‘Girls are an economic asset’ in the impoverished South
Santo Domingo.- A joint study by Plan International and Unicef found that 50.9% of youngsters from 13 to 20 years of age polled in the South region claimed to have had sexual relations at least once in their lives.
Of those, Plan International says that 26.8% said they had done it with a person 10 or more years apart, and 11% had done it at least once in exchange for money or any other type of compensation.
The study “Invisibles under the sun: A look at the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in the Enriquillo region” is a summary of an investigation carried out in the project “Adding efforts: prevention of the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in the Dominican Republic.”
The international organizations noted that the survey ENHONGAR-MICS 2014 found that the percentage of women aged 20 to 49 who were married or united before age 18 in that region was 48.6%, and a 17% before the age of 15, surpassing the national average.
Unicef representative Rosa Elcarte, said the authorities should improve the services and attention to minors victims of sexual abuse, “since despite the efforts, are insufficient.”
“Most cases in the south occur in the poorest communities, where parents use their girls as an economic asset. Then the girl is marked, and not always receives the help or attention she deserves from the institutions that are called to help,” he said.