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.
We’re calling out for brave organisations who are willing to commit to changing the situation regarding sexual violence affecting boys to sign our United for Boys Charter.
After signing, your organisation will be able to access tailored support and guidance from Family for Every Child; as well as being able to publicly display your commitment to tackling sexual violence affecting boys by using our campaign materials and badge. Between your 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.
The Charter calls for six evidence-based principles to better support boys. These are:
- Awareness & training: Raising awareness of sexual violence affecting boys amongst professionals who work with children, and committing to develop an organisational strategy for proactively building staff’s knowledge and skills so they feel informed and equipped to best support them.
- Gender-inclusive services: 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.
- Sex education: 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.
- The legal system: 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.
- Social norms around gender: Changing the conversation around our culturally-embedded harmful social norms around gender.
- Media narratives: Challenging damaging narratives around sexual violence affecting boys, including in the media; and offering support on how to better frame the issue.
To join hundreds of organisations by signing out Charter, please get in touch.