20 July 2010

Justice in Guatemala

For two years Cristofer was sexually abused by his father. Now he's four and his father won't be out of prison until Christofer is an adult.

It came to light like any other abuse. Cristofer's mother noticed the four year old acting strange. He said, "Mommy, you're going to be left without me. I'm going to die because of what daddy is doing to me." After being abused as a child herself, she understood. She decided to protect her son and report it to Guatemala City's Public Ministry. Thats when IJM got involved.

Cristofer opened up to IJM psychologists about the abuse, but court was different. When put on the stand for questioning, he froze. Before the trial, Cristofer spoke with his father. He promised to give his son a horse if he stayed silent.

In cases where a child has gone silent during trial proceedings of an abuse case, Guatemala is known for letting their abusers go free. This time that wasn't the case. Because of testimonys from the forensic doctor and psychologist, the judges where able to see the truth. Cristofer's father received a 16-yr sentence.

Cristofer will continue receiving therapy and can rest assured that his cry was heard, and justice has been secured.


IJM