Healing From Sexual Violence

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“When you go through the deep waters, I will be with you. When you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God.” Isaiah 43:2-3. 

An estimated 2 million children in Colombia are victims of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse and neglect each year (UNICEF).

Clara* is one of these children. When she was just 6 years old, she suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend. Sadly, her claims were initially not believed and court-mandated therapists told Clara that she caused the attack because of how she dressed.

Tragically, without intervention services, many children like Clara will suffer from a lifetime of devastating social, learning, behavioral, and health struggles. The effects of trauma on children are widely studied and can include lowed IQ, 2X increase in heart disease, 12X in suicide attempts, and more.

We are praising God that this is not Clara’s story! Clara and her family were referred to an incredible organization in Colombia and put them on a path of healing.

AGCI is blessed to partner with this lifesaving organization in Colombia that seeks to help children and families heal from the trauma of sexual violence. Founded in 1968, this local nonprofit provides wraparound services so that children can remain in family care and receive the lifesaving therapy they need to truly heal from sexual violence. This organization serves families from the lowest socioeconomic class in Colombia and provides therapy services, parenting classes, and overall support at no cost for vulnerable families and children who live in this community.

In 2019 alone, there were over 14,000 cases of sexual violence toward children reported to the ICBF (Colombia’s child welfare institute) in Bogota. As the numbers of cases continue to rise, ICBF investigates each case and arranges for the child to be placed in a safe location (sometimes with a foster family and sometimes in an institution) while they process the case. During that time, the child receives in-depth counseling and support services from a designated provider in Colombia. 

For Clara’s family, this meant weekly therapy sessions for her, her mom, and her two younger sisters. By getting to the root of their shared trauma and providing their family with an opportunity to be heard, they are finally experiencing true transformation and joy! Without access to these services, their vulnerability could have easily been torn apart.

Our partner is one of only three providers licensed to offer these services in all of Bogota and are constantly overloaded with cases. Typically, they serve over 500 children in a 12-month period and have a waitlist of up to 200 children who are waiting for essential services.

We’re so grateful for our partners on the ground in Bogota, Colombia, who are navigating these challenges in innovative ways to fill the gap in responding to children’s needs. Funding for this program runs out at the end of June. We know that these life-saving services provide invaluable healing and hope for children and families like Clara’s in desperate need. It’s our goal to raise $71,500 and provide support for this essential program! Every gift will help provide life-saving, trauma-informed therapy sessions to children who have survived sexual violence. This support not only helps children heal from unimaginable heartbreak; it also provides families with the resources they need to stay together after a life-altering trauma.

Your support of this campaign will provide over 13,000 therapy sessions for children over the next year.

Will you help children like Clara heal from this unimaginable trauma and find true healing?

*Name has been changed