Domestic Violence in Mexico

By María F. Rodríguez Domestic violence is defined by acts of violence performed in a house between any members of the family.  The aggressor can be either spouse or even children, but most of the time, women are the victims and men are the perpetrators.   Statistics from the International Center for Research have shown that violence against women is a common occurrence around the world.  Women feel vulnerable and they are afraid to raise their voice.   In patriarchal societies, where men are the head of each family, it is expected that women tend to follow the rules of their culture and their husbands. One predominant country with domestic violence is Mexico.   One of the most common causes of domestic violence in Mexico is when family is experiencing an economic crisis or unemployment.   In Mexico, a woman is a victim of domestic violence every nine days. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, or emotional.   The physical abuse occurs when the aggressor uses physical force that cause harm like hitting, scratching, pushing or biting.   Sexual abuse happens when the aggressor forces the victim to have unwanted sexual activity.  Most victims are not able to give consent so aggressors take advantage of them.   In emotional abuse, aggressors control or denigrate the victims verbally, use psychological abuse by threatening or making them feel worthless.   In Mexico, 80% of the female population suffers violence in their family, work, or community, because they do not know that there are laws that protect them.   The 16th amendment of the Mexican constitution states that government and health institutions must protect every single victim of domestic violence.   Women can have restrictions to their aggressor.  The Supreme Court ordered that in case of domestic violence, the aggressor will be prohibited to enter or be near the victim’s house.   Nowadays, there are many health centers that help women to continue their lives by providing them education, health services, and employment.  For example, Centro de Justicia Familiar (COPAVIDE), Centro de Atención y Prevención a la Violencia Familiar (CAP) or Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF).  These centers are created for victims to make them feel secure and supported, and will hopefully end the epidemic of domestic violence in the country.    
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