Meet Griselda. She was raped at 13 years old. The only thing that makes her story unique is that she had the help of a lawyer and therefore she got justice. Maybe the most crippling aspect of a rape like hers is the constant fear that it will happen again. Victims that live in developed countries with adequate justice systems fear a recurrence. But victims in the developing world have no where to turn to even resist the violence.
As I read Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros’s new book, The Locust Effect, the realities of how this fear and trauma suppress hope, steal past successes, and paralyze future advances became very clear.
These stories are not just about a particular Guatemalan girl. One third of women in the world have been abused or raped in her lifetime. Poor countries have even more staggering numbers:
Ethiopian women: 49% assault victims
Ugandan women: 48% assault victims
Peruvian women: 62% assault victims
Indian women: 35% assault victims
Brazilian women: 34% assault victims
One World Health Organization study of nearly 23,000 African girls in five countries indicated that more than 25% of school age girls had been raped. Ethiopian girls had been sexually abused at a staggering rate of 69%.
If you want to get the full weight of that, consider how many women are in your family and what these percentages would mean for your family’s experience of assault and rape.
The amazing thing is that in all cases, these violent acts are illegal. But broken justice systems around the world mean that these crimes are rarely prosecuted. In that sense, Griselda is very unique. She had a team of lawyers and social workers with International Justice Mission that were helping her to get justice.
This was healing for her. You heard that in her own voice. Haugen and Boutros argue that enough of these convictions and the perpetrators will reduce their acts of violence. A single conviction does not have that effect, but more convictions will equal fewer acts of violence.
If you want to learn more about this coming revolution in how we think about our justice ministries, check out some of the following:
Check out Gary Haugen’s videos.
Share this blog post or just the video above in your networks.
Buy the book
Advocacy and education are necessary because the solution to this issue will require moving large institutions to action. That only happens if a whole lot of people get heartbroken and angry about the injustice.