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A group of women denounces sexual harassment and abuse in the Scouts of Mexico

2020-09-28T22:02:39.297Z

An online survey uncovers more than 120 cases of women who passed through the organization. Half of the complainants were minors when an adult abused them



Photographs of the protest carried out by the women's group in front of the Scouts of Mexico Headquarters / TWITTER

Karla, Ana and Erika have known each other for years for the Scouts of Mexico, a youth movement that seeks to educate children and young people in values ​​such as fraternity, solidarity and caring for nature.

The three girls, whose names have been changed for fear of reprisals, claim that they were abused by their superiors when they were within the group of scouts.

Like them, more than 120 women from all over Mexico reported through an online survey that they were victims of sexual harassment and abuse within Scouts of Mexico.

"50% of the complaints we received were for sexual abuse committed by an adult when the victim was a minor," say from Clan Violeta, a group of women members and former members of the

scout

movement

that promoted the survey.

The most reported sexual assault occurred during outdoor camps, away from the parents, when the victim was asleep, explains Clan Violeta.

"Another very repeated pattern when you are older is in a party environment where girls are taken advantage of when they are asleep or drunk," they point out.

The young women acknowledge that they do not feel safe within the

scouts

, despite the fact that approximately half of the members are women, because the aggressors are covered up, although they have several complaints against.

Dozens of young people from the Violeta Clan demonstrated on Saturday, September 20, outside the offices of the Scouts of Mexico to denounce the abuse and harassment that have been committed for decades in the group.

"This is what I was wearing when I was raped," read a poster over a green shirt with a purple scarf, the uniform worn by girls and boys between 11 and 15 years old.

"This was wearing when he touched me," read another message in a yellow uniform, the one worn by the youngest members, between 7 and 11 years old.

The young women were not received by any representative of the association.

Scouts de México cleaned up in a few minutes the remains of the protest, the complaints and the messages that were left on the wall, as if the nightmare of hundreds of girls and women could be erased with solvent.

"Harassment within the movement has always been silenced so that no one finds out," says Ana. Erika agrees.

When she was 17, she reported a superior for harassment.

Her group asked her for evidence of the touching.

"I went through a horrible revictimization process, everyone knew in the networks that I had denounced the guy and accused me of lying," he says.

Erika made the complaint through Conecta, a platform of the organization to resolve complaints and cases of abuse, but the national leadership told her to fix the problem directly with her group.

One night Karla was sleeping in her tent, a person in charge touched her chest under her shirt.

“My attacker was a person I had known since I was little, who I trusted, he was eight or ten years older than me.

When I told what happened, they protected him and didn't take him out, ”says the young woman who filed a criminal complaint against her attacker.

Ana says that she was always afraid to report her attacker when she was 16 years old because he was a superior, also older than her.

"When we fell asleep, I felt her hand touching my chest, I was very afraid," she says.

The fear he felt during the assault turned into fear that no one would believe him.

“Each time the touching was stronger and more aggressive until she wanted to unbutton my pants and put her hand inside.

I locked myself in the bathroom until the next morning, ”he adds.

"I was not aware of what had happened, but I knew it was wrong because I felt very bad," says the young woman.

This newspaper contacted Scouts de México to find out their version of the accusations.

The organization avoided clarifying whether it will open an internal investigation to follow up on the complaints and whether it will take action against the attackers.

“For us and us it is and will always be a priority to ensure the safety and integrity of the girls, boys, adolescents, youth and adult volunteers who participate in our activities,” says Scouts de México through a statement, sent by email. .

“We reiterate our openness to dialogue with the collective 'Violeta Clan' and with all those who have spoken out as victims of abuse within our organization.

We want to support them and join forces to combat violence in the

Scout

Movement

and thus contribute to leaving the world in better conditions than we found it ”, they respond.

From Clan Violeta they demand the departure of the aggressors of Scouts of Mexico, a protocol against aggressions with a gender perspective, legal and psychological support for the victims and annual training on gender for those responsible (known as

scouters

).

"We can not allow abusers in a movement in which there are children involved," says the collective.

Founded at the beginning of the 20th century by Robert Baden-Powell, the Boy Scouts organization arrived in Mexico in 1926. According to its website, one of its principles is “to participate in community development with the recognition and respect of human dignity.

To form the character of young people and instill in them the fulfillment of their religious, patriotic and civic duties;

discipline, loyalty and help others ”.

Last February, the group in the United States declared bankruptcy, an argument it used to avoid following up on the wave of hundreds of complaints of sexual abuse of minors that they received over several decades.

The young women, faithful to the movement and the promise they made when they were children, assure that with their denunciations they protect their companions and fight to leave a better organization than the one they found.

“What we are doing is for the smallest ones, for those who come after us.

Because many times we have been silenced and we have been discriminated against ”, defends Karla.

“There is a saying that defines us: Once a

scout

, always a

scout,

” Erika concludes.

Source: elparis

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