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  • Alice Justo

A Crime Among Us: the reality of child sexual exploitation in Brazil

Today I decided to bring up an extremely important theme, often silenced, and which has gained popular attention in recent days due to the case of a 10-year-old girl, abused since she was 6 by her stepfather, who ended up getting pregnant. I'm talking about sexual abuse and child exploitation.

I chose a documentary that addresses the subject very well, so that we can better understand the dimension of this problem. I'm talking about "A Crime Among Us". In the documentary produced by “Maria Farinha Filmes”, narrated by Luciano Huck, Dráuzio Varella and Jout Jout, the factors that contribute to the alarming data of the Brazilian Public Security Forum are shown: every hour, 4 girls up to 13-year-old are raped in Brazil. Among these factors, the impunity of the aggressor and the naturalization of the objectification of the infant body stand out, due to a male culture that, sustained in a “fragile masculinity”, feeds on the subconscious of men that if an older guy gets with a younger girl, he is considered virile, strong and catchy. It is worth noting that any sexual relationship, consented or not, with children under 14 is considered rape of a vulnerable person, according to the Statute of the Child and Adolescent (Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente).

When talking about the sexual exploitation itself, the documentary mentions a fundamental issue several times: social inequality. It is one of the main reasons that lead these girls to be exploited, because the lack of basic conditions for a dignified life, a right that should be guaranteed by the State, makes children submit to this violation for a little attention or a package of cookies. However, it is a mistake to believe that only the poorest are subject to abuse or exploitation because, despite being implicit, this violation of rights runs through all social classes.

In addition to the cases and regions shown in the documentary, child sexual exploitation is a reality, unfortunately, present throughout our country, making it necessary for an awareness of the entire population that, directly or indirectly, strengthens the culture of early sexualization. It is hard to talk about awareness processes, but we must all understand that they happen, first, in the individual. When we see situations of abuse, we are helping build different futures and lives for children in our country. Sexual exploitation, combined with social inequality, means that many children have to use their bodies as a means of subsistence or to supply emotional needs.

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