Importance of open communication about CSAM
Open, honest and transparent communication is crucial in the fight for children's safety. Generating public awareness is a big part of combating Child Sexual Violence, but it can be very challenging. Many people find the topic uncomfortable to discuss and a lot of cultures consider the topic taboo.
But our societal tendency to remain silent can have severely negative consequences for the affected children. Staying silent perpetuates a culture of shame and fear for the survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), which oftentimes hinders children to speak up and consequently allows abuse to continue. This is why we must concentrate our efforts on making survivors of abuse feel empowered to openly talk about their experiences instead of feeling scared and ashamed.
Inspired by the power of open communication, the fifth annual INHOPE Summit with the theme 'Talk About It' will bring together different actors to combine their efforts and develop a plan of action that will facilitate constructive conversations. To create an environment in which people affected by abuse feel comfortable speaking up about their experiences, all stakeholders in children's safety must invest their resources in facilitating proactive communication approaches about CSA and Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). Only by making the topic prominent in education, news, and media can we begin to open up the conversations and create societal change.
- Sexual Education curriculums in schools should include information about CSA and CSAM and provide children with necessary resources on how and where to report abuse.
- Education in school can have the ability to lift the stigma associated with reporting abuse and communicate to young people that help is available to those who need it.
- We need to aspire to adapt the school curriculum to the current state of our digital environment and include information about online grooming, and self-generated, or live-streamed abuse.
Media and Journalism
- Reporting on cases of abuse is crucial in generating more awareness about CSA and CSAM in the population. However, the identity and privacy of the survivor must always be prioritised.
- We need to implement standardised guidelines for reports on CSAM to protect the rights of affected children. This would make people feel safer in reporting abuse and encourage them to speak up.
- Companies that generate a lot of child engagement such as social media or gaming platforms should aim to provide users with information on how to spot but also how and where to report abuse.
- Social platforms are advised to include direct and open messaging about online abuse and the benefits of reporting inappropriate users.
- Organisations working in Child Protection spaces must continue to inform, educate and spread awareness about Child Sexual Violence. We must work to destigmatise speaking up about abuse to be able to prevent it in the future.
Are you a stakeholder working in the field of Child Protection and want to contribute to societal change? Do you want to hear more about the importance of talking about CSAM and learn which concrete steps you or your organisation can take?
Join our fifth annual INHOPE Summit to hear from other stakeholders, combine efforts and develop collaborative solutions. Learn more about the Summit and register here.
Photo by INHOPE
We must concentrate our efforts on making survivors of abuse feel empowered to openly talk about their experiences instead of feeling scared and ashamed.'