Psychological Abuse Tops List of Gender-Based Violence Cases in Honduras and Guatemala, IRC Data Shows

Psychological Abuse Tops List of Gender-Based Violence Cases in Honduras and Guatemala, IRC Data Shows

Women and girls in Honduras and Guatemala are in trouble.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has sounded the alarm on the enduring crisis of gender-based violence affecting women and girls. Through a thorough analysis of data collected from protection programs established since 2021, the IRC has illuminated the grim reality faced by many in these regions. 

Relying on insights gleaned from 1,072 women accessing case management services, supported by funding from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), the IRC revealed pivotal findings. 

In Honduras, psychological violence stood out as the predominant form of abuse, constituting a staggering 49 percent of reported cases. Conversely, in Guatemala, physical violence took center stage, representing 39 percent of cases. 

Further analysis exposed the prevalence of psychological violence in Guatemala, ranking as the second most reported type at 37 percent, followed by sexual violence at 14 percent. Meanwhile, in Honduras, physical violence closely trailed psychological abuse, comprising 29 percent of cases, with sexual violence documented in nearly 10 percent of instances. 

Expressing grave concern, Meg Galas, Director for Northern Central America at the IRC, emphasized, “For too many years, women and girls in Northern Central America have suffered gender-based violence. The situation continues to be alarming and has even worsened in countries such as Honduras and Guatemala.” 

Nevertheless, Galas underscored the IRC’s unwavering dedication to breaking the cycle of violence, offering immediate response services, safe havens, psychosocial support, and economic opportunities for survivors. She stressed the significance of empowering women to reclaim control over their lives. 

Additionally, the IRC highlighted the risks faced by girls, with 16 percent experiencing sexual violence based on data from the Child Protection program. Emotional issues accounted for 39 percent of cases, followed by various forms of neglect. 

What Is the IRC Doing to Help?

The IRC’s multifaceted response across El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras includes a range of resources tailored to individuals and families at risk of violence and displacement. This comprehensive support encompasses cash aid, secure spaces, case management, psychosocial assistance, and the CuéntaNos information platform, extending aid to LGBTQ+ survivors of gender-based violence and other vulnerable populations. 

As we enter Women’s History Month, it’s important to recognize the struggles of women and girls. This month is not only to celebrate but to raise awareness on how much still needs to be done for the safety of our sisters.  

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