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
The factors that put boys at risk of sexual abuse, and the contexts within which it can happen, can vary dramatically across countries and cultures. As a result, our global alliance of local people working with boys takes a wide range of different approaches to help. We also conduct in-depth research into sexual violence affecting boys, focusing on local insight and local solutions.
Worldwide, however, an increased awareness of sexual violence affecting boys is needed. That’s why we’ve come together to lead international campaigns to draw attention to the topic. Our Blue Umbrella Day campaign works to raise awareness with the public, and United for Boys brings together practitioners around the world to improve approaches to prevention and support.
Our Changemakers for Children platform is a space for local people working with children and families to collaborate for children’s rights. We have a specific community on the site tackling sexual violence, known as the RISE community. We encourage any professional working with children and families worldwide to join, so together we can tackle this complex issue.
Blue Umbrella Day
Our global awareness day drawing public attention to how to protect boys against sexual violence.
United for Boys
Our campaign to bring together people working with children and families to better tackle sexual violence affecting boys.