Ever since allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein surfaced last year, sexual assault and harassment have taken up a significant portion of the world’s news bandwidth.
While most of the headlines have concerned alleged instances of harassment stateside and in Europe, Mexico is far from exempt from this issue.
Doing their part to address the commonality of unchecked sexual aggression in the lives of Mexican women, a non-profit called “Por un Mejor Jalisco” (For a Better Jalisco) is initiating a program with the aim of educating the public about sexual harassment, as well as better effecting its prevention.
“Frenemos a los Acosadores” (Stop the Harassers) will utilize a wide variety of communicative methods, including workshops, panel discussions, forums, as well as theater, cinema and music.
A central component of the program consists in bolstering women’s confidence, according to the foundation’s president, Jose de Jesus Gutierrez.
“To stop sexual harassment, a key element is assertiveness, the ability to be firm in one’s refusal to let this these type of acts occur,” said Gutierrez.
The organization’s campaign against harassment follows closely on the heels of a proposed change late last year to the state’s penal code which would consider sexual harassment a form of sexual abuse and carry harsher penalties, including six-months in prison for “groping,” and up to nine years if physical or psychological violence resulted from an assault.
According to state congresswomen Liliana Morones Vargas, who headed up the proposal, the laws currently on the books state that penetration has to have occurred for a claim of sexual abuse to be successfully filed. The penal reform is still under review.
For those who have suffered or are suffering from abuse or harassment, the Committee of Citizen’s for Women offers counciling sessions, as well assistance in filing reports. Their office is located at Avenida Sierra Nevada 1046, Colonia Independencia, Guadalajara. They can be reached at (33) 3342-0261 or 3342-0262.