Sexual violence impacts millions around the world, but women and children are particularly vulnerable to this kind of abuse.
In many regions around the world, the threat of sexual violence is ever-present for children and women, who are frequently targeted because perpetrators know they don’t have the resources to protect themselves. These countries do not yet have an effective justice system response to sexual violence against women and children; police officers are untrained on investigations and courts can’t protect victims during the intense trial process. This reality encourages perpetrators to carry out this horrific crime without consequence.
Nearly 1 in 5 girls is sexually abused at least once in her life.
Up to 50% of sexual assaults worldwide are committed against girls under 16 years old.
Sexual violence, particularly during childhood, can lead to increased drug or alcohol misuse later in life.
A Proven Community Protection Model
In places where the law is not effectively enforced, perpetrators learn that they can get away with their crimes. This makes children particularly vulnerable to instances of sexual violence.
But when perpetrators face accountability for their actions, the crimes are significantly reduced. The result? Safer communities where children can expect to be protected at home, and in their schools and communities.
IJM combats sexual violence in Africa and Latin America.
We rescue victims of sexual abuse, but we don’t stop there. Our goal is to create systemic change that makes lasting impact, preventing violence from happening in the first place.
Together with our partners, we:
RESCUE VICTIMS: We ensure the victim is removed from danger and kept safe from the perpetrator (for example, moving to a safehouse if they are a child in further danger at home).
BRING CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE: We collaborate with local authorities to investigate cases of sexual violence, help arrest criminals and support the prosecution of perpetrators.
RESTORE SURVIVORS: We provide trauma-focused therapy, help survivors prepare to share the truth in court, and support families so children can heal in a safe and stable environment.
STRENGTHEN JUSTICE SYSTEMS: We provide training and hands-on mentoring to law enforcement, judges, medical and other professionals, and advocate for reforms to the court process that protect children and women.
IJM has spent more than 25 years partnering with law enforcement and justice system officials to combat some of the worst forms of violence.
We have proven repeatedly that strengthening justice systems to enforce the law deters criminals and protects people from violence. That's two and a half decades of progress that wouldn’t have been possible without your support and the help of IJM partners. Look at the impact we’ve made together.
IJM-supported operations have had a major impact on cases of sexual violence against children globally. This is our progress so far (as of 2021).
Child Sexual Assault: Practice and Learnings
Originally submitted to the World Health Organization as part of a WHO-UNICEF initiative to implement the anti-violence Sustainable Development Goals relating to children.Read the study
Cassie was 12 when she was lured into online sexual exploitation for 5 years.
Cassie* was 12 when a family friend lured her to Manila. “He told me that he can help me to reach all of my dreams,” she remembers, and at first she enjoyed the big city and nice clothes. Then the abuse began.
“I was thinking, ‘I want to die. I want to die because of this pain, but I can’t,’” Cassie says. “He hurt me every day. It felt very lonely for me because I was very far from my family and I couldn’t tell them what happened to me because I was very scared.”
Help keep kids safe from sexual assault
You can help protect vulnerable children today.
Learn more about our Casework
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Women and children are particularly vulnerable to violence when no laws are enforced to protect them.Learn more about this article
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Sexual ViolenceLearn more about this article
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Online Sexual Exploitation of ChildrenLearn more about this article
Police Abuse of Power
When police are free to misuse their power, vulnerable people are the ones who suffer from their violent actions and false accusations.Learn more about this article