Protect Children organises a roundtable discussion for survivors of childhood sexual abuse and politicians - How do we protect children from sexual violence?
Protect Children is organising an event at the Oodi library in Helsinki, Finland, on 17 March 2023, where survivors and representatives of the Finnish parliamentary parties are meeting to discuss the need for changes at the national level to protect children from sexual violence.
The event is part of the Justice Initiative project, led by Protect Children in the Nordics, which aims to strengthen legislation in the EU to combat sexual violence against children.
"So many victims, so many silenced cases, so many silent cries, so many crimes that have gone unprosecuted - we need to change the criminal law for our future generations." Survivor, Our Voice group.
The panel discussion on the prevention of sexual violence against children, with representatives from parliamentary parties, will be guided by Protect Children's goals for the 2023 Finnish parliamentary elections, which have been developed in collaboration with survivors, as well as the EU-wide petition launched in February to protect children from sexual violence, especially in online environments.
"Survivors of childhood sexual violence are now being heard for the first time when legislation is being developed. We are going through a historic, silence-breaking change both nationally and internationally, and the roundtable we are organizing is the first of its kind in Finland. The decision-makers are finally stopping to meet and hear the survivors' voices and wisdom," emphasizes Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen, Protect Children's Executive Director, Senior Specialist, psychotherapist.
Protect Children is the only organization in Finland whose daily work focuses exclusively on preventing sexual harassment, grooming and sexual violence against children nationally and internationally. The Our Voice Survivor Advocacy Group, founded by the organisation, is the first in Finland and the goal is to highlight the voice and wisdom of those who have experienced violence.
"We need actions, not empty promises." Survivor, Our Voice group.