REC-AG-2017/REC-RDAP-GBV-AG-2017 (Prevent and combat gender-based violence and violence against children), granted by the European Commission, under 2017 Rights, Equality and Citizenship Work Programme , is one of the newest project in which GAF will take part together with six more organizations in Bulgaria. The duration of the project is 24 months /17 September 2018 – 17 August 2020/. The main objectives are:
· To increased the reporting of sexual violence and/or sexual harassment against children, with appropriate mechanisms in place to facilitate this in Bulgaria;
· To increased number of quality victim support services for children victim of sexual violence and/or sexual harassment outside the capital city on Bulgaria;
· To prevent sexual violence against children;
Sexual violence against children is a worldwide problem. It is defined by the World Health Organization as: any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic, or otherwise directed, against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work. Children are particularly vulnerable members of the society because of their age, lack of experience and in physical and psychological maturity. Thus, they need special protection from adults in order to safeguard their rights and to ensure their proper development, physical and mental health. The project will directly address priority 2 of the call - “Protection and support for victims of gender-based violence and violence against children”. The project will focus on improving reporting of cases of sexual violence towards children as well as providing additional support to children victims of sexual violence. In order to improve reporting the partners will develop a web-based platform consisting information on different types of violence, presented in an age-appropriate manner.
The web-based platform will raise children’s awareness on the topic of sexual violence and will allow children to report in case they feel endangered of becoming a victim of violence or if they have already experienced sexual violence. The project’s value at European level lays in developing easily accessible, widely available, transferable, user-friendly and free-of-charge model of on-line reporting and learning materials in local language that can be adaptable within different contexts across the European region.