Direct services and prevention of sexual violence

 

Sexual violence against children is a global pandemic and is the product of complex relations among social, community, relational, and individual factors.

Our Philosohpy: 

Thus, to eradicate sexual violence,  

we must take a broad spectrum approach that aims to shift socio-cultural patterns, functions, and beliefs. To create this change, we confront sexual violence with a three part prevention strategy:

The Problem:

Sexual violence against children is a global pandemic.

As many as 29% of male children and 36% of female children have suffered sexual violence. Sexual violence is considered the most under-reported violent crime, with between 74 and 81 percent of these crimes never being reported to the police.  Most sexual violence (approximately 85%) is committed by someone close to or known to the victim. 

 

Moreover, severe psychological, health, neurobiological, and social problems have been correlated with sexual violence against children and adolescents. Short-term and long-term consequences include:

Our Solution:

To address the severe problem of sexual violence against children,

we engage in primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention efforts. We bring survivors, practitioners, and organizations together to build a movement that encourages new thinking about the root causes of child sexual violence, community responsibility for ending sexual violence, and comprehensive childhood development.

 

We advocate legal reform and policy changes that address systemic, social, and cultural conditions that perpetuate sexual violence and hamper efforts to increase victims' access to justice. Through our programs, we provide free legal, psychological, medical, and social services to child victims of sexual violence. We work with the individual, and our work expands to the level of international advocacy to change social structures and cultural patterns.

Our Activities:

Our sexual violence prevention activities include:

 

1) Technical and Financial Support:

We financially support and provide consultation services to centers that provide free legal, psychological, and/or social services to child and adolescent victims of sexual violence. Our consultation services cover the following areas:

 

  • File management and record keeping for lawyers, psychologists, and social workers
  • Child centered interviewing skills
  • Client centered transdisciplinary advocacy
  • Transdisciplinary case management
  • Ethical principles for professionals working with children

  • Implementation of sexual violence prevention strategies
  • Training of personnel on the dynamics and trauma of sexual violence
  • Training of personnel on crisis management and healthy conflict resolution

 

 

We also seek to create partnerships among public service institutions to ensure that victims of sexual violence receive high quality services that respond to their needs.

 

If you are interested in A Breeze of Hope's consultation services, or have suggestions for organizational partnerships, please contact parkerpalmer@abreezeofhope.org.

 

2) Transdisciplinary Strategies for the Prevention of Sexual Violence:

We engage in a wide range of prevention activities in various countries. Our activities include:

 

Programs:

Centro Una Brisa de Esperanza (CUBE):

CUBE is the first and only center in Bolivia to specialize in the provision of free psychological, legal, medical, and social services for child and adolescent victims of sexual violence. CUBE is a pioneer in its field because it uses transdisciplinary treatment protocols. Professionals from different disciplines—lawyers, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and physicians—all work together to form an integrated treatment plan and legal strategy for the child that is compassionate and comforting. CUBE has provided these comprehensive services to over 1,230 child victims. CUBE's services protect victims from further harm and revictimization, help them to address psycho-emotional health issues, and aid them in legal matters

Ways to Get Involved

 

Won’t you join us in the fight to end child and adolescent sexual abuse?

Volunteer

Advocate - a person who is experienced in this field and who shares information, research, and ideas with us. Volunteer (e.g. provide services in Bolivia, create short videos about our work for presentations to others, write articles about what we do, provide needed information, do research, help with grant writing, resource development, or production of promotional materials, etc.)

 

Network and Make Connections - we need contacts of people and institutions that are interested in learning about and supporting our efforts (e.g. NGO's, state offices, churches, synagogues, media centers, universities, etc.).

Donate Supplies

Office supplies (e.g. high quality commercial printer, high quality commercial copy machine, 4 new desktop computers, 5 legal size filing cabinets). Art therapy supplies (e.g. yarn, crayons, markers, etc.). Alternative therapy supplies (e.g. musical instruments, art supplies, water colors, etc.) A permanent location for the Sexual Violence Center in Bolivia.

