Addressing the crisis of sexual abuse in Guatemala

By March 3, 2016
Guatemala (MNN) — Earlier this week, we told you about a ground-breaking meeting that took place in Guatemala, less than a week after the new presidential administration had been sworn in to office.
Representatives from Orphan Outreach met with the First and Second Ladies of the country to discuss the future of care for orphans and vulnerable children.
Michael Swigart

(Creative Commons/Michael Swigart)

But the discussion didn’t end with adoption, foster care, and residential care. Mike Douris of Orphan Outreach says the talks of partnership between the public and private sectors of Guatemala extended to the issue of sexual abuse and trafficking.

Even for a seasoned orphan care professional, the statistics are difficult to share. “There was an article that came out recently in the Guatemalan papers that said that eight out of ten women in Guatemala have been sexually abused in some manner. And the number of children that are 10 years old, 11 years old, 12 year old that are being raped and having babies is just horrendous in Guatemala,” says Douris.

Plans are already underway to develop a model of comprehensive care at a Guatemalan government home that serves girls and young mothers who have been raped, abused, or trafficked. Douris believes the partnership between the government and the private sector–especially the Guatemalan church–has the potential to change history.

Dave Wilson

(Creative Commons/Dave Wilson)

“We’re actually having an opportunity to build a coalition of agencies who have a real burden for this particular issue, and be able to really talk to churches about how they can get into this area and make a big difference in these kids lives, but also educate the public of the massive problem of sexual abuse in Guatemala.

“It is easy to get caught in public policy, procedures, legal issues, politic, and the like, but if our work does not help the child who is in an orphanage or in a home that is abusive and provide healing, hope, and love, one could argue we have lost our way and drifted off the road named ‘Making a Real Difference.'” For Douris and others focused on orphan care in Guatemala, there is renewed hope that the the road will be well-marked going forward.
Stay updated on the partnership initiative in Guatemala by following Orphan Outreach here. 

One Comment

  • Thank you for making me aware of the current situations around the World, pray I can help, I need to pray too for you and the sweet people you serve. I lost employment do a diagnosis by a cardiovascular doctor, for my truck license thinking he is wrong about Stent treating…Pray the Lord directs me even more, pray the Lord restores wealth (giving for missions…)and my health too. Maybe the God is moving me different ways. Thank you.

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