Gender-based violence continues to affect women and girls in Honduras and Guatemala, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) warned after analyzing data collected during the implementation of protection programs since 2021.

The IRC processed information provided by 1,072 women who have accessed case management services through a program implemented in Honduras and Guatemala, which is funded by USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). According to data collected between July 2021 and  January 2024, the IRC identified that:

Meg Galas, Director for Northern Central America at the IRC said:

“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. Gender-based violence is a risk faced by women and girls in their homes and communities. We have identified that one of the root causes of internal displacement is surviving gender-based violence.

“IRC teams are working with women and girls to break the cycle of violence they face on a daily basis and can live free from violence. We work to ensure immediate response services, offering humanitarian assistance to survivors of gender-based violence, including access to safe spaces, psychosocial support and opportunities for economic recovery and development. In this way, IRC empowers women to recover and rebuild their lives.”

IRC also identified risks that girls face with respect to gender-based violence. According to data analyzed based on the management of 320 cases from the Child Protection program during 2023, 16% have survived sexual violence. The primary reason for accessing this program in Guatemala and Honduras is related to emotional issues (39% of cases), followed by neglect in terms of physical, emotional, educational, or medical needs (26% of cases).

The IRC's Response in Northern Central America

The IRC assists individuals and families who are at high risk of violence and displacement, including internally displaced persons, returnees, women and children, and LGBTQ+ survivors of gender-based violence. The IRC's response in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras includes cash assistance to cover basic needs; the creation of safe spaces for women, children and LGBTQ+ people; case management and psychosocial support; and the CuéntaNos information platform.