A report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warns that family violence against girls in Mexico rose sharply between 2010 and 2014.
According to the study, 18,000 girls were victims of family abuse in 2010, a number that rose to 24,000 in 2014.
In 2015, almost 700,000 adolescent girls between the ages of 15 and 17 experienced family abuse.
At the study’s presentation, UNICEF Mexico’s Christian Skoog called the situation “alarming,” and said that improving data about violence against children is an important part of addressing the problem.
“Violence affects all minors, without regard to their condition,” he said. “In that sense, the lack of data reduces the probability that their rights will be reinstated.”
Oscar Jaimes Bello, a director of the national statistics institute (Inegi), agreed with Skoog that current statistics about violence against children are insufficient.
“There is statistical information about violence against boys, girls and adolescents, which allows us to measure some of the patterns, in a very general way,” he said. “However, the availability and disaggregation of the data limits the ability to understand and measure the problem.”
In general, family violence affects girls much more than boys.
The study found that 1,468 minors were murdered in 2017, up from 1,126 in 2016. There were 5,790 missing children in 2017, 60% of whom were girls.
The study also found that 63% of children under the age of 14 had experienced some kind of violent discipline in the month before the survey was taken. The most common forms were psychological and corporal punishment.
The highest percentage of acts of violent discipline were carried out by siblings, accounting for 28%, followed by mothers at 24% and fathers at 20%.
“Violence against children at home has been naturalized,” said Skoog. “Our society believes that there is nothing wrong with hitting or mistreating a child because of something he or she has done.”