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SVRI Research Grant #16Days 2022 Blog Series

  1. National Institute of Public Health
  2. National Institute of Psychiatry “Ramón de la Fuente”

Read this blog in Spanish.

The National Institute of Public Health of Mexico was awarded a grant from the Sexual Violence Research Initiative at the beginning of 2022 for a research project entitled: “Application of artificial intelligence in the prevention of child sexual abuse in Mexico:  Paint your stripe ASI (CSA).”

In October 2022, the research team co-facilitated a series of participatory workshops in selected municipalities who have incorporated gender alerts[1] into their work. The purpose of these workshops was to raise awareness of and lay the groundwork for the study.


[Workshop in Nayarit province]

The workshops were held with personnel from government agencies responsible for the prevention and response to child sexual abuse (CSA) in partnership with key stakeholders in the field from two Mexican states: Nayarit and Morelos, where the study is taking place. Directors of the municipal women’s offices and the National System for the Integral Development of Families (DIF), psychologists and prosecutors shared their experiences in responding to CSA.

Picture1 Mexico Blog (1)
[Workshop in Morelos province]

Key findings from the workshops

In the discussions, we observed that – even though the institutions have limited financial and human resources – there is a great willingness and commitment on the part of staff to respond to CSA cases. Participants repeatedly mentioned the lack of specialized psychologists and the need for tailored training to be able to adequately contribute to the prevention and response of CSA cases. The lack of specialized skills and training of personnel is also reflected in the lack of awareness raising activities such as workshops and focused talks on CSA at the community level and in primary schools.

Another challenge in terms of provision of services to CSA survivors is the lack of coordination among different government agencies involved. The lack of coordination also extends to interactions at ground level with primary schools and communities at large.

In the workshops, experiences with CSA cases were shared and it was acknowledged that this problem is still hidden in society and seen as a taboo subject. Workshop participants highlighted the need for awareness raising on child sexual abuse, the relevant laws in place and the existence of available services and care centers.

The information gathered in these workshops provided useful insights that will be used in the research project “Paint your stripe ASI (CSA)” and will also contribute to develop strategies and assist in the implementation of public policies aimed at the prevention and response to CSA in Mexico.

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[1] Gender alerts are mechanism implemented by the government to draw attention to, and take action on violence against women, both Mexico wide and in particular municipalities with high rates of femicide – Alerta de Violencia de Género contra las Mujeres | Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres | Gobierno | gob.mx (www.gob.mx)

Written by Leonor Rivera Rivera1, Marina Seris Martínez1, Dolores González Hernández1, José Alberto Jiménez Tapiaand Sandra Treviño-Siller1

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