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November 2, 2022

Saprea and Accion Interna Bring Support Groups to Colombia Prisons

Saprea is proud to announce a formal partnership with Accion Interna Foundation in Bogota, Colombia, to expand the prison support group program to incarcerated female survivors of child sexual abuse. This is the first Saprea prison support program to be implemented outside of the USA.

Founded by actress and businesswoman Johana Bahamón, Acción Interna Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the quality of life of prison and post-prison populations in Colombia. Bahamon serves as the CEO of Accion Interna Foundation. In 2014 she was appointed by the Ministry of Justice and Law as a Goodwill Ambassador to promote the re-socialization and humanization of the prison system. In 2017 she was named Ambassador of Reconciliation by the OEI and Reconciliation Colombia.

Saprea Support Groups provide a safe place where survivors of child sexual abuse can be supported during their healing. Research indicates a direct correlation between child sexual abuse and criminal behavior. Over 70% of incarcerated females are survivors of child sexual abuse and most have not been exposed to healing resources.

Services like support groups help participating survivors build a community as they learn strategies to help them manage the impacts of the trauma they experienced. Providing free materials for the groups and group leaders in Spanish, Saprea will train and support Accion Interna Foundation staff to implement the support program in Colombia prisons.

Saprea is also working to implement the prison support program domestically, with prison support groups in operation/readying for launch across four states in the U.S. The 21-week survivor-led curriculum is a model that provides healing and ongoing support.

“Saprea’s support groups help women realize they are not alone in the trauma they endured as children or adolescents,” said Saprea Managing Director Chris Yadon. “Creating support groups in Colombia prisons is a huge step in helping survivors receive the support and community they need, no matter their circumstance.”

There are 132 prisons in Colombia and women make up about 7% of the population (7,700 women).  “It is the hope of Saprea and Accion Interna that, with time and the implementation of the support group program, these women can receive the tools and resources to jumpstart or continue their healing,” Yadon said.