MANILA, PHILIPPINES – One young survivor made great progress on her journey to justice this week, as a Philippine court convicted Marikit's* father for sexually abusing her. He has been in jail since his arrest in 2007, and – with Monday's conviction – he will remain there for at least eight more years.
Marikit and her mother, who were seated across the narrow aisle from her father during the hearing, were visibly relieved when the judge issued the conviction. Marikit's father had sexually abused the girl for years throughout her childhood. When she was a young teenager, Marikit became pregnant as a result of the abuse and gave birth to a baby girl. Marikit bravely reported him to police with her mother's help.
IJM attorneys have been seeking justice for Marikit in court since 2008, when a local hospital brought the girl to IJM for help. IJM social workers found Marikit the care she needed and helped her emotionally process the abuse and her new role as a mother. Today, she is a stronger young woman and is looking forward to obtaining a college degree.
Marikit's father still faces charges in a second court for other crimes he committed against her. But after years of worry, Marikit and her mother were deeply relieved at the court's decision this week.
Her IJM attorney says, "This conviction is a clear sign that justice is being served, one step at a time."