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  • Protect Children

Project to Prevent Online Sexual Violence Against Children Gets Significant EU Funding

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

PRESS RELEASE 13.03.2023 Finnish NGO, Protect Children, receives significant funding from the European Commission to protect children from online crimes of sexual violence

Helsinki – 13 March 2023 EMBARGO 04:00AM EET

Helsinki-based child protection organization, Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry., kicks-off European Commission-funded two-year project, Knowledge to Prevent (2KNOW) - Protecting Children from Online Crimes of Sexual Violence, together with the Council of the Baltic Sea States and the University of Eastern Finland.

Project 2KNOW aims to improve data collection on online violence against children and offer a scalable peer-support model for parents and carers of child victims of online sexual abuse.

Improving EU-wide data collection on online sexual violence against children

Project 2KNOW aims to support and improve national and international data collection on violence against children by developing a sustainable data collection model for gathering information about online sexual violence against children.

“This project gives us the unique chance to gather knowledge both from parents of children who have fallen victim to sexual violence and from (potential) offenders of crimes against children. This combination is invaluable in the effective prevention of crimes of sexual violence against children” states 2KNOW Project Manager, Anna Ovaska, Deputy Director of Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry.

Through the project, data will be directly gathered from anonymous offenders searching for child sexual abuse material on the dark web and the surface web, to gain a better understanding of the patterns, characteristics, and trends of online crimes of sexual violence against children today.

Research-based knowledge is essential for effective prevention of sexual violence and support for the victims. The collaboration between researchers and practitioners in this project enables us to produce scientific knowledge that will be directly applied to prevention of online sexual violence against children” Hanna Lahtinen, University Lecturer, University of Eastern Finland.

‘Supporting the supporters’: Project 2KNOW will strengthen support for parents and families of child victims of online sexual violence

The findings of this research will be translated into direct preventative action to protect children from harm through the development of Protect Children’s ‘You Are Enough’ parental peer-support group model to provide practical and psychoeducational support for parents, carers, and families - in turn providing essential support to child victims to protect them from further abuse.

A parent participating in Protect Children’s ‘You Are Enough’ peer-support group describes their experience in the group: “I accept my own and my child's feelings and understand them better. I feel that I got a lot of help and support as a parent”.

The project will also collect invaluable information on child victims’ and their families’ experiences to broaden the understanding of online sexual violence against children and prevent harm before it materializes.

Caregivers play an important role in the recovery of children who are victims of child sexual abuse. Providing a safe place for caregivers to share, listen and learn from each other, and making them feel supported and heard, enables them to support their children on their path to recovery and prevent further abuse.” Olivia Lind Haldorsson, Head of Children at Risk Unit, Council of the Baltic Sea States, Expert Group on Children at Risk

Project 2KNOW is funded by the European Commission’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV) under the 2022 call for proposals to prevent and combat gender-based violence and violence against children (CERV-2022-DAPHNE).

More information:

Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry. is the only organization in Finland dedicated to preventing all forms of sexual violence against children.

The University of Eastern Finland is a university in Finland founded in 2010 with campuses in Joensuu and Kuopio.

The Council of the Baltic Sea States is an intergovernmental political forum for regional cooperation. Consisting of 10 Member States and the European Union, it supports a regional perspective on global challenges. The vision of the CBSS Expert Group on Children at Risk is that children in the Baltic Sea Region enjoy their rights as recognised in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Executive Director, Senior Specialist, Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry. +358407478829

2KNOW Project Manager, Deputy Director of Suojellaan Lapsia, Protect Children ry.

+358 40 081 0020


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