The European Women’s Network against Sexual Violence marks 18 November, the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, by paying public attention to the urgency of precise implementation of the Lanzarote Convention in the best interest of child survivors of sexual violence in European countries. In particular, we call for the necessity of putting in accordance national legislations with the Lanzarote Convention and organizing the whole of child-friendly judiciary – all that will prevent re-traumatization of child survivor during criminal prosecution.
The most significantly, and in the line with the Council of Europe theme of the marking 18 November this year: Empowering children to stop sexual violence, we alarm European countries on urgency of introducing systemic learning on sexual violence issue as a hate crime, on gender and diversity issues within national curricula of kindergartens, primary and secondary schools in order to equip children and their guardians to recognize risk of sexual abuse and use available resources to get protected.
We learned from sexual abuse survivors that no social change and improvement of their position in society cannot take place without having professional and general public trusting their disclosures, without understanding the sexual violence as a hate crime and without attitude change will reflect respect for survivors.
The authentic social transformation begins when the child’s word and experience of sexual trauma is valued by us as responsible adults. No gender equality will be achieved in any society without safety provided by relevant social actors for survivors to speak openly and freely about their experiences and afterwards be treated with dignity.
If you are a survivor, we encourage you to speak out and trust your Inner Voice. You deserve nothing less of protection than a survivor of any other crime. You know the best what you need for your recovery.
We also invite you to watch the VIDEO that is a part of a project “RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE” in regard to survivors of sexual trauma and women human rights defenders who work in this field. Activists who speak out here are the members of the European Women’s Network against Sexual Violence. The art project “RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE” sends out the message that, after the trauma of sexual violence, there are opportunities for recovery and that there are persons who understand sexual trauma and the process of recovery and are actively working towards this end.