The challenge

All around the world, millions of children – girls and boys alike – are affected by sexual abuse, exploitation and harmful behaviours. All children deserve a childhood free of these threats.

Extensive research has shown us that – whilst girls continue to be the group principally affected by sexual violence (including sexual abuse, exploitation and harmful sexual behaviour), it is also a large-scale problem for boys. In fact, it is estimated to affect 1 in 6 worldwide. Evidence also leads us to believe that boys significantly under-report their experiences, so it could be even higher.  

What We're Doing

We’ve already supported members to research sexual violence affecting boys in several countries, and this led to our recent report, Caring For Boys Affected by Sexual Violence.

This includes specific recommendations that are based on evidence and can be tailored to local contexts. To better support boys we need to provide more gender-inclusive recovery services, effective sex education, revised laws, and changes to the cultural and social norms around gender and sexual violence.

We believe that the best way to achieve these changes is by engaging professionals who can work in new ways to improve the system for children worldwide.

That’s why we’re launching our new United For Boys Charter.