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She was a mother because of a rape: "Sometimes I look at the baby and think it is his fault, but I would not kill him"

By hollisterclothingoutlet 06/10/2022 588 Views

377 kilometers away from Guayaquil, on a street without pavement or cobblestones in the new Quinindé (Esmeraldas) is Andrea's house. In her arms, a little boy - who turned five months old on November 25 - clings to the thin body of the 16-year-old girl who cannot hold back her tears when she talks about how her son arrived at the world. Yes, his son, is a girl turned into a mother by force, by the cruel indolence of a man who until now has not been punished.

The Prosecutor's Office records 2,241 cases of rape of minors from January 2017 to last September

On June 25, 2021, very early in the morning, Andrea complained of severe pain and her brother ran to look for her mother. "Mommy, I'm going to die, I'm going to die," she repeated, says Diana, the mother.

6 out of 10 sexual crimes are committed at home, by the relatives of the victims

Teachers in Ecuador find it difficult to talk about sexual education in the classroom, but the shortcomings in the matter already cause hundreds of deaths

They took her to the hospital on a motorbike. It is difficult to get a car at Andrea's house and Diana's husband's motorcycle was the only option. "I'm going to die, I'm going to die," the teenager insisted on the 10-minute journey from the house to the nursing home.

Diana, 35, says that her daughter entered a bathroom at the hospital and Álvaro was born right there. The baby and the young woman were immediately transferred to an operating room to the astonishment of her mother, who assures that it was not until the doctors rebuked her that she learned that her third child was pregnant.

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Nine months earlier, at approximately 8:00 PM, Andrea went out to the store. She had to walk two blocks on a street without lights. Along the dusty street there are four vacant lots, without enclosure, in one there are a couple of green bushes, the others are full of scrub and rubbish.

Tears roll down Andrea's fine face, who makes a long silence, her voice choking. "Let him be found and punished," she pleads, her eyes shimmering with tears.

They put something in my mouth, he says, but the tears win out. That night that she went to her store, they mercilessly raped her and as a result of that rape, Álvaro was born.

When he got home he took a bath, his mother was at work. Andrew didn't say anything. She confesses that she was afraid of being blamed, of being scolded and preferred to keep quiet. She also did not know that she was pregnant, she assures that her belly did not grow, that sometimes she woke up with a swollen belly, but she did not even suspect that she could be expecting a child: "If I knew, I would have told my mother."

She was a mother due to rape: 'Sometimes I look at the baby and think it's to blame, but I wouldn't kill it'

On April 28, 2021, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador ruled the unconstitutionality of articles 149 and 150 of the Comprehensive Organic Criminal Code (COIP) that allowed abortion only in case of danger to the mother or rape of a woman with disabilities and they punished with jail the interruption of pregnancy in all other cases.

The resolution ordered the deletion of the phrase "person with mental disabilities" from point 2 of article 150 of the COIP. With this, the possibility of abortion due to rape was left open.

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“I wouldn't kill him,” says Andrea when asked what she would have done if she had had someone to talk to her about this legal framework and in awareness of her pregnancy.

At school the young woman had been explained what a pregnancy is. “They had also told us that no one could touch our bodies and that we should tell people if that happened, that they should not remain silent.”

And why didn't Andrea speak?: “Because they hurt me and I was afraid that people would judge me.”

According to a publication by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), it is estimated that 58% of girls and boys in Latin America suffered physical, sexual or emotional abuse in the last year. Data from the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) for 2017 show that more than one million girls and adolescents are victims of sexual violence in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Sitting in the dining room of the one-story cement house, Andrea's mother talks about her daughter's “destroyed youth”, but she picks up the broken pieces of her dreams and transforms them into projects despite her At a young age, she wants to be an agronomist and has not given up her studies, although no one at school knows that she is a mother. She again says that she is afraid that they will blame her, that they will judge her for something that she is not responsible for.

“I would like them to catch these bad people and not hurt anyone else like me”, insists the young woman while squeezing her fingers.

The Organic Penal Code (COIP) establishes penalties of up to 26 years for sexual crimes, article 171 imposes a custodial sentence of nineteen to twenty-two years in prison in cases of rape when the victim is deprived of reason or sense, or when due to illness or disability he could not resist; when violence, threat or intimidation is used; when the victim is under fourteen years of age. There are aggravating factors due to family ties (incestuous rape), age of the victim and others.

In all cases, if the rape victim dies, the aggressor will be punished with a prison term of twenty-two to twenty-six years, says the COIP.

But Andrea doesn't know who raped her, she assures that she has never seen that evil face of her executioner again and she doesn't remember it well either because "they put something in my mouth", there is no complaint, nobody is looking for the person responsible for the damage of which the thin young woman speaks, with a dark complexion, who measures 1.55, approximately.

The young woman has not received psychological help. In solitude, she maintains, sometimes she cries and thinks: “they hurt me a lot and I look at the baby and I think it's his fault –her tears roll again and she pauses for a long time-, but I love the baby”.

How driving away bad thoughts changes the subject. In her words, she wants to get ahead by studying with her son, whom she would like to see become a doctor one day.

In the province of Esmeraldas, where Andrea lives, in 2018 there were 18 complaints of rape of minors, in 2019 there were 9, in 2020 the same number and so far in 2021 there are 5, according to the Prosecutor's Office.

Diana, Álvaro's grandmother, affirms that she and her husband, who raised Andrea and another of their fatherless daughters since they were 2 years old, support her in whatever they can . However, she advocates that the minor, who recognized the child with her last name, be considered as a beneficiary of a State voucher , that State that according to the Constitution and the laws must guarantee fundamental rights of minors like Andrea.

In Quinindé, the newspaper El Libertador carried out a crusade to provide the minor with the basics for the baby, shortly after its birth, but the child is growing and with it the needs. Its director, Patricio Aguilar, believes that the aid must be sustained and agrees with the demand to the Ministry of Social Inclusion (MIES) to consider the young mother for a program in favor of victims of gender violence.

*The names of the victim and her parents have been protected, but we have their contacts in the province of Esmeraldas for institutions interested in helping this minor and her son.

It is important to keep the evidence in cases of rape

Whoever has been the victim of rape should not only be clear that they are not guilty and report it, but it is also necessary to keep the evidence. The National Council for Gender Equality on its website explains how to do it.

The victim should avoid bathing until after the legal medical examination, nor should they change the clothes they were wearing.

The entity recommends going to a nearby health unit or aid station (Police, Fire, UVC, political lieutenant). It adds that whoever was raped in their home should seek a safe haven and ask for help from a trusted person.

If the victim was forced to have oral sex, they should avoid drinking liquids or food before the samples are collected.

If she goes to a health home, she must report that she was raped and allow the doctor to examine her so that they can record the evidence, treat wounds and apply treatment to prevent sexually transmitted infections. A victim of rape can demand the emergency contraceptive pill, its effectiveness is within 72 hours. The Casa de Salud must notify the Prosecutor's Office so that the complaint is received.

A victim can also report directly to the Public Prosecutor's Office (Police, Women's Police Station, Police Station, Political Possession, Prosecutor's Office). She does not need a lawyer or any identity document to make her complaint of rape. The procedures are free.

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