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Disclosures of sexual abuse by Puerto Rican children: Oppression and cultural barriers.

Lisa A. Fontes

Journal of Child Sexual Abuse (Impact Factor: 0.75). 01/1993; DOI:10.1300/J070v02n01_02

ABSTRACT Seven psychotherapists who had experience working with Puerto Ricans on issues of child sexual abuse and 5 Puerto Rican women who were abused sexually as children were interviewed in this exploratory study about disclosure. Other therapists and clients were consulted informally. Certain cultural norms and factors related to Puerto Ricans’ status as an oppressed minority in the US are identified as making the disclosure of sexual abuse especially difficult for Puerto Rican children. Systematic factors hindering disclosure include discrimination, migration, poverty, and lack of bilingual services. Cultural factors inhibiting disclosure include childrearing practices, the value placed on virginity, and taboos against discussing sex. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

State Outreach Organization

In response to the need for an island-wide approach to fighting the escalation of predatory crimes against children, HSI San Juan partnered with members of local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as local and state government officials and community leaders, to form the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF) in June 2011.

Through PRCACTF, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies work together with local and state government agencies to effectively pool their resources to jointly investigate all crimes against children in Puerto Rico. Through the task force, law enforcement officers are encouraged to share evidence, ideas, and investigative and forensic tools to ensure the most successful prosecutions possible. As such, PRCACTF allows law enforcement to speak with one unified voice in defense of the children of Puerto Rico.

The investigation is part of HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators.

Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

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