United For Boys is a global campaign to change the way society tackles sexual violence affecting boys. It combines public awareness-raising with systemic change. It calls on everybody – women and girls, men and boys, professionals and the public, young and old – to be a part of building a brighter future for boys, and for everyone. Together, we are stronger.

 

The challenge

All around the world, millions of children – girls and boys alike – are affected by sexual abuse, exploitation and harmful behaviours. All children deserve a childhood free of these threats.

Extensive research has shown us that – whilst girls continue to be the group principally affected by sexual violence (including sexual abuse, exploitation and harmful sexual behaviour), it is also a large-scale problem for boys. In fact, it is estimated to affect 1 in 6 worldwide. Evidence also leads us to believe that boys significantly under-report their experiences, so it could be even higher.

 

What we’re doing

We’ve already supported members to research sexual violence affecting boys in several countries, and this led to our recent report, Caring For Boys Affected by Sexual Violence.

 

This includes specific recommendations that are based on evidence and can be tailored to local contexts. To better support boys we need to provide more gender-inclusive recovery services, effective sex education, revised laws, and changes to the cultural and social norms around gender and sexual violence.

We believe that the best way to achieve these changes is by engaging professionals who can work in new ways to improve the system for children worldwide.

That’s why we’re launching our new United For Boys Charter.

 

The Charter

We’re calling out for organisations to commit to changing the situation regarding sexual violence affecting boys to sign up to our United For Boys Charter.

The Charter calls for five evidence-based principles to better support boys. These are:

  1. Ensuring that all services that can support boys are designed and managed in ways that make them feel included, accepted and welcome; by taking the time to actively understand and take into account their needs and wishes
  2. Providing easily accessible, appropriate and high quality information to help educate children and families on sex, sexual health, sexuality and internet safety; and ensuring that this includes information relating to sexual violence affecting boys
  3. Advocating for changes in the law that could ensure that boys affected by sexual violence are better protected and supported, and that victims are not criminalised
  4. Changing the conversation around our culturally-embedded harmful social norms around gender
  5. Challenging damaging narratives around sexual violence affecting boys, including in the media; and offering support on how to better frame the issue

 

From commitment to change

After signing, organisations will be able to access tailored support and guidance from Family for Every Child; as well as being able to publicly display their commitment to tackling sexual violence affecting boys by using our campaign materials and badge.

Between their commitment, and our support to make it happen, we can create a system that’s better equipped to help boys – creating a brighter future for everyone.

 

Sign up to the Charter

If you represent or work for an organisation interested in signing up for the Charter, please contact us for further information on how to sign up – and the support you could receive to implement the Charter.

 

Support the Campaign

Do you want to play a part in breaking down the cultural barriers that stop boys from identifying, coming forward and seeking help after becoming victims of sexual violence?

There are things you can do:

  • Give your friends and family an opportunity to learn more about the issue by sharing this page
  • Start a conversation about what is needed to better support male survivors of sexual abuse in your networks
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and keep an eye out for more updates on the campaign
  • Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter here to get more in-depth look at the work we are doing and how you can participate
  • Donate to Family

 

 

* 2018, Family for Every Child, Caring for Boys affected by Sexual Violence