Caring for boys and girls affected by sexual violence through integrated, targeted services
Globally, millions of girls and boys affected by sexual violence are in critical need of quality, effective services. Family for Every Child understands and promotes the critical role of parents and caregivers in protecting boys and girls from sexual violence and supporting their recovery, and calls attention to the heightened risk of sexual violence for particular groups of children.
Family for Every Child’s 2018 report Caring for Boys Affected by Sexual Violence highlighted how harmful gender norms mean sexual violence against boys is frequently unreported or ignored. Acknowledging the concerted global efforts to protect girls from sexual violence over recent decades, more must be done to include boys to the fullest extent possible in prevention and response efforts. Evidence supports that specific groups of children are at heightened risk of sexual violence. There is an urgent need for targeted, well evaluated, prevention interventions that enable resources to be invested where they are needed most.
Family for Every Child calls upon donor partners, policy makers and fellow practitioners to:
- Address harmful attitudes and perceptions around sexual violence by supporting parents and caregivers to easily access high quality information, provide appropriate information and guidance to children, and challenge prevailing taboos and harmful social norms.
- Close the gap for boys affected by sexual violence in the child protection system through accurate measurement of the global scale of sexual violence against boys, the implementation of laws and policies applicable to boys, and the provision of services within a therapeutic environment to children and families.
- Provide specialised educational and prevention and support services for children at heightened risk, including those with disabilities, in institutional care, and from the LGBTQI+ community.
All children have the right to grow up in stable and caring families and communities, protected from sexual violence and its effects. Family for Every Child stands committed to work with and support all those working towards a safer, better future for all children.
This statement was issued during our Assembly of Members meeting and technical Forum, which took place in Istanbul in September 2018.