LONDON, ONT, March 8 2016
IJM Canada’s #PledgeforParity includes a commitment to ending violence against women in the developing world. In the developing world, women routinely encounter violence—rape, domestic abuse, sex trafficking—and are frequently unable to secure the protection of the law for their safety.
Maya* was only 16-years-old when she was sold to a brothel. She was rescued in an IJM-supported operation and entered a shelter for sex trafficking survivors. Maya chose to testify against her trafficker, waiting for four long years as the case made its way through an over-crowded system. She testified courageously in court and her trafficker was found guilty; he is currently serving a jail sentence.
"Until women, especially women in the developing world, are adequately and proportionally protected from violence with laws that are enforced on their behalf, gender parity will remain unrealized,” says Ed Wilson, Executive Director of IJM Canada.
According to the United Nations, it is estimated that one in five women worldwide will become a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. In the developing world, statistics paint a dire portrait of gender violence:
- In Peruvian cities, 22.5% of women have ever experienced sexual violence by an intimate partner, and 7.2% by a current partner. (WHO)
- One in five women in the Philippines experience domestic violence. (Inter-Agency Task Force on Violence Against Women)
- In Zambia, 38% of women between the ages of 15 and 19 have experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner. (The World’s Women)
- In Thailand cities, 29.9% of women have ever experienced sexual violence from an intimate partner, and 17.1% from a current partner. (WHO)
Roadblocks to justice for a victim of violence in the developing world are particularly devastating. In many instances, laws protecting her from violence are simply not enforced. The UN has found that at least 119 countries have passed laws on domestic violence and 125 have laws on sexual harassment, but women need more than good laws to ensure their protection and to break the cycle of impunity.
At 14-years-old, Chartio* was trafficked into an entertainment club. She was rescued, along with other girls, by national police, but the case against her trafficker stalled—stuck in a broken court system. IJM learned about the case and worked with state prosecutors to move the trial forward. When the time came, Charito testified and later said: "I testified against my abusers so that I can help in giving justice to all who have been victimized and exploited.” After a trial that lasted more than six years, Charito’s trafficker was found guilty.
"Laws on paper are of no use to the woman who does not receive protection from violence in her daily life. We want to ensure that laws protecting women are enforced fairly, honestly and quickly so that women are safe,” adds Mr. Wilson.
Until laws that protect women from violence are effectively enforced, inequality will persist. IJM has proven that effective law enforcement can, in fact, protect women. Learn more at IJM.ca/Our-Solution
For media inquiries, please contact:
Petra Kooman, Public Affairs Manager
(519) 679 – 5030 x. 229
International Justice Mission is a global organization protecting the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems. International Justice Mission Canada shares in this mission.