Project #274 | Healing and Justice for Child Victims of Sexual Violence

Our Partnership with A Breeze of Hope

Bolivia has the highest rates of sexual violence against women and girls in all of South America.  One in three girls suffer some form of sexual violence before the age of 18.  Bolivia’s Defensor del Pueblo reported that 7 in 10 women in Bolivia suffer sexual violence sometime during their lives, but only 2% of persons charged with sexual offenses are convicted.  The toxicity of Bolivia’s machismo culture is compounded by severe poverty, chronic political instability, a collapsed justice system, and harmful legislation that make it extremely difficult for survivors of sexual violence to seek justice and healing. 

One Day’s Wages partnered with A Breeze of Hope so that 85 child survivors of sexual violence and 365 of their supportive, non-offending family members received free therapy, legal advocacy, educational assistance and vocational training.  Children participated in a variety of individual and group therapy sessions alongside yoga, art, dance and mindfulness.  Legal advocates accompanied families during every aspect of the legal process, including prosecution and appeals. Children also received tutoring or after-school support, and adolescents were supported to establish financial independence.  As a result, 81% of girls experienced significant improvements in their self esteem, 91% are able to articulate their dreams for the future, and 100% of high school seniors were able to graduate.  In addition, 97% of the 64 trials held this year resulted in convictions: a huge win for survivors!

Our Collective Impact

Child Survivors Received Legal Advocacy and Therapy

Family Members Received Therapy and Support Services

Percentage of Sexual Violence Aggressors Convicted

Meet Maria

Maria’s childhood was filled with trauma – ongoing abuse from her step-father, and manipulation and silencing from her mother.

Maria’s father, seeking help to expose the Bolivian justice system’s failure to secure justice for his daughter, reached out to A Breeze of Hope’s legal team in 2023. The team faced countless obstacles working within the complex legal system, but persisted in pursuing justice for Maria.

In the meantime, A Breeze of Hope’s psycho-social team worked with Maria and her non-offending family members, who were experiencing strained relationships marked by frequent clashes, irritability, and frustration. Through participation in family systems therapy and other activities at the center, the family began experiencing new ways to communicate and nurture an empathetic family space.

The legal team continued to pursue justice for Maria, and worked closely with the psycho-social team to provide holistic care for the non-offending family as they pursued healing and healthy relationships.

The A Breeze of Hope team is confident in the non-offending family – the family members have determination, a desire to heal, and a commitment to creating a new family environment where Maria can heal and grow.

Thank you for making this possible!

Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.

If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to our gender based violence fund.

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