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About Breaking the Silence

Child sexual abuse is one of the worst forms of violence against children. Despite affecting a large number of children (between 10 and 20% of children according to the Council of Europe) it goes highly underreported.

Research proves that the impacts of all kind of violence affect children’s healthy development and wellbeing. It has also consequences on their school success, leading to worst educational outcomes, higher levels of absenteeism, repetition and risk of early school dropout.

Schools must guarantee violence free environments where children can learn and develop safely. Besides, when they are faced with situations that might endanger a child’s wellbeing, they have to report it to competent authorities so that effective protection is provided.

However, the taboo associated with child sexual abuse and its very specific characteristics compared to other kind of violence are an obstacle for detection, putting children at higher risk.

Accordingly, the project “Breaking the silence together” will help your school to understand the specific characteristics of child sexual abuse. Using a community-based approach, it will provide you with specific tools to tackle child sexual abuse effectively within the different target groups concerned: school principals, teachers, students, families and stakeholders.


The Fundació Vicki Bernadet (FVB) located in Barcelona and Zaragoza, Spain, is a nonprofit organization working since 1997 on the prevention and attention of child sexual abuse. On the one hand, the Foundation aims to improve the life quality of child sexual abuse victims by offering psycho-social and legal support. On the other hand, it seeks to raise social awareness by providing specialized capacity building (targeting children, families and professionals) and by implementing advocacy strategies to promote a society free from child sexual abuse.

The institute of Child Health (ICH) located in Athens, Greece is a public research institute supervised by the Hellenic Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity founded in 1965. Throughout its 40 years of existence it has been developing a wide range of actions in the field area of child protection including specialized clinical and laboratory services, health promotion, research and training of health and social services professionals.

The association Hazissa located in Graz, Austria, is an institute for prevention of sexualized violence and was established in January 2003. Hazissa support changes in social and institutional power structures, raise awareness for the subject and provide information for the general public, trainings and knowledge transfer for parents and pedagogues, caregivers, children adolescents, men and women with disabilities. Hazissa works in the area of prevention on incidences of sexual violence and supports individuals within the help system in detection and processing of sexualized violence.

The European School Heads Association (ESHA) is the leading network for European School Leaders. Members of ESHA are national associations for school heads within (pre)primary, secondary and vocational education. Nearly all European countries are represented within ESHA by one or more associations. The ESHA members represent 65.000 school leaders in Europe. The ESHA network is an international community in which experiences, visions and views between the members, research organizations, policy makers and teachers are exchanged and in which new ideas are born.

Nobody’s Children Foundation (NCF) is located in Warszawa, Poland and was established in 1991. From the beginning it has focused on providing assistance to abused children, their families and caregivers. NCF runs 12 programs and operates in 3 locations in Warsaw. It also runs two Crisis Intervention Centres in Gdańsk and Stargard. NCF’s activities have targeted children who are abused physically or sexually, as well as neglected children, their parents and caregivers, and all individuals exposed to child abuse cases in their professional capacity.

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