 

 

substance abuse

suicide​

increased risk for severe obesity & physical inactivity

social withdrawal​

attachment disorders​

sleep disorders

low self-esteem

inability to trust​

negative schemas about people in general​

sexuality problems​

self-punishment

pathological dependency

self-mutilation​

selective reconstruction of reality 

splitting of reality​

hysterical reactions

cognitive infexibility

altered consciousness

projection of rage

domestic martydom

delinquency

Sadly, these social and psychological disorders are only a few of the many coping mechanisms that children and adolescents develop to survive the reality of continual sexual violence. (5)

 

BOLIVIA—Bolivia has the highest rates of sexual violence against women and children in all of Latin America, but one of the lowest rates of reporting to officials. (6) 70% of all Bolivian women suffer the horrors of sexual violence (more than half when they were children). (7) 1 in every 3 girls and 1 in every 5 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. (8)

UNITED STATES—"Every 2 minutes another American is sexually assaulted. Each year there are about 237,868 reported cases of sexual violence in the US. 44% of these victims are under age 18." (9)

 

 

Workshops for Students

(middle school, high school, and college) on the following topics:

 

  • What is sexual violence?
  • Sexual violence and your rights
  • The dynamics and trauma of sexual violence
  • What to do if you or someone you know has suffered sexual violence
  • The importance of breaking the silence
  • Healthy sexuality

 

 

Social Activism

including:

 

  • Public demonstrations
  • Information campaigns
  • Formation of and coordination with Networks Against Sexual Violence
  • Large-scale non-violent solidarity walks

 

 

Public Policy and Legal Reform Advocacy

focused on:

 

  • Challenging discriminatory laws and practices
  • Drafting model legislation for the protection of children and the prevention of sexual violence
  • International advocacy before the
  • Organization of American States
  • Advocating for public policy that prioritizes the needs and protection of children

 

 

Research and Publicatons 

on the following topics: 

 

  • The magnitude/prevalence of sexual violence
  • Myths surrounding sexual violence
  • Revictimization and criminal procedure
  • Revictimization and the attitudes of private attorneys, judges, and prosecutors
  • Legal mechanisms for the detention and recapture of indicted sex offenders

 

  • Importance of the rule of law, access to justice, and public policy for stable, prosperous, and democratic societies
  • Human transformation and Development based on Human Rights, Especially the Rights of Children
  • Total Health and Health Determinant in individuals, families and societies
  • Types of evidence in cases of sexual violence
  • Human rights and sexual violence against children and adolescents
  • How to suspect and detect the possible occurrence of sexual violence

Conduct Research

There are ample opportunities to do research. If interested, please email us at parkerpalmer@abreezeofhope.org

 

 

Donate:

The salaries of the staff and the center's activities depend completely on donations.

Any donation or grant will help to keep CUBE alive.

  • $10 per month will provide a child with supplies for occupational therapy.
  • $30 per month will provide a child with one free service (legal, social, or psychological).
  • $90 per month will provide a child with all three free services (legal, social, and psychological).
  • $10k per year will provide the salary of either a psychologist, a lawyer, or a social worker who will provide free services to 30 new victims of sexual abuse and free services for 30-50 existing cases.
  • $30k per year will provide the salaries of an entire interdisciplinary team (a psychologist, a social worker, and a lawyer) that will provide free legal, social, and psychological services to 30 new cases and 40-50 existing cases.

