October 29, 2011
After experiencing sexual abuse, the road to healing is long, but the Association for a More Just Society’s (ASJ) Rescue team is committed to walking the road with survivors and their families.
Patty* has had the Rescue team walk alongside of her in her pain. She lives in a neighborhood in Honduras’ capital city, Tegucigalpa with her mother and several older siblings. She is small and quiet, is a hard worker and a good student, earning the highest math grades in her whole class last year. Patty’s life took a difficult turn last year when her neighbors asked her to come over to help pack spices for their small store. Sadly, instead of packing spices, the neighbor took advantage of the opportunity to sexually abuse Patty, with his wife’s full knowledge.
Patty did not tell her mother about the abuse, because she was afraid that she would punish her. Finally, in January of 2011, Patty began to attend a sponsorship program at a community center where her mentors suspected that she was pregnant. The mentors immediately contacted Patty’s mother who brought her to a doctor who confirmed that she was five months pregnant.
Upon discovering the abuse, Patty’s mother went to the Public Prosecutor’s office to denounce the crime. The Public Prosecutor’s office contacted ASJ’s Rescue project for investigative, legal, and psychological support on the case.
Since the initial contact with Patty’s family, ASJ’s Rescue psychologist has been working with Patty and her family on a regular basis to help her work through her pain and in the initial hearing on March 22, Patty gave her testimony confidently. In addition, with the help of the Rescue investigator, the police arrested the suspect and his wife.
In June Patty had her baby, a girl named Mia, and the Rescue team will continue to support her in this new part of the process. The team visited Patty the day that she came home from the hospital, and brought her some baby supplies purchased through the ASJ survivor’s fund.
Ludim, Rescue’s lawyer, notes “The journey has just begun for this family…the few days that Patty has spent with her baby have been ‘difficult’ according to her.” But, Ludim adds that “Patty will return to school soon. She has always done well in school and continues to want to study.” Ludim and all of the Rescue team will continue to support Patty and her family while she heals.
The Rescue team’s support has been invaluable, both for the Public Prosecutor and for Patty and her family. In the words of Patty’s mother “we know that the Rescue team is supporting us through this time, and we are thankful to God for that.”
*Names changed to protect beneficiaries’ safety and privacy.