KEEP KIDS SAFE MOVEMENT APPLAUDS G7 LEADERS FOR HISTORIC COMMITMENT TO COMBATTING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
“This is an important first step – but now the work begins”
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Today, G-7 leaders released their formal communique highlighting their priorities to defend universal human rights and democratic values and for the first time in history, made a collective commitment to combatting child sexual abuse and exploitation globally. In response, the Keep Kids Safe Movement, comprised of survivors and the leading advocacy organizations in child sex abuse prevention and healing, released the following statements:
“Today’s historic recognition from G-7 leaders is an acknowledgement that people across the globe and over 42 million US-based child sexual abuse survivors have long been waiting for,” said Katelyn N. Brewer, CEO of Darkness to Light, a Co-Founder and Chair Keep Kids Safe. “We applaud the G-7 leaders standing up for survivors. This is an important first step – but now the work begins. There are tangible, research-backed steps that leaders in the United States – from Congress to the White House – can support and begin to implement today. Survivors demand and deserve that these steps be taken now.”
“To appropriately address this crisis in our backyard, we must urgently implement federal reforms that protect the most vulnerable among us: children and adolescents,” said Dr. Paul Zeitz, Co-Founder of the Keep Kids Safe Movement and Executive Movement Coordinator of the Brave Movement. “Survivors and advocates from across the country have built a blueprint for how to tackle this issue – now we just need Congress to act.”
Childhood sexual violence affects at least one in five girls and one in ten boys in every country around the world and undermines investments in child health, education, gender equality, and sustainable development. Last week, the Brave Movement ranked G7 countries in their efforts to protect children and adolescents from childhood sexual violence, and found woefully inadequate action from all G7 countries. You can read the scorecard here. You can read the G-7’s full communique here. An excerpt can be found below.
The pandemic, the war against Ukraine and further international conflicts, including in Afghanistan, have exacerbated the threat of trafficking in human beings, aimed at sexual and labour exploitation and abuse, particularly of children and women. We commit to step up our fight against trafficking in human beings and our efforts to prevent and combat child sexual abuse and exploitation globally, both online and offline. We ask our Interior Ministers to take forward the implementation of the Action plan to combat Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse from September 2021.
Earlier this month, Keep Kids Safe hosted a candlelight vigil outside the White House calling on the Biden-Harris Administration to be a leader in child protection at the G7 by implementing the National Blueprint to End Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents which calls for bold and transformative action to protect children from sexual abuse. Among the recommendations for federal policy makers, Keep Kids Safe urges the swift implementation of:
- A senior leadership position in the White House to coordinate action by federal agencies to combat child sexual abuse and elevate the importance of this issue to commensurate with its actual prevalence in the United States.
- A federal interagency Task Force on Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents focused on the prevention, healing, and justice chaired by the White House, to develop and implement a National Plan to End Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents.
- A National Summit on Sexual Violence against Children and Adolescents focused on prevention, healing, and justice with appropriate executive agencies and attended by survivors and families, thought leaders, researchers, federal, state, and local leaders, and allied organizations around the U.S. to promote awareness and to generate executive and legislative branch action.
About the Keep Kids Safe Movement
The Keep Kids Safe Movement is a powerful partnership between organizations, survivors, and allies focused on ending sexual violence against children and adolescents in all its forms – child sexual abuse, incest, child sexual exploitation, rape, sexual violence in dating relationships, and sexual violence among peers. The movement is focused on inclusive, comprehensive, bold and transformative action from leaders including: prevention to protect this and every generation to come, healing for victims, survivors, and their families, and justice for victims and survivors and accountability for perpetrators and institutions who covered up the abuse. For more information, visit www.keep-kids-safe.org.