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Safe Blog

Survivors of childhood sexual violence drive advocacy in the US and EU

3rd May 2023

In Brussels and DC, survivors from the Keep Kids Safe Coalition and Brave Movement urged leaders to take action to end childhood sexual violence, both online and offline.

Sexual violence against children is at crisis levels worldwide - and getting worse:

  • Anywhere between 4-35% of girls and 1-21% of boys experience sexual violence in childhood.

  • Globally, child sexual abuse material online increased 20 fold from 1 million images in 2014 to more than 20 million in 2021.

  • 70% of online child sexual abuse material is hosted within Europe.

  • 1 in 5 children and adolescents in Europe are subject to sexual violence and abuse.

  • In the US alone there are an estimated 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse. About 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys experiences sexual abuse at some point in childhood.

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At the EU Parliament

EU lawmakers recognize survivors’ key role in combatting child sexual abuse material

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson meets members of the Brave Movement outside the European Parliament
EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson meets members of the Brave Movement outside the European Parliament

The Brave Movement convened survivors and allies in front of the European Parliament to encourage EU decision-makers to urgently pass the proposed EU Regulation to prevent and combat child sexual abuse. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson and deputy of Renew Europe party Fabienne Keller joined the rally, thanking the Brave Movement for speaking out to protect children from heinous and rising levels of sexual violence on and offline.

Survivors of child sexual violence participated in Renew Europe’s live panel event to review existing EU legislation where their powerful perspectives were amplified by key decision-makers.

Along with key allies in Brussels and globally, Brave will keep advocating for the EU to pass this legislation, allowing millions of children all over the world to thrive in far greater safety online.

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On Capitol Hill, D.C.

US Government representatives voice their support for ending childhood sexual violence

Keep Kids Safe survivors national blueprint capitol hill
Keep Kids Safe coalition members with the National Blueprint on Capitol Hill

At the same time, the Keep Kids Safe Movement and its coalition partners convened on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Over two days of advocacy activities, the Keep Kids Safe National Blueprint was introduced - a roadmap with steps the US government can take to prevent child sexual abuse in America.

Survivors and allies of Keep Kids Safe and coalition partners met with leadership in the White House, including the White House Gender Policy Council and Domestic Policy Council, to introduce the blueprint.

Meeting with lawmakers across U.S. Senate and House of Representatives

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Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence
Keep Kids Safe partnered with the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence to host an expert roundtable with lawmakers and press.

Representatives of Keep Kids Safe and allies, including actor Anthony Edwards, shared testimony on an expert roundtable discussion with the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence, who showed their support for the movement.

Congressional meetings were held as well, where survivors and advocates urged elected officials to take action on this critical issue and implement policies to protect children and prevent sexual abuse.

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Outside the White House

Keep Kids Safe outside the US Capitol
Members of the Keep Kids Safe coalition went to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to meet with decision-makers, April 2023
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As the Hill Days came to an end, survivors and allies with the Keep Kids Safe Movement coalition rallied outside the White House in support of positive change and lawmaker action to address prevention, healing, and justice.

National Child Abuse Prevention Month recognized

Significantly, the week before, Rep. David Joyce of Ohio and Rep. Ann Kuster of New Hampshire introduced a resolution recognizing National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This resolution acknowledges the pervasive rates of sexual violence against children in the US and uplifts the survivor-centered Keep Kids Safe movement.

"This resolution is a welcome step toward creating a safer future. With boldness and courage, we can put an end to sexual violence in our lifetime. The time to act is now."

Daniela LigieroChief Executive Officer & President, Together for Girls
Resolution to recognize child abuse prevention month