Child sexual abuse: Tell someone you trust!
One in five children under the age of 18 in Europe is a victim of sexual violence. In 70 - 85% of cases, the perpetrator is a person known to the child and part of their “circle of trust”. Much of the suffering remains hidden because children feel afraid to speak out: in 90% of cases, abuse is not reported to the police.
The Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, also known as “the Lanzarote Convention”, requires criminalisation of all kinds of sexual offences against children. It sets out that states in Europe and beyond shall adopt specific legislation and take measures to prevent sexual violence, to protect child victims and to prosecute perpetrators.
The first monitoring report on implementation of the Convention focuses on abuse within the circle of trust.
Bragi Gudbrandsson is Chair of the “Lanzarote Committee”, the body established to monitor whether Parties effectively implement the Lanzarote Convention.