International Justice Mission – Rescuing Victims of Violence

August 8, 2013

Many people in this world take a stand for various things: the environment, better working conditions or their own political views. The International Justice Mission (IJM) takes a stand and fights for justice. According to the IJM website, the International Justice Mission was “founded in 1997. IJM began operations after a group of human rights professionals, lawyers and public officials launched an extensive study of injustices. This study, surveying more than 65 organizations and representing 40,000 overseas workers, uncovered a nearly unanimous awareness of abuses of power by police and other authorities in the communities where they served.” Because these organizations and workers couldn’t do anything about the injustices nor could they rescue those who were oppressed, they needed an organized group to come to their aid.

This is when the IJM was formed with four main purposes and goals: victim relief, perpetrator accountability, structural prevention, and victim aftercare. The first goal, victim relief, is to get the victims out of their current situation in order to provide safety, whether they are victims of bonded slavery, forced child prostitution, or excessive violence from authorities.

The second purpose, perpetrator accountability, is to ensure that the oppressors and the perpetrators of these horrible injustices are held accountable to the fullest extent under the country (or state or city) laws. The IJM does not come in and try to force United States law on people of other countries, rather they use the system already designed to protect the people of that country by coordinating with lawyers and government officials.

The third goal is structural prevention. According to their website, the International Justice Mission seeks to “prevent the abuse from being committed against others who are also at risk by strengthening community factors that are likely to deter potential oppressors, reduce the vulnerability of at-risk populations and empower local authorities to stop such abuses.” (IJM.org)

Lastly, the IJM seeks to provide victim aftercare, with the long-term goal of success in mind, providing a place for victims to recover and to transition into leading a normal, productive life. Working alongside of government agencies and other local organizations, they help to provide the needed aftercare. These include: “homes for girls rescued from commercial sexual exploitation when they are unable to return to their families, micro-enterprise opportunities for people released from bonded slavery so that they can support themselves, and post -incarceration counseling for victims of illegal detention.” (IJM.org)

To learn more about the International Justice Mission or to donate money or your time and abilities, visit the website.


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