Bolivia is a country of breathtaking landscapes, full of rich traditions, home of many indigenous people groups and the largest salt flats in the world. But in the midst of its beauty and diversity, a horrific plague threatens the safety of many children: sexual violence.
Getting justice in court takes years; the process is complex, cumbersome and frequently derails. Sexual predators act with impunity. Young survivors of sexual violence who live in poverty have little hope of finding justice. Courts are backlogged and often lack effective case management processes. The few cases that move through the system can take years before reaching a sentence.
We are fighting to change this system and protect children from sexual violence.
We rescue children by stopping the violence. We receive case referrals from the department of social services, police, families, churches and other community members. We equip and collaborate with local partners to ensure that every child is protected and in a place of safety.
Bring Criminals to Justice
We bring criminals to justice. IJM works with law enforcement officials and other partners to track down and ensure suspects are arrested. This can take months and even years, but we are relentless. IJM works to ensure adequate evidence is collected to build a strong case, and we support survivors who choose to share the truth in court.
We restore survivors by providing consistent support. Through IJM-trained partners and volunteers we provide support to the child and the family so he or she can heal in a safe and stable environment. IJM networks with various partners to ensure each survivor has access to necessary services including physical health, trauma-focused counseling, personal security, and education or economic self-sufficiency.
Strengthen Justice SystemsDownload Now
We strengthen justice systems by providing hands-on training and mentoring to law enforcement, judges and other professionals. We seek to improve the overall justice system so that it protects all child victims of violence.
Since December 2006, we have rescued more than 160 children and secured more than 120 convictions. Cases of sexual violence against children are 30 times more likely to reach a conviction if IJM is involved.
We have trained more than a thousand teachers and educators on how to identify and report sexual assault cases. They are now equipped to protect the more than 25,000 students they serve.
We have successfully advocated for trials to be concluded in as few as 18 days – a major step forward in a country where cases usually take years, if they reach any verdict at all.
The Bolivian government has invited us to train all government psychologists working with the Social Services Ministry to help ensure that children who survive sexual assault receive sensitive care through the justice system process.
Our Team in Bolivia
¹Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros. The Locust Effect. Oxford University Press, 2014.