand, salt, and sawdust that are destroyed by walking.)
  • Bosque El Imposible park (This is one of the few surving forested areas of El Salvador. Someone asked me “Como fue?” I replied, “Imposible!” The hike was a killer. The slogan should be “take only photos, leave only your stinking corpse.”)

Winter/Spring 2000 El Salvador Trip (20th Anniversary of the Assassination of Archbishop Romero http://youtu.be/ClJn9rU-1D0

  • Romero art exhibit and alfombras outside of the National Cathedral
  • CONCULTURA (Salvadoran government) Romero art exhibit
  • Outdoor Romero mass at the Plaza de las Americas (El Salvador del Mundo) and procession
  • Graffiti identifying ARENA party founder Roberto D'Aubuisson as the intellectual author of the Romero assassination, a well-known fact ignored by the mainstream Salvadoran media's coverage of the anniversary.
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