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NEW donation DSC05480 jpg 2022 04 Guatemala Survivor Tatiana Approved for Full Use

An innocent game turned into a nightmare

Tatiana thought she was agreeing to a fun, childish game. Then, it turned into a nightmare that would stay with her for years

Tatiana was only four years old when it happened.

She wanted to play and laugh and have fun—everything a child should be allowed to do. She remembers that outside the house, “you could hear laughter and voices of children playing.”

That’s when a teenage boy told her they would play hide and seek. A fun, innocent game.

Until it wasn’t.

He coaxed her into his room and raped her.

She wasn’t the same after that.

With a gift today, you can help more women like Tatiana find community in peer support groups.

GT MHI Survivor Tatiana 2 Oct2021 jpg 2021 10 Guatemala Survivor Tatiana Approved for Full Use

Her family moved to a new home, but that didn’t change what Tatiana was dealing with.

“For years, I dealt with trauma manifested in guilt, anger, feeling helpless, and even identity loss. I would just “wear” a mask in my day-to-day activities [so people couldn’t see the trauma].”

Sadly, Tatiana’s story of sexual violence—and suffering in silence—is all too common.

As Anaeli Rodas, IJM Latin America staff, says, “To be female in Guatemala is to be part of a vulnerable population. To be female in Guatemala is to be a person who will likely be a victim of violence. It does not matter what level of education a woman holds, what social class she is part of, or even what language she speaks—the reality is that the risk is high.”

Even worse than that, perpetrators know they can get away with their heinous crimes.

In fact, almost all of them go unrestrained. Only 6% of reported cases of sexual violence in Guatemala eventually reach a verdict.

While Tatiana’s story may be similar to so many women in her county, it isn’t hopeless.

GT MHI Survivor Tatiana 4 Oct2021 jpg 2021 10 Guatemala Survivor Tatiana Approved for Full Use

Help women like Tatiana find hope and healing with their fellow survivors.

Just one year after IJM Guatemala founded Mi Historia Importa (My Story Matters), Tatiana got connected to her peers there.

It’s groups and movements like these that give women in Guatemala like Tatiana a safe place to find hope and freedom.

They’re also a place to find meaningful, lasting community. As Tatiana says, “I found a community of survivors… I have found friends that have become family.”

Not only has this group become a family for Tatiana, it becomes a community of people who are determined to fight for justice for other women and girls just like them.

Today, Tatiana has learned that she doesn’t have to wear a mask because of her trauma. Instead she proudly uses her story and her voice to advocate for change.

“I seek to help others to let their voice be heard through their stories. Because your story and my story matter!”

*A pseudonym

With a compassionate gift today, you can help more women like Tatiana find the hope and healing they deserve.

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