LA PAZ, BOLIVIA – Central Plaza is always a hub of activity. Food vendors and street performers vie for the attention of Bolivian families and tourists alike. But the crowd that gathered by candlelight on a Tuesday night in November was different: More than 300 people descended on the plaza holding signs and peacefully calling for an end to the plague of sexual violence in their country.
LA PAZ, BOLIVIA – A three-year legal battle finally ended on Friday when a man was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years in prison for sexually assaulting his stepdaughter. The IJM lawyers who fought relentlessly on behalf of their client Rosmery* celebrated the just ruling because of what it means for her.
"Rosmery knows that her strength is what defines her story—not what happened to her in the past. The conviction in court brings justice and closure to Rosmery," said IJM social worker Jeshika.
Suffering in Silence
GUATEMALA CITY – For nearly two years, IJM Guatemala has been advocating for six girls who were victims of brutal sexual violence—aged 6 to 15 years old. It's a unique case for the IJM team that handles child sexual assault cases, as these girls were being sexually abused in videos and photographs posted online.
These six girls are just a fraction of the dozens reportedly exploited on a website targeted by the U.S. Department of Justice in a massive takedown of pedophiles that spanned five continents.
Dreamboard: Abuse on a Massive Scale
LA PAZ, BOLIVIA – Two years ago, 11-year-old Beatrice* went shopping with her neighbors. She knew them well—the family had children close to her age, and the father was actually her godfather. But on the way home from running errands, Beatrice was betrayed: The man she and her family had trusted for so long sexually abused her.
Beatrice was hurt and confused—and too afraid to tell anyone what had happened.
The Awful Betrayal and Public Abuse