13-year-old Lisa, victim of sexual abuse

Strasbourg, 11.10.2013 – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) today presented in Nicosia, Cyprus, its new video clip to raise awareness of sexual violence against children.

In the wood, 13-year-old Lisa is crying. A man touches her cheek with his hand. She turns away. The man takes her in his arms, consoles her. She grits her teeth. The man says “Don’t say anything to your mother … especially not to her”.

This is the start of the script by the young director Roland Edzard: two minutes to pass the message on to adolescents who are victims of sexual abuse of how important it is to talk about their experience if the situation is to improve. The clip shows the secret pact between the abuser and the minor, a pact which the latter needs to break. Talking about it to someone else is difficult, but is vitally important.

This video clip is part of the Council of Europe One in Five campaign: “About ONE in FIVE children falls victim to sexual violence. This child is weighed down by a terrible secret. YOU could be the one who listens and helps.”

“It is estimated that in 70 to 85 per cent of cases, the abuser is somebody the child knows and trusts. Child sexual violence can take many forms: sexual abuse within the family circle, child pornography and prostitution, corruption, solicitation via the Internet and sexual assault by peers,” said Stella Kyriakides, PACE general rapporteur on children, at the presentation of the video clip in Nicosia, part of a series of meetings to mobilise Cyprus in combating sexual violence against children.

“Children must understand that they are not to blame for the sexual violence they may suffer and that revealing the facts is never a betrayal, no matter what anyone might have told them. They must also understand that any attempted abuse must immediately be reported to an adult they trust or to the emergency services, for example, via a telephone help-line. Secrecy and social taboos are the breeding ground for sexual violence,” she concluded.

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The two-minute video clip is royalty-free and can be downloaded in various languages from http://www.assembly.coe.int/oneinfive/video/