Vulnerable to Violence In Guatemala

In Guatemala young women are vulnerable to many forms of violence, according to the human rights office of the Archdiocese of Guatemala City. Girls are most often the victims of childhood abuse, and adolescent girls are victims of sexual abuse that is often unreported. The office said that young women in Guatemala’s “chauvinist” society are objects of discrimination and in some cases forced to marry and deprived of an education. Girls as young as 10 have become pregnant. Often their abusers are other family members, so the assaults go unreported to authorities. All these abuses of girls contribute to Guatemala’s persisting poverty, the office reports. While laws are on the books in Guatemala to protect girls, they are not fully implemented, and the state does not employ sufficient resources for this purpose, according to the archdiocese. (See Editorial, p. 5.)

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