AT THE MOMENT, THERE ARE MILLIONS OF REAL-LIFE ESCAPE ROOMS ACROSS THE WORLD, HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT.

We are talking about hidden rooms, where child sexual abuse is happening, and from where children are not able to escape on their own. They can only escape with the help of adults.

For a short moment, The Real-Life Escape Room opened the doors of a real-life situation, in which Amadea was sexually abused for several years as a child.

The key with which the visitors opened the doors of the Real-Life Escape Room is also the first step to a real-life solution. And this is to make a contact with your local organization which helps children suffering from child sexual abuse.

Illustration: Amadea,
13 years old

THERE ARE FAR MORE SEXUAL ABUSE CASES THAN WE IMAGINE. WE NEED TO STOP THEM.

European and global statistics are very alarming and it is important for us to be aware of this fact. In 85% of the cases, the offender is a member of the victim's immediate or distant family or someone, whom the child knows and trusts. Yet, 62% of all victims keep quiet.

As much as 33% girls and 20% boys are victims of sexual abuse before they turn 18.

If you know or suspect that a child is being sexually abused, you are probably the only one who can help them.

Make a contact with your local organization which helps children suffering from child sexual abuse. They will advise you how to act in this situation.

* Source: Association Against Sexual Abuse

Illustration: Amadea,
13 years old

THE OFFENDERS WANT YOU TO KEEP SILENT.
SPREAD THE WORD.

We all underestimate the frequency of sexual abuse and have a wrong impression on how they come about and who the offenders are; all these facts make it easier for the offenders to continue with the abuse that often remains hidden and unpunished.

What we can do right away is spread the word about the abuse the best way we can and share The Real-Life Escape Room video that raises awareness on the issue and encourages victims to speak up, as well as introduces the first step of the solution to the public.

Illustration: Amadea,
13 years old

Share The Real-Life Escape Room video and help stop sexual abuse as soon as possible.

WHAT IS CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE?

Child sexual abuse is always a planned process. The offenders choose a child who is more vulnerable and they establish control over the child’s environment together with a system of maintaining that control. Then, during the first phase, they create accidental moments of more intimate physical contact with the child, e.g. by tickling.

The offenders always abuse the child's trust and gain their attention and emotional dependence by talking about love and using other sophisticated forms of manipulation. After a victim is caught in the middle of an abusive situation, the offender starts satisfying his/her needs.

In different ways, the offender stirs up feelings of guilt with the child about what is going on. The child, filled with all these horrific emotions and powerless in their fear and hope, cooperates with the offender and takes responsibility for the offender’s, as well as his/her own actions. Thus, the child keeps quiet.

Sexual abuse is only rarely associated with physical abuse and relatively rarely with sexual intercourse, which does not mean that it is in any way less harmful and horrific. In most cases, it is a combination of different forms of abuse – nudity and inappropriate touching and other ways of violating the child's sexual integrity. It must be pointed out that even the smallest of events in correlation with the physical integrity of the child remains in the memory of the body forever.

Sexual abuse is the most gruesome and the most complicated human experience that represents the betrayal of the child's primal trust and the essence of childhood. Therefore, it must be stopped immediately.

How can we help?

Illustration: Amadea,
22 years old

WHO ARE THE OFFENDERS?

Only a small portion of offenders are paedophiles – people with sexual proclivity towards children. In most cases, the issue is satisfying the need for power, dominance, and control, thus, the offender can be anyone, a woman or a man, regardless of their religion, culture, social status, or their income.

The offenders are very motivated to keep sexual abuse hidden, so that they can continue with it, thus, we need to be extremely attentive, since abuse may be happening right in front of us.

In 85% of the cases, the offender is a member of the child's immediate or distant family or someone the child knows and trusts.

* Source: Association Against Sexual Abuse

HOW FREQUENT IS CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE?

With such alarming statistical data, we must always bear in mind that each and every child may become a victim of sexual abuse. It is extremely hard for children to speak up about sexual abuse – if at all. Parents may be the last one to find out about the abuse.

Research shows that only 38% of sexually abused children speak up.

Every year, 150 million girls and 73 million boys are victims of sexual abuