One in five children in Sweden is subjected to sexual abuse during their childhood. Many countries lack reliable statistics of how many children are exposed to sexual abuse. What we do know, is that violence and sexual abuse of children are closely interlinked and that it exists in all cultures, in all countries and in all social classes. But it does not have to be that way. It can be prevented.
Zero vision on violence against children
A zero vision of violence against children requires a system’s change and effective efforts are needed at different levels. There is a need for better knowledge, concrete solutions and more safe environments. Specific efforts are also needed to reach and strengthen protective environments for the children who are most at risk of being abused, and those who have already been exposed. It requires that children’s integrity and rights are respected and that adults understand, listen and act. This presupposes that decision-makers prioritize the issue. We advocate and work for all of this.
Understanding the needs and gaps
As an independent, private foundation, we at Childhood have a unique opportunity to support untested ideas, stimulate unexpected collaborations and invest in solutions and change agents that we believe in, but which have not yet been established. A large part of our work is about understanding needs and gaps related to reducing the risks and mitigating the consequences of child abuse. We invest a lot of time and effort in seeking out, initiating and supporting innovative projects that in the long run can create sustainable change. With knowledge, funding and networks, we give strength to ideas and innovation that protect children in Sweden and in the rest of the world. This both contributes to long-term systematic change as well as improving life here and now for the individual child.
Three thematic focus areas
We work in three thematic areas – Child Supportive Environments and Relationships, Child Safety Online and Child Focused Response to Abuse. The themes are chosen based on the areas where children are particularly vulnerable, the needs for our work are greatest and where we as an organization have the greatest experience and knowledge and thus can make the most difference.
Photo: Susanne Drakborg