In Nicaragua, like many parts of the world, a woman (young child) has a better chance of being raped then learning how to read. Because families all live together in small shacks, children grow up seeing their parents having sex. Unfortunately, with an entire family all sleeping in the same bed, men often force themselves on to their daughters or nieces. It is quite common for young girls to be raped early on by their fathers or uncles. They then go on to have children quite young and most never finish the third grade.
This was not the first time I was learning of this appalling situation in Central America. I first learned of this when I was 14 years old and staying on an orphanage in Guatemala. I met young girls who gave a first hand account of their experiences. They shared of the accounts of rape and abuse along with their stories of survival and escaping their families. Their stories are that of resilience, strength, and unwavering courage. What young girls around the world face in their life can be tragic, yes. But, more importantly, I want to highlight that what they have overcome in their lives is nothing short of heroic. These women are my heroes.
I don’t even know where to begin in terms of changing this way of thinking towards the appalling treatment of women and young girls around the world. It is overwhelming. But, I am moved by these women and their stories, and I want to be a part of the change that we so desperately need in the world. If you know of any organizations working in this field or a way in which we as women can all be more involved in this dialogue, please comment below so we can feature that information and partner to support these organizations. Thank you.