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An Amazing Story

Happy Tuesday to you all!  If you do not know about International Justice Mission, now is the time.  They are very savvy about SV (my abbreviation for sexual violence) and work all around the world to bring justice in many areas, not just SV.  I especially love this organization after having gone with them as a therapist to rape survivors in Peru.  It is amazing how creative they are in working with a community to bring about justice and healing.  All that said, they sent out the following story and I am so amazed at it.  Something in this young girl gave her rare courage.  A gift from God.  I pray this happens all around the world, especially in the United States faith communities.

It was in their own home that Magda* and Christina* were in the greatest danger. The sisters’ stepfather, a police officer, started sexually abusing the girls when Magda was 13 years old and Christina was 11. They were terrified into silence—afraid, even, to tell each other about his assaults.

But finally, she could not endure the nightmare any longer—Christina sought help from a relative, desperate to escape the abuse hidden in her home. Finally, the silence was broken. The sisters bravely reported the crime.

It takes courage to report a case of sexual violence—especially for poor girls in Guatemala like Magda and Christina.

In the eyes of the world, the sisters had nothing. Their abuser, an officer of the law, had so much more power. They didn’t know if protection and justice were even possible.

When asked why she decided to testify against the man who had abused her, Christina said, “I want him to stay in jail so he won’t hurt any other girls.”

But the local government contacted IJM—and suddenly, the sisters had a powerful defender. To protect them, IJM investigators secured proof of the abuse and worked together with police to arrest their stepfather. And to give them hope, IJM social workers helped them process their trauma and begin the road to healing and recovery.

Bravely, the sisters decided to testify in court against the man who had robbed them of so much. When asked why, Christina said, “I want him to stay in jail so he won’t hurt any other girls.”

For children suffering in silence, like Magda and Christina, justice and healing may seem impossible. But they are not—not when there is a strong defender standing beside them in the fight for justice.

The verdict was announced: Their perpetrator was convicted and sentenced to 16 years in prison. Now, these sisters are free from their abuser. IJM social workers continue to help them heal.


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