Children colored parachute in park
Safe Blog

Seven hopeful highlights to end sexual violence against children

13th December 2020

Reflecting on an unprecedented year

As 2020 comes to a close, we are reflecting on this difficult, unprecedented year. It may not have looked like what we planned, but as we think about the past year there are undeniable moments of collaboration and partnership that provide hope as we prepare for the year ahead.

From launching a record five Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS) reports to calling on the U.S. government to #KeepKidsSafe during COVID-19 and beyond, the successes of the past year serve as a reminder that, although it is not easy, progress towards a world free from violence against children is possible.

Below is a glimpse of our partnerships’ 2020 highlights.

Five Violence Against Children and Youth Survey report launches

In 2020, Together for Girls' country partners launched a record five Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS) reports.

Colombia, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Moldova, and Lesotho now have data on violence against children and youth in the respective countries that will be key in violence prevention efforts.

Kenya's second Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS) report allows us to measure progress made since the 2010 Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS), and identify trends in violence against children.

Ramata Ly Bakayoko Richard Bell Cote d'Ivoire VACS report launch 2020
Professor Ramata Ly-Bakayoko, Minister of Women, Families, and Children with Richard Bell, U.S. Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, present the Côte d’Ivoire VACS report.

With partners, Together for Girls launched #KeepKidsSafe to call on Congress and the U.S. presidential candidates to take urgent action to protect children during COVID-19 and beyond.

#KeepKidsSafe advocacy efforts led to Representative Grace Meng (D-NY-6) and Representative Ann Wagner (R-MO-2) voicing the need for funding to address child sexual abuse during COVID-19.

Survivors’ Agenda Town Hall
Survivors Agenda town hall for adult survivors of childhood sexual violence visual notes
Visual notes from the Survivors' Agenda Virtual Town Hall

Together for Girls and partners convened hundreds of adult survivors of childhood sexual violence to participate in a virtual Town Hall.

As a result of the conversation, we helped bring the perspectives of survivors of childhood violence into the ongoing national conversation about #metoo and adult sexual violence.

Survivors Agenda Virtual Town Hall
School-related gender-based violence research hub

Together for Girls launched a research hub to share data from a secondary analysis of the Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS) conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and AidData with support from the Government of Canada and USAID’s Higher Education Support Network (HESN).

The data highlights the prevalence of school-related gender-based violence in five countries: Honduras, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zambia. This analysis will allow us to better understand the complexities and nuances of violence in schools and therefore better prevent and address violence.

Violence, SRH, health behaviors, risk and protective factors, by level of education
International Day of the Girl

To celebrate International Day of the Girl, Together for Girls partnered with the Government of Canada on an event to present findings from our secondary analyses of the Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS) on school-related gender-based violence and violence as a barrier to girls’ education.

We also participated in UNGEI@20 Forum to highlight the importance of addressing school-related gender-based violence.

Kenyan stories of hope

Data from the 2019 Kenya Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS) shows significant reductions in all forms of childhood violence since the 2010 VACS, showing that progress is possible.

To showcase the power of the VACS process and the impact of partnership and individual action, explore our Girls with DREAMS stories featuring data and first-person stories of individuals creating a safer world for children in Kenya.

Kenya 2 vacs launch
Launch of Together to #ENDviolence

To close out the year, and set the stage for 2021, Dr. Daniela Ligiero joined global leaders including Henrietta Fore, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Amina Mohammed, and more in launching Together to #ENDviolence: a global campaign and Solutions Summit Series to elevate efforts to address violence against children.

Together to #ENDviolence aims to catalyze the political and financial commitments needed to end violence against children at home, at school, online, and within communities by 2030.