"Do it well! Pretending you didn't see it is allowing it! Don't hide it! Don't shut it up!"

Every May 18, Brazil celebrates the national day of the fight against sexual abuse and exploitation of children and adolescents. Several institutions of the Augustinian Recollects fight in a way particular against this scourge and, consequently, they have celebrated it.
News | 2023 May 26

The celebration of the national day of combat against the abuse and exploitation of children and adolescents in Brazil generates awareness and training actions by the institutions that work in a specific way against this scourge.

The Province of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine in Brazil manages several of these projects, specifically one specifically for this purpose in Fortaleza (Ceara) and three others that include this protection action in their more general program, the Esperanza Centers in the state of Amazonas (Labrea, Tapaua and Pauini), property of the Prelature of Labrea.

In the first case, it is a comprehensive shelter for girls and adolescents sent by the competent authorities precisely because they have been victims of it and needed a suitable and safe environment for their development. For this reason, at the Hogar Saint Monica Home on the 18th of May is always an important reference date.

This year they have used social networks to raise awareness about the problem and have reminded what are the most common types of violence against children and adolescents in Brazil, according to the official statistics.

49.3% of crimes committed against minors focus on sexual violence and abuse, that is, when an adult uses a minor for sexual purposes, and not only in the case of carnal conjunction, but with any act that generates shame or includes any practice (from exposure to touching). The acts related to the use of the image (whether photographic or audiovisual) of the minor, with the knowledge of it or not, given the ease for recording and mass broadcasting.

The next most committed crime is psychological or emotional violence (24.4%), which includes from the absence of an appropriate environment for the growth of the child to acts that they can cause damage to her mental health and emotional development. The examples are very varied and, unfortunately, very easy to carry out: insults, contempt, threats, lack of absolute affection or attention, excessive anger and shouting, making home a place uninhabitable or a real prison...

This emotional violence usually ends in a very low self-esteem of the child or in the proliferation of mental health problems such as depression and suicide attempts, in a moment of alarm in the face of the strong growth of self-injurious practices among minors.

The next crime is physical violence (15.6%), characterized by injuries against integrity child, sometimes caused with an apparent intent to “correct” or "learning". Many minors suffer in silence these attacks, so common or so inside custom, that the victims consider them "normal" and the perpetrators believe them correct.

Crimes of negligence are next on the scale (10.7%). They are always committed by those directly responsible for the minors, be they their parents, the families that take them in some type of family agreement or the new partners of the biological father or mother of the minor. In this case, the crime is not correctly fulfilling the mission and obligation to provide the minor everything you need for the development of it, are basic needs (nutrition, clothing, home, health) or emotional (security, peace).

Pauini Hope Center

At the Hope Center of Pauini, they took advantage of the day of May 18 to organize a awareness week. In this case, the main objective of the campaign was prevention: train children and adolescents of both sexes who are beneficiaries of the project so that they identify any attempt in time and know what to do and how to report it.

On May 11, the Bishop of Labrea, Santiago Sánchez, and the director of the Hope Center of Labrea, the Augustinian Recollect Sergio Pérez. received the support from the beneficiaries and encouraged them to learn as much as possible by taking advantage of the wide comprehensive offer of the Center: workshops, sports and healthy leisure, food, school reinforcement...

On Monday and Tuesday, May 15 and 16, in all the groups there was theater and a conference with a psychologist. The objective was to identify the moment prior to the abuse, physical or psychological: what parts of the body must remain private and no one can touch or see without permission, what kind of conversations and proposals hide some attempt of abuse, what places and spaces are safe and which may not be…

On Wednesday, a gymkhana was held in which the beneficiaries made drawings and posters and they also represented small dramatized dialogues to reinforce the teaching of the two previous days.

On the same day, May 18, the entire Centro Esperanza joined a demonstration through the streets of Pauini with banners, songs and slogans: Do it right! Pretending you didn't see it is allowing it! Don't hide it! Don't streets!

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Augustinian Recollects Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine.

Paseo de la Habana, 167. 28036 - Madrid, Spain. Telephone: 913 453 460. CIF(fiscal registration number): R-2800087-E. Entered in the Register of Religious Organizations, of the Ministry of Justice, number 1398-a-SE/B. Develepod by Shunet for OAR Augustinian Recollects Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine. © 2018 - 2023.