Brave Movement Survivors and Allies Call on World Leaders to #BeBrave to End Childhood Sexual Violence
27 April 2022 – Today at the first-ever #BeBrave Global Survivors Action Summit, adult survivors of childhood sexual violence and allies in 22 countries (Albania, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Spain, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America), from five continents around the world, demanded bold and transformational action as fast as possible by governments and private sector leaders.
The virtual summit was hosted by the Brave Movement, a growing international advocacy movement of survivors and allies united to end childhood sexual violence. Survivors and allies will launch National Calls to Action from 18 countries, a Solidarity Statement from over 120 organizations and individuals in India, and a G7 Call to Action. These efforts informed the Brave Movement’s #BeBrave Global Call to Action, with four global priorities:
Justice: Abolish statute of limitations laws to guarantee that survivors who choose to can bring perpetrators and complicit institutions to justice;
Investment: Mobilize billions of domestic financing by governments, and as appropriate, official development assistance (ODA) from wealthy countries to solve this neglected crisis in low and middle-income countries to finance comprehensive policies and programs for prevention, healing, and justice;
Safety: Ensure a child rights-driven approach to creating a safe and secure internet for all children and adolescents, free of sexual violence;
Inclusion: Inclusion of survivor voices in policy-making and decision-making.
So far, 80 organizations have endorsed the #BeBrave Global Call to Action, with many more expected to endorse it before it is formally delivered to government leaders in June 2022.
In addition, nine adult survivor leaders from G7 countries, India, Bolivia, and Kenya will launch the first-ever #BeBrave G7 Petition with Change.org during the Global Survivors Action Summit. The petition calls for mobilizing billions from the G7 Leaders government action to end childhood sexual violence in their own countries and around the World. The Government of Germany is hosting the next G7 Summit on June 26-28, 2022 and the Brave Movement partners and allies around the world are advocating for the G7 to commit to bold action.
The Brave Movement is catalyzing campaigners around the world to mobilize on a Global Day of #BraveAction on June 9, 2022 and demand commitments from their government leaders and G7 Leaders (#BeBraveBoris, #BeBraveEmmanuel, #BeBraveFumio, #BeBraveJoe, #BeBraveJustin, #BeBraveMario, #BeBraveOlaf) to end the scourge of childhood sexual violence.
Additionally, the Brave Movement will launch the #BeBraveZuck Campaign calling for approval by Meta shareholders of a resolution that would ensure that the company is held accountable for immediately detecting, reporting, and removing all online childhood sexual violence materials.
The Brave Movement welcomes and salutes the leaders who are speaking at the Global Survivors Action Summit, and we acknowledge their responses to the calls of survivors and allies. We are proudly building new partnerships to accelerate bold action with the European Commission, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), Oak Foundation, and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, and many others.
Leadership Quotes in Support of the Brave Movement:
Gloria Estefan, singer songwriter and survivor states: “Sexual violence is the great silent scourge of our time. For too long, it has been veiled in silence, engulfed in shame and sheltered by impunity. That changes now. Sexual violence against children and adolescents is unacceptable, criminal and preventable.”
Yllva Johansson, Commissioner, European Commission, Home Affairs, states: “I applaud the Global Survivors Action Summit and the launch of the Brave Movement. I fully support their ambitious goals to end sexual violence against children and to create a world where children grow up free from sexual violence. Survivors joining forces to raise awareness and impact policy is truly empowering and will make a real difference.”
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) Director General states: "There is never any excuse for sexual violence aganst chldren. With political commitment and the right tools, we can give our children the protection, the care and the justice they deserve."
Cathy Russell, UNICEF Executive Director states: “When victims and survivors do speak up, we must listen and act so that every child has access to support, to services, and to justice. States have an obligation to ensure accountability in every case of violence.”
Howard Taylor, Executive Director of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, states: “Ending sexual violence against children is not only right, it is also a smart investment to make and it’s possible. The organized and powerful voices of brave survivors and their allies are breaking the silence. Now is the time for leadership action and a step-change in investment in proven solutions.”
