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Meet Ivana, María, and María – Lawyers

Ivana Mónica Leyva Jimenez, María Leonor Oviedo Bellott and María del Carmen Arispe Fuentes are lawyers at CUBE the service delivery arm of “A Breeze of Hope Foundation.” who work to prevent sexual violence and other forms of violence against children, especially girls

CUBE brings 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.

Through their programs, they provide free legal, psychological, medical, and social services to child victims of sexual violence. They told us about the challenges of their work.

What does activism mean to you?

Activism to us means is a lifelong commitment to fighting for justice. Throughout our lives as women, we have all been victims of some kind of violence, and this has generated a hostility to injustices, which is why we want to contribute to building a better world for the other women in our lives and especially for girls.

What was the turning point which made you become an activist?

Listening to stories of girl and adolescents who have experienced sexual violence, seeing how it shattered lives lives, then seeing how our work contributed to improving their life plans. When we see our girls grow, pursue degrees and professions, form families and rebuild their lives that keeps us motivated to keep fighting.

What is the greatest challenge you face in your work?

Judicial and law enforcement officials are not prepared to respond properly to victims, with quality and human warmth, and above all they don’t believe victims’ life stories. It’s time to believe victims and their stories sexual violence, and be part of their process of recovery and rebuilding.

What are you most looking forward to in 2019 in regards to furthering your work?

Making sure there is access to prompt, appropriate and properly implemented justice for victims.

The Lawyers at CUBE use the law to ensure that proper punitive and preventive measures are in place to protect women and girls from sexual violence. However, there are still many countries in South America rates of sexual violence are shockingly high.

For example, Bolivia has one of the highest rates of sexual violence against women and children in South America, but one of the lowest reporting rates.

Right now the government is reforming its rape and sexual abuse laws. Help us make sure that Bolivia follows through on its promises and obligations to its women and girls HERE.

You can read more about how we can end sexual violence.