Child abuse interventions

Funding required: $31,125

This project will help: 4,115 children across 31 Compassion centres

Estimated completion date: February 4, 2019

In a little village near the coast, eight-year-old Cesar lives with his mother, Sofia. Providing for her family was a constant struggle for Sofia, and she sometimes turned to stealing to make ends meet, often using Cesar as her accomplice. Worry and uncertainty about the future left Sofia stressed and prone to violent outbursts, particularly toward her children. Neighbours often heard shouting and sounds of physical aggression. Although Cesar often appeared bruised and scratched, they did not intervene.

Most families in the area live in a marginalized sector along the border with Ecuador. Many families lack access to basic services such as potable water and a sewage system. This means Tumaco’s children are constantly exposed to tropical illnesses such as malaria, intestinal infections, skin diseases, malnutrition, parasites, flu and fever.

Domestic violence is considered a silent epidemic because it often occurs in the privacy of the home. In Colombia, violence is so common and such an ingrained part of the culture that child abuse-both physical and emotional-often goes unnoticed and unreported. Stories like Cesar’s are not unique in Colombia. In 2016, children and adolescents were victims in four out of 10 cases of domestic violence. Data reveals that the most violent context of Colombia’s society is the family.

Thankfully, a local church became aware of Cesar’s situation and interceded to offer support both to him and his mother. The church helped Sofia find steady work and provided resources and support for parenting, nutrition and resolving conflict. As a result, Cesar was able to return to school, there is less stress and aggression in the home, and his family no longer needs to steal to survive. Both Cesar and his mother are learning to resolve conflict using the tools they learned through this intervention.

Every child has the right to grow up safe from harm and knowing they are loved and protected. You can turn this hope into reality for children like Cesar in Uraba-Sucre, Colombia. Our partners will identify those at risk and intervene to reduce the risk of maltreatment and childhood abuse, protecting children from birth through five years. Parents will receive training through a series of six workshops, where they will learn healthy methods of conflict resolution. Equipped with parenting and anger management skills, parents and children will foster healthy family relationships in a safe home environment, breaking the cycle of child abuse.

Help families in Colombia break the cycle of child abuse.

Child abuse interventions

Help families in Colombia break the cycle of child abuse.

Summary: Your gift will enable Compassion’s church partners in Colombia to provide a series of educational workshops and follow-up support on child abuse prevention to children and their caregivers. The intervention will include three different levels, aimed at the general population, those at risk and victims of domestic child abuse.

  • Child development centres impacted: CO0280, CO0700, CO0710, CO0712, CO0286, CO0287, CO0288, CO0709, CO0703, CO0713, CO0714, CO0717, CO0706, CO0707, CO0711, CO0716, CO0604, CO0785, CO0608, CO0776, CO0778, CO0779, CO0781, CO0783, CO0777, CO0613, CO0781, CO0612, CO0607, CO0784, and CO0782
  • The problem: Domestic child abuse in Colombia is rampant. The Colombian Institute of Legal Medicine received 26,473 reports of domestic violence during 2016 with 80% of the abuse occurring in the victims’ homes. Young children exposed to violence experience increased emotional stress, which inhibits brain development and the parent-/guardian-child relationship, and impacts cognitive, sensory and social development. These children may have more trouble with school work, lack concentration and focus and lose their ability to feel empathy for others. Child-focused interventions without involving family fail to address the bigger problem. The single-greatest predictor of a child becoming either a perpetrator or victim of domestic violence later in life is whether they grew up with domestic violence in the home.
  • What is provided through this gift:
    • A three-stage child abuse education and intervention program:
      • Pastors will present two messages in one month on the biblical model of the home to prepare parents of beneficiaries to enter the development program
      • A home visit by trained staff to identify inadequate relational dynamics
      • Food and water
      • A series of six workshops presented by a psychologist focusing on controlling emotions and parenting skills such as establishing rules
      • Visual take-home for caregivers containing suggestions for controlling emotions
    • Assessment and therapeutic treatment referral for critical child abuse cases
  • Local contribution: US$5,247.76
  • Monitoring: Each Compassion centre will identify children at critical risk of child abuse. The partnership facilitator, with the help of the local church, Compassion centre directors, and program specialist, will contract the psychologists and social workers to lead the workshops.
  • Handling of funds: This proposal will cover the cost of the first four workshops. The local church partners will cover the cost of the remaining two workshops and will provide refreshments for workshop attendees.

No less than 80 per cent of your donation will be used for program activities and a maximum of 20 per cent for fundraising and administration. If we exceed our funding goal for the initiative shown, the remaining funds will be used to fund other programs where the need is greatest.