WASHINGTON, D.C., June 24, 2020—Adult survivors of childhood abuse and leading organizations working to end violence against children are asking Congress for at least $300 million in emergency funding to strengthen child safety and protection programs in the next COVID-19 relief package. The ask is part of a larger collaborative campaign to “Keep Kids Safe” at home and online during the pandemic and beyond.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the existing silent pandemic of sexual violence, exploitation, and abuse against children. As families struggle with disruption in routine, isolation, more time spent at home and online, financial insecurity, stress, and anxiety, the risk of child abuse in all its forms is on the rise. Congress must act now to address these needs.
“Violence against children is preventable,” said Dr. Daniela Ligiéro, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and CEO and Executive Director of Together for Girls. “Now more than ever, we must act to build and expand on services to help our country’s vulnerable children and youth.”
Even before COVID-19, child abuse resources were limited, the child welfare system was overwhelmed, and there were longstanding structural barriers making it more difficult for Black and Indigenous communities to access critical services. Strengthening the system to face these challenges requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the entire child welfare continuum. The requested funding will protect children and adolescents from violence by strengthening and expanding programs that not only prevent child abuse and protect children but also provide trauma-informed care and services that help abused children heal and seek justice.
Keep Kids Safe is also asking the public to support this effort by signing the advocacy letter, reaching out to their representatives, sharing their support on social media, and learning how to prevent violence against children.
To see a copy of the letter, sign the petition, and learn more about the Keep Kids Safe, visit www.keep-kids-safe.org.
About Keep Kids Safe
Keep Kids Safe is an initiative that brings together leading child protection organizations, child sexual abuse survivors, and advocates to raise awareness about the urgent need to prioritize violence prevention and response for children during COVID-19 and beyond. Learn more at www.keep-kids-safe.org.
About Together for Girls
Together for Girls is a global public-private partnership that works to end violence against boys and girls, with a special focus on ending sexual violence against girls. Founded in 2009, the Together for Girls partnership brings together national governments, UN entities, and private sector organizations to prevent and respond to violence. To do this, the partnership uses a three-pronged model: data, action, and advocacy to promote evidence-based solutions, galvanize coordinated response across sectors, and raise awareness. Currently, Together for Girls works with more than 20 countries around the world.