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20 November 2014 | 10:17

Fight Against Sexual Abuse in Ukraine

Children in Ukraine are particularly vulnerable to violence in all its forms, including sexual exploitation and abuse. Government prevention policies date from the Soviet era, and are no longer adapted to today's society; they focus more on moralising the child than encouraging communication and reflection.  

BICE fights against sexual abuse

Since 2011, the BICE and Women’s Consortium of Urkaine have worked together to fight against child victims of sexual abuse.

The aims of the “Fight against sexual abuse” programme (2014-2017) in Ukraine are:

  • To give children the skills to cope with situations where there is a risk of sexual abuse, such as how to say “NO” and get adequate support
  • To provide children with life skills (self-esteem, conflict resolution, crisis communication, understanding of their rights …)
  • To tackle taboo subjects that are not traditionally taught in schools.

Activities against sexual abuse

Most of the activities of the “Fight against sexual abuse” programme in Ukraine take place in schools. BICE and the Women’s Consortium of Ukraine use the Life-skills educational method (education based on life skills). It allows participants to acquire knowledge and behaviours that enable them to cope with the risks of sexual abuse.

The various activities implemented:

  • A search for institutions to develop the method and signature of partnership
  • Training of teachers in methods to combat sexual abuse,
  • Listening attentively to child victims of sexual abuse, taking their age and trauma into account
  • Training sessions for children on daily life skills:
    • Interpersonal communication skills
    • Negotiation skills and refusal
    • Compassion
    • Cooperation and teamwork
    • Ability to mobilize
    • Decision-making and problem-solving
    • Critical thinking
    • Confidence building
    • Control of feelings
    • Stress management
  • The installation of a forensic unit suitable for gathering children’s

Key figures of the programme

In total, over 2,300 people – children and adults – benefit from activities for the prevention of sexual abuse:

  • 1,500 children aged 10 to 14 years protected from sexual abuse through awareness workshops
  • 850 professionals in schools (psychologists, teachers, social workers …)