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Survivors of childhood sexual violence break the silence at the SHAME- European Stories exhibition

PRESS RELEASE 26.05.2023

The SHAME - European Stories exhibition breaks the silence and shines a light at the extent of the phenomenon of sexual violence against children, whilst amplifying the voices of survivors

From Italy to Sweden – from Romania to Finland: Award-winning journalist Simone Padovani has photographed and interviewed nearly one hundred survivors of childhood sexual violence and abuse from all over Europe. The scope of the phenomenon has never been presented in a similar way before.

The international opening of the “SHAME - European Stories” exhibition took place at the prestigious Venice Biennale event in May 2022, after which the exhibition has toured across Europe, from Strasbourg to Lisbon and from Bilbao to Bucharest. Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry leads the work of the Justice Initiative in the Nordic countries and now brings the prestigious exhibition to Helsinki, Mall of Tripla.

"The goal is to break the silence and bring out the truth about acts of violence and sexual violence against children, as well as serious violations of the rights of the child," emphasizes Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen, Executive Director of Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry.

The exhibition is open to the public at the Mall of Tripla from 27 May to 2 June 2023.

“The exhibition highlights a very important topic. Mall of Tripla is a lively city center where a lot of children and youth spend time. With our own efforts, we want to support the goals of child protection and the realization of children's rights. Mall of Tripla works closely with several youth organizations and our goal is to actively promote the well-being of children and young people. Preventive work to promote the well-being of children and young people is of the utmost importance." says Hanna Heikkinen, mall manager of the Mall of Tripla.

"Justice Initiative": Europe-wide campaign against sexual violence and abuse of children

“SHAME – European Stories” is organized as part of the European Justice Initiative, led by Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry in the Nordic countries. Through the Justice Initiative, child abuse and sexual violence cases are dealt with comprehensively for the first time in all European countries. The initiative is funded by the Swiss Guido Fluri Foundation. The Justice Initiative published a joint petition in February, the aim of which is to support stronger EU legislation to prevent and combat sexual violence against children, especially online. In connection with the exhibition, Protect Children will be raising awareness of the immediate need to protect children online and encourages signing the petition with the #SafeForKids campaign on the first floor of the Mall of Tripla from Friday 26 May to Thursday 1 June 2023.

Further information

Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry is the only organization in Finland focused solely on the prevention of all forms of sexual violence against children.

Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen,

Executive Director, Senior Specialist, Psychotherapist

+35840 747 8829, nina.vaaranen-valkonen(at) i


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