Sexual Violence

IJM Guatemala: Best Practices Become Permanent Reforms in the Justice System

Most impoverished families in Guatemala do not think justice in a court is possible, at least not for them. Families face significant obstacles in order to report a crime or take a case to trial. Even then, the justice system is complicated and intimidating—especially for children.

IJM has seen these obstacles firsthand. Since 2005, a small team of Guatemalan lawyers has been prosecuting cases of child sexual assault, while IJM social workers help the survivors receive holistic care.

IJM Bolivia: Conviction Brings Justice to Micaela and “Hope for a Future”

LA PAZ, BOLIVIA – Micaela* has endured more suffering in her 18 years than most will experience in a lifetime. Half her young life has been marred by a neighbor who repeatedly assaulted her and forced her to have two abortions. This month, that man was finally found guilty and sentenced to prison.

Secret Abuse, Hidden Pain

IJM Rwanda: Landmark Conviction Against Man Who Assaulted Naima

KIGALI, RWANDA – Naima* was only 15 years old when a man in her neighborhood befriended her and invited her to his home. She could have never known what would happen next: He forcibly raped her and threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone. Fearing for her life, the girl stayed silent.

A few months later, Naima became sick and—at the hospital with her mother—found out she was pregnant. She bravely confessed what her neighbor had done, and hospital staff called local police and IJM Rwanda to help.

Standing Strong for Children

IJM Bolivia: The Truth is Finally Declared After Terrible Abuse and a Hidden Pregnancy

LA PAZ, BOLIVIA – This August, after terrible abuse, a hidden pregnancy and a complicated birth, Denise* finally got the closure she longed for: Her rapist was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

A Violent Attack, A Hidden Pregnancy

When IJM first met Denise in 2010, she was eight months pregnant. Denise had just recently learned about her pregnancy—the result of a violent attack.

For months, she had dared not tell anyone about the night that her neighbor had attacked her.