Trigger warning: This article mentions sexual abuse and sexual violence.
Founder of A Breeze of Hope foundation and 2007 graduate of Eastern University, Brisa De Angulo’s has rooted her career in activism and justice for survivors of sexual violence. De Angulo is the CEO and founder of A Breeze of Hope, a nonprofit organization that provides legal, social, and emotional support to people who have experienced sexual violence in Bolivia. A Breeze of Hope aims to “Restore the lives of those who’ve suffered childhood sexual violence by providing them free, holistic support; prevent sexual violence through transdisciplinary prevention strategies and promote healthy, comprehensive childhood development,” A Breeze of Hope stated.
As a child, De Angulo was involved with her community and flourished in extracurriculars and academics. However, this changed after De Angulo experienced sexual violence within her own family. When De Angulo was 15 years old, her 27 year old cousin sexually abused her repeatedly for eight months. He threatened De Angulo in order to maintain her silence. De Angulo grew detached from her loved ones and her extracurriculars and academics began to flounder rapidly. She developed an eating disorder, dropped out of school and made several attempts on her life.
After enduring eight months of sexual violence, De Angulo confided in her parents. Together, they sought aid from the police and took the case to court. However, they struggled to find a lawyer willing to defend her case and community members fought to quiet her. Her family’s home was set on fire, threats were made on her life and people tried to run her over with their cars. De Angulo endured three trials in Bolivia, but her cousin has never had to face any repercussions.
On Mar. 29 and Mar. 30, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) heard the case Brisa De Angulo Losada v. Bolivia. “This is the first time that the IACtHR will hear a case pertaining to the human rights violations of an adolescent victim of incest,” Equality Now stated.
De Angulo and her legal team are demanding that the government responds more effectively to sexual violence through law and procedure reform, operationalization of justice, development of up-to-date and high quality professionals and services and prevention strategies. Amongst many other goals, the team is focusing on eliminating the statue of limitations on cases pertaining to sexually based offenses. Currently, De Angulo is awaiting the results; however, she continues to raise awareness and further monetary support towards A Breeze of Hope.
You can learn more about Brisa De Angulo Losada v. Bolivia at www.abreezeofhope.org/.
“Despite the threats on my life, I will not hide my name, I will not hide my face, I will not carry the shame that belongs to my aggressor,” De Anglo stated during the trial.
Source: CNN, A Breeze of Hope, Equality Now