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Thousands of Mexican Women Are Talking About Sexual Harassment for the First Time

Ana Campoy - Quartz
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April 27, 2016

A Twitter campaign is offering an unprecedented view of sexual harassment of women in Mexico. It’s systematic, indiscriminate, and sickening.

Rarely publicly acknowledged in Mexico, sexual harassment is being surfaced via Twitter hashtag #PrimeiroAssedio, or #FirstHarassment, by women posting their first experiences with male bullying and by others wanting to have an open discussion. Hundreds of thousands of posts have circulated in the last three days.

The drive, started by a Colombian columnist (link in Spanish) on Saturday, is reinforcing the issue after demonstrations Sunday (April 24) in Mexico City and other major cities attracted thousands of women. The Twitter record, a poignant collection of heartfelt confidences, will probably prove more powerful.

Social media has become a venting mechanism for touchy subjects that people are reluctant to discuss face-to-face. In Brazil, Twitter hashtags #PrimeiroAssedio, or #FirstHarassment, arose in response to disturbing online comments about a teenage contestant in a TV food competition show. A similar campaign asking people to describe the clothes they were wearing when they were sexually assaulted went viral a couple of years ago.

#MiPrimerAcoso reveals that many women first experienced harassment as girls, as young as five and six years old. The perpetrators of the abuse span a wide range, from relatives - older cousins and uncles are mentioned frequently - to policemen, to random strangers, and in one case, a therapist.

Read the rest at Quartz

Related: Mexican Feminists Declare a ‘Violet Spring’ on Nationwide Day of Action (Waging Non Violence)

Photo: Associated Press

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