Preventive measures for the protection of children against sexual abuse
public hearingPreventive measures for the protection of children against sexual abuse European Economic and Social Committee, Brussels, Tuesday 21 June 2011<br />Statement <br />Julia von Weiler - Innocence in Danger e.V.<br />
Prevention needs to function on many different levels <br />In order to be really effective prevention programs need to reach out to children, adolescents, parents, teachers as well as all those who work with children – either professionally or voluntarily (i.e. in sport clubs, scouts, etc.).<br />
1. Educational programs especially designed for children <br />Kindergarten Children<br />Elementary School Children<br />Prepubescent Children<br />Pubescent Children<br />Adolescents<br />
In these programs children and adolescents need to learn in an age appropriate way about :<br /><ul><li>my body belongs to me,
What do different institutions do (youth welfare, counselling, therapy, police, etc.)
Where to find help</li></li></ul><li>3. Programs for teachers, pedagogues as well as volunteers working with children<br /><ul><li>Include all of 2</li></ul>PLUS<br /><ul><li>What do I do if I suspect a child is being sexually abused by a colleague</li></li></ul><li>4. Programs for institutions working with children (kindergarten, school, foster care, etc.) as well as for associations offering free time programs for children (sports, scouts, etc.)<br /><ul><li>Include all of 2 and 3 </li></ul>PLUS<br /><ul><li>How does this institution address the issue of child sexual abuse
How does this institution deal with a suspected case of csa by a team member
How to establish and put into effect guidelines</li></li></ul><li>German Best Practice Example # 1<br />PETZE – an NGO working solely on prevention of child sexual abuse in Germany – invented interactive exhibitions for schools to prevent sexual violence in 2008. <br />These include different versions for grammar schools, disabled students and for adolescents. <br />The framework is always the same:<br />A join-in course implements an experience-oriented prevention concept. <br />Girls and boys have the opportunity to deal with the different prevention modules at six play-stations. This involves the cognitive as well as the emotional level. <br />Teachers and parents receive information at the respective play-station to support the exploration of the issue.<br />
German Best Practice Example # 1<br />Framework<br /><ul><li>Preparatory training for the teachers
Getting in touch with a local professional counselling office
Working in classes with the teaching materials</li></ul>These exhibitions are very successful. They have been touring throughout Germany. Meanwhile they have gone international and reached Switzerland and Mozambique!<br />www.petze-kiel.de<br />
German Best Practice Example # 2<br />theaterpädgagogische werkstatt gGmbH (theatre pedagogical workshop - tpw) offers different plays for different age groups. <br />All plays are accompanied by a work unit for teachers as well as parents.<br />“My body belongs to me” for elementary school children has been touring since 2000. It entails information about strategies used by the perpetrator, how to trust your instincts, how to get help, etc.<br />“The huge “No-Barrel” for kindergarten children as well as 1st and 2nd graders. Deals with trusting your instincts.<br />
German Best Practice Example # 2<br /><ul><li>GRENZGEBIETE is a sexual abuse prevention program for young people from 12 to 16 on the subject Sexual assaults among teenagers. It is a cooperation between the theaterpädagogischewerkstattgGmbH and the LandesstelleJugendschutz Niedersachsen.</li></ul>There are 4 components:<br /><ul><li>The play “EinTritt ins Glück” (“EnTrance to Happyness”). The performance is followed by group work with drama teachers.
A training program for social workers and teachers to sensitize them to the topic and to show them options how to handle it. The participants learn how to speak about sexual assaults and how they may prevent them.
An information event for all those who are responsible for kids and teens. They learn how to assist young people to protect themselves and to speak about their experiences with sexual violence.
A brochure offers information to parents and others on dealing with a person concerned and gives an overview about counselling services.</li></li></ul><li>German Best Practice Example # 2<br />www.tpw-osnabrueck.de<br />
German Best Practice Example # 3<br />Innocence in Danger e.V.<br />Peer2Peer Prevention<br />
German Best Practice Example # 3<br />in cooperation with tpw (see 2), “EigenSinn – an NGO working on prevention and the “Wilfull”.<br />Chosen and recruited adults will be trained as coaches to then educate teenagers as “Smart User Trainer” (SUT) at their local institution or organization. <br />The SUTs again will educate younger peers about sexual harassment through various forms of digital communication systems, and help victims to find local counseling. <br />The SUTs will approach peers at institutions they are part of like schools, youth centers, etc. <br />The program is offered in Peer2Peer workshops during an entire school semester, project weeks or even project days at the respective institutions.<br />
German Best Practice Example # 3<br />“Schütztendlichunsere Kinder” (Do protect our children)<br />Innocence in Danger e.V. developed material for parents, schools, adolescents concerning online sexual violence and abuse. It’s all offered free of cost thanks to the financial support of RTL 2: <br />www.schuetzt-endlich-unsere-kinder.de<br />
What needs to be done?<br />In Germany there are countless more prevention initiatives. And as I know that is also true for most other countries. Still these measures are not effective enough yet. Thus in my opinion it also needs <br /><ul><li>a prolonged (repetitive) awareness campaign to reach millions instead of thousands.
a portal where all these programs are being made easily accessible – thus establishing a strong prevention network
obligatory quality standards for programs as well as institutions
political and societal will to truly implement these programs in all institutions dealing with children.</li></li></ul><li>Thank you for your Attention!<br /> e.V.<br />Holtzendorffstraße 3<br />14057 Berlin<br />Phone: +49 30 3300 75 38<br />Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org<br />www.innocenceindanger.de<br />