 

Any monetary donation—even a $1.00—will help us to continue providing workshops and training to professionals, schools, parents, and society as a whole on the topic of child sexual abuse.

depression​

 

 

Workshops for Professionals

including psychologists, social workers, private attorneys, police, prosecutors, court staff, judges, and forensic doctors. We provide workshops on the following topics:

 

  • Psychological and neurobiological effects of child sexual violence
  • The impact and management of childhood adversities
  • Neuro-physiological brain damage and sexual violence
  • The impact of chronic stress on infant brain architecture
  • The myths surrounding sexual violence against children
  • The impact of early childhood adversities on physical and emotional health in adulthood

Primary prevention

 

 

strategies aim to remove the causes of sexual violence at a structural level. They aim to reduce factors that contribute to the formation of sexual predators, to stop sexual violence before it happens. These strategies strive for more than preventing harm to children. They strive to create a culture of respect for human rights that recognizes a person's inherent dignity and worth, a culture that repudiates the use of violence and the exercise of dominance over others, a culture that fosters healthy and comprehensive childhood development, a culture that celebrates nurturing care, love, patience, respect for diversity, and understanding.

Secondary prevention

 

 

strategies aim to reduce the prevalence of sexual violence by providing immediate responses to sexual violence that deal with short-term consequences. These strategies prevent children from suffering further sexual violence and revictimization. Central to these strategies are free psychological, social, medical, and legal services, including the legal prosecution of sexual predators. Prosecution and appropriate punishment of sex offenders limits their capacity to harm other children and further damage society.

 

 

Media Presence

focused on (1) combating misconceptions about why and how sexual violence against children occurs and (2) challenging common/prevailing opinions about the most effective ways to prevent sexual violence.

 

We currently concentrate our efforts on:

 

  • Publications in widely read newspapers 
  • Television interviews
  • Radio talk shows

 

 

strategies are long-term responses to sexual violence that deal with long-term consequences. These strategies are central to the restoration of survivors' rights and require long-term support and rehabilitation programs for survivors, as well as long-term interventions in social, educational, and familial environments where sexual violence has occurred. By reducing the effects of long-term consequences of sexual violence, these strategies prevent revictimization and reincidence of sexual violence and reinforce the efforts of primary and secondary prevention strategies.

Tertiary prevention

 

 

 

from start to finish. CUBE's psychologists provide children with a broad spectrum of therapy methods, including trauma focused cognitive therapy, trauma focused play therapy, dance therapy, yoga therapy, music therapy, art/ceramics therapy, occupational therapy, and more. CUBE's high quality therapy facilitates the reconstruction of life projects and dreams for the future. The children and adolescents who go to CUBE learn how to make an opportunity out of their crisis, to develop new strengths in their personalities, and to rebuild a meaningful course of life, all of which helps them to overcome the violence and trauma they've suffered.

 

Furthermore, CUBE's legal advocacy on behalf of child victims is highly effective. Before CUBE opened its doors, the conviction rate in sexual assault trials in Bolivia was only 2%. CUBE's conviction rate is 95%. In addition, CUBE's legal advocacy has changed public policy, criminal procedure, and criminal law, and caused the incorporation of children's rights into the Bolivian Constitution.

 

For example, thanks to CUBE's legal advocacy, sexual predators can no longer confront child victims face-to-face in court. This has dramatically reduced the instances of traumatic revictimization and recantation that occur during trial. Moreover, CUBE's relentless public policy advocacy persuaded the Bolivian National Government to declare August 9th the National Day Against Child Sexual Assault and in Solidarity with Child Victims. Each year thousands of people gather on August 9th to march against child sexual assault in the various departments of Bolivia.

 

CUBE also works to prevent sexual violence. As part of this work, CUBE provides educational workshops on issues surrounding sexual violence for the general population, legislators, judges, prosecutors, police, and other government authorities. CUBE has provided education and training to over 70,000 people and has brought awareness to over 1,000,000 people through massive information campaigns. CUBE's day center is the site of the comprehensive services mentioned above and is located in the City of Cochabamba on Avenida Mayor Rocha, between Ayacucho and Junin.

 

Telephone calls from Bolivia  44527505 or 44527506. Telephone calls from U.S.  011-591-4-452-7505 or 011-591-4-452-7506.

A Breeze of Hope

Foundation

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the Rape Abuse and Incest Network at                                   . You are not alone.​

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the Rape Abuse and Incest Network at                                     . You are not alone.​