One in Five
Sexual abuse and exploitation are problems that affect more people than we can imagine. Children are highly vulnerable and can easily be involved in dangerous activities. It is important for adults to be prepared to recognise the signs of this problem, be prepared to react, and know to whom to turn for help.
The data of the State Agency for Child Protection shows that for the past 10 years the reported cases of child sexual abuse are growing, an in the last three years these cases are over 300 per year. It is not an overstatement to say that Bulgarian society doesn’t recognise the essence and the extent of the problem. A conversation with children on the topic is still considered a taboo. There is an underlying understanding that puts victims in a socially unacceptable position and stigmatises them. Therefore many victims don’t report the violence to the institutions that can support them.
In June 2015, SAPI launched national campaign to prevent sexual abuse and exploitation against children. The initiative is part of the “1 in 5” Campaign of the Council of Europe and is conducted simultaneously in six European countries – Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Ukraine, and Bulgaria. Our main goal is to raise the awareness of the society, children, their parents and families on this serious problem.
Why “One in Five”. One in every five children in Europe is victim of some form of sexual abuse. There are some simple rules that can help adults to protect children.
“The Underwear rule” is a simple guide for parents that helps them to explain to children the difference between good and bad touch, how to set boundaries, how to react and where to seek help if something happens to them. What is the Underwear rule? It’s very simple: no one should touch children on those parts of the body, that are covered by the underwear. Children shouldn’t touch other people on these parts of the body either.