Raped, Pregnant Girls Are The Focus Of This Searing Photo Project

Photographer Linda Forsell says her project Children Having Children portrays the reality that many Guatemalan girls face.

Linda Forsell is the creator behind a new series of photographs titled Children Having Children, a look at the harsh reality that many girls in Guatemala face.

What shocked the Swedish photographer the most was the "normalization of incest" that happens in many parts of the country.

According to the photojournalist, there are many people who aren't aware of this situation in Guatemala, so she hopes her project will begin a conversation.

"They are in a prison without walls where they lack opportunities, have full responsibility for a baby, and most importantly a future, which is in the hands of their parents or husband," Forsell said. "Thus dreams become limited or non-existent."

The girls who have received help and support from their families have achieved tremendous progress in the two years that Forsell has worked with them, she said.

One of the girls was told that she was a bad influence on the other girls at her school when her belly started to show after being raped by a 53-year-old man tied to a tree. Thus, they are continuously punished and stigmatized for what was done to them.

The girls' schools teach them nothing about sexual education or about pregnancies, which is why many of them don't know what's happened to their friends or peers until it happens to them as well.

There are strong forces that obstruct education on reproduction and gender equality in Guatemala, since it is believed to be something to be kept within the family. But I believe that teaching girls and boys about the subject would be the strongest prevention against future abuse.

If you would like to learn more about this project, visit Linda Forsell's website here.