IJM Guatemala: Justice is Part of Restoration for 7-Year-Old Kimberly

GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA – A man who raped his 6-year-old niece was convicted and brought to justice late last week. Because the victim of the sexual violence was so young, the judges doubled the required sentence, ordering the rapist to serve 24 years in prison.

Supported by her family and IJM staff, Kimberly* chose to participate in the trial against the uncle who had repeatedly raped her for over a year. Miriam Cruz, one of IJM Guatemala’s social workers, describes Kimberly’s mother and grandmother as “valiant women,” eager to see justice secured as part of the little girl’s holistic healing.

“She is recovering still. But part of Kimberly’s restoration is to see justice being done.” 
IJM Guatemala Social Worker

Emboldened by her supportive mother’s presence in the courtroom, Kimberly, now 7 years old, boldly took the stand before the lawyers and judges. Her emotional testimony was simple and straightforward. The court issued the just ruling the same day, convicting the aggressor and honoring Kimberly’s bravery and honesty.

IJM has helped Kimberly get much-needed treatment for a medical condition contracted from the abuse, and she continues to receive trauma-focused counseling.

“She is recovering still,” says Miriam. “But part of Kimberly’s restoration is to see justice being done.”


*A pseudonym has been used for the protection of this IJM client.