Latina women suffer from attitudes on rape

Sexual assault of Mexican American women is a closely guarded secret in the central valley. Eighty percent of all women entering the country illegally are raped and never reported.

On top of racism, poverty, under-employment and physical abuse, Latina women are subjected to destructive cultural attitudes about sex. Women refuse to report rape due to the manner in which it is handled. Another reason is the reaction of family that responds with shame and blames the victim. In addition, Mexican filmmakers often depict anti heroes like Vicente Fernandez, who usually fights for justice, in El Hombre Llamado El Diablo, 1983, raping a woman.

The director would have us believe the victim is so overcome by passion; she falls in love with her attacker. This implies a woman’s protests are not real.

Today, millions of our wives, mothers and sisters have never told anyone they were raped. Most rapes are usually perpetuated by a relative or other known person. Rape causes tremendous harm; the victim’s life is often completely altered. There is no such thing as a one-time rapist.

— Jorge Martinez,