WASHINGTON, D.C., October 26, 2020—Keep Kids Safe, a national coalition of survivors, advocates, and civic groups, released a letter today calling on presidential candidates and the next Congress to launch bold initiatives to “End Sexual Violence Against Children,” with a focus on comprehensive and expanded programs of prevention, healing and justice.
Sexual violence against children and adolescents living in the United States is rampant, constitutes a public health pandemic, and causes grave physical and psychological trauma. The rise of COVID-19 has exacerbated the existing pandemic of violence against children, making the work to address this crisis even more urgent.
Specifically, the Keep Kids Safe coalition is recommending that:
– Congress mobilizes to approve comprehensive national legislation, the “End Sexual Violence Against Children Act” to increase federal funding for programs and research, and expand federal incentives to improve state laws to launch large scale prevention, healing, and justice programs;
– Establish a U.S. Presidential Commission to collect and synthesize data and research so that policymakers and the public would garner a comprehensive understanding of the crisis, the costs to society and the potential to scale-up available solutions to prevent, heal, and ensure justice;
– Declare Sexual Violence Against Children a US Public Health Emergency;
– Expand US Support for Global Programs to End Sexual Violence Against Children
The letter was signed by more than 200 adult survivors of child sexual abuse and advocates, more than 50 local civic groups from across the country, and more than 25 national organizations, including: National Children’s Alliance, Darkness to Light, The Army of Survivors, SNAP Network, CHILD USA, Together for Girls, and Prevent Child Abuse America. A copy of the full letter and signatories can be found here.
About Keep Kids Safe
Keep Kids Safe is an initiative that brings together leading child protection organizations, adult survivors of child sexual abuse, 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
For more information, please contact Denise Edwards at National Children’s Alliance: [email protected], Jillian Ruck at CHILD USA: [email protected], or Dr. Paul Zeitz at Together for Girls: [email protected]