Tragically, violent sexual abuse has become a modern weapon of war, used to inflict humiliation and deep suffering upon its victims and, by spreading the HIV virus and destroying women’s marriages and reproductive capacity, the genocide of future generations.
The victims of this methodical brutality, mostly women and girls—but also children, and even babies—bear physical and psychological scars for life, if they survive what for many becomes a pattern of repeated abuse. Many victims find themselves pregnant, carrying offspring of the “enemy,” or discover they’ve been infected with AIDS. Married victims are cast off by their husbands. Unmarried victims are marked and spurned for life. All find themselves rejected by their families and local communities, casualties of war.
Because of our love for Jesus, our hearts cry out for justice against perpetrators of systematic sexual violence and for mercy upon their victims. We serve women and children who have been victimized, recognizing that victims of oppression are among those whom Jesus considers to be the “least of these” (Matthew 25:31-46).