Douglas Griffiths, President, Oak Foundation states: “Trustees and staff at Oak Foundation stand in awe of the survivors who are leading the fight against child sexual abuse. This is why we are committed to supporting survivors that are demanding radical reform. We invite others to join this movement and step up in the fight to end child sexual abuse.”
Kate Hampton, Chief Executive Officer, Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), states: “We stand with the Brave Movement and all survivors of childhood sexual violence, as you speak your truth, as you seek to change mindsets, and as you demand bold and transformational policies to address and defeat all violence against children. We are proud to commit ourselves to be your allies, and to be brave.”
Daniela Ligiero, Executive Director and CEO of Together for Girls, Chair of the Brave Movement, and SAGE member states: “We are calling for survivor-centred, bold and transformative action from leaders and institutions —connecting efforts at global, national, and community level, and focused on prevention, healing and justice.”
Iain Drennan, Executive Director, WeProtect Global Alliance, Vice-Chair of the Brave Movement states: “Online-facilitated child sexual abuse is one of the most urgent and defining issues of our generation. Countries, companies and charities are all involved in tackling this crime. But survivors’ perspectives are essential in understanding how the abuse happens, the impact it can have and what works to tackle it, delivering an effective collective response. WeProtect Global Alliance is proud to be an activity ally and partner of the Brave Movement, amplifying the voices of survivors in global strategic conversations about fighting child sexual abuse online.”
Rosalia Rivera, Consent educator, child sexual abuse prevention specialist, and Chair, SAGE: Survivor Advocates Globally Empowered, states: “For too long, society has failed it’s children by ignoring this crisis and willfully turning a blind eye. That ends now. Every sector of society must take collective, committed and brave action. We can and will end childhood sexual violence for this and future generations to come!”
Wibke Müller, Political scientist, policy adviser, member of the German Council of Survivors, and SAGE member states: “Survivors and allies from all over the world join forces. It is important that our knowledge is included, heard, and valued in all policies, strategies, and programs for preventing and ending childhood sexual violence and that we advocate for healing and justice. All adults need to feel responsible for protecting all children. No child can protect themselves alone. I believe that together, we are the change that is needed to end sexual violence against children and adolescents.”
Matthew McVarish, Scottish actor, writer, activist, and SAGE member states: “Survivors, Governments and NGOs gather from across the globe - together we will end childhood sexual violence. As Nelson Mandela said, it always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Sarah Cooper, Speaker, leader, Founder of the #BeBraveZuck Campaign, and SAGE member states: “Our stories hold power, but our voices together unite change. The time for change is now, We are BRAVE, together we are stronger. As survivors, we hold the power by breaking the stigma around child sexual violence.”
Tabitha Mpamira, Speaker, Mental health therapist, educator, founder of Mutera Global Healing, and SAGE Member states: “Survivors had to be their own heroes so that future generations don’t have to face the same fate. We call on you to be brave so that children can be safe.
Suresh Chhetry, Educator, activist, and SAGE member states: “I want to make sure that what happened to me does not happen again, to my children, or any other children around the world. The issue of sexual violence in schools is a global one, and one that effects both boys and girls, everywhere around the world. I am proud to serve as an advisor at Safe to Learn, an initiative dedicated to ending violence in and through schools so children are free to learn, thrive and pursue their dreams.
Brisa de Angulo, Lawyer, psychologist, human rights advocate and SAGE member states: "The future of our planet and of humanity depends on how well we protect the inherent goodness, dignity, and innocence of every child. We are the ones we have been waiting for."
Paul Zeitz, Brave Movement Executive Coordinator (interim) and SAGE member states: “We know what it takes to create a world free of childhood sexual violence, where all of our children and adolescents can grow up in safe, secure and nurturing environments. Survivors refuse to remain in the shadows anymore, and we and all our allies will raise our voices to demand real results. The time to act is now! It’s time for a breakthrough!”
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About the Brave Movement:
Led by fifteen adult survivors of childhood sexual violence and allied organizations, the Brave Movement is taking collective action to achieve bold and transformational laws, programs and policies at the local, national and regional level and in global institutions within the multilateral system.
#BeBrave Global Survivors Action Summit:
The full recording of the #BeBrave Global Survivors Action Summit will be available at https://www.bravemovement.org/