In many regions around the world, the threat of sexual violence is ever-present for children and women, who are frequently targeted because perpetrators, who could be husbands, partners and fathers, know they don’t have the resources or the emotional or mental strength to protect themselves. Though sexual violence is a crime in all countries, many justice systems lack the proper resources to enforce these laws to protect women and children. For example, in certain regions police officers are untrained on investigations, and courts can’t protect victims during the intense trial process. Perpetrators know this and feel emboldened 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.
Our 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 boys and girls 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 experience freedom in their schools and communities.
IJM combats sexual violence in Africa and Latin America.
We rescue victims of sexual abuse, including victims of online sexual exploitation of children, 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.
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.
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
Violence Against Women and Children
Women and children are particularly vulnerable to violence when no laws are enforced to protect them.Learn more about this article
Domestic ViolenceLearn more about this article
Sexual ViolenceLearn more about this article
Millions of men, women and children are trapped in modern-day slavery around the world.Learn more about this article
Sex TraffickingLearn more about this article
Labor TraffickingLearn more about this article
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