TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS – On September 4, 2023, Juan M. Rivera, Vice President of IJM´s Northern Triangle Program signed an agreement with the Representative of the Honduran Public Justice System to improve community security and reduce impunity that ultimately protects women and children against violence.
In 2021, Honduras had the highest femicide rate in Latin America with 4.6 femicides per 100,000 inhabitants, as reported by the Gender Equality Observatory of ECLAC.
According to Infosegura-UNDP, Honduras also has the Justice System institutions with the lowest levels of confidence in Central America. These statistics emphasize the need for initiatives that strengthen the response of the justice system and communities to face violence against women and children, to protect victims and survivors and to deter perpetrators.
To address the pressing need for increased security for women and children in Honduras, the IJM offices in El Salvador and Guatemala used their experience to support the launch of a new project in Honduras. The multifaceted initiative focuses on collaborating with the Honduran Public Justice System (PJS) to build its capacity to serve victims and survivors with a Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) approach.
The term Trauma trauma-informed care refers to how organizations and service providers think about and respond to survivors of trauma. It encompasses not only an understanding of the prevalence of trauma but also its impact on survivors and the complex path to recovery.
Under this agreement, staff of Honduran PJS institutions will attend a series of training that will better equip them to interact with women and children who are experiencing or are survivors of violence. These multidisciplinary trainings have been and continue to be implemented successfully in Guatemalan and Salvadoran areas where people living in vulnerable conditions need more protection, care and access to justice.
When officials who interact with survivors understand the impact of Trauma Informed Care, it becomes easier:
- to communicate effectively with survivors
- to get survivors the help they need
- to obtain justice for survivors
- to reduce the risk of being negatively affected by other’s trauma
As a result of the better equipment of Honduran officials, the women and children receiving sensitive care will be encouraged to continue legal processes to pursue justice. The agreement will also focus on improving the PJS´s efficiency of the case management system for judges.
IJM also signed two work agreements with Centro de Desarrollo Humano (CDH) and Association Calidad de Vida (Quality Life Association), two grassroots organizations committed to Women’s Human Rights protection.
Through these agreements, IJM will support their efforts to build survivor networks that will empower women and children in their communities.
Adelina Vásquez, Director of Human Development Center, expressed in excitement: “this opportunity helps us to coordinate with the justice system. It is a great opportunity, not only for CDH, but for indigenous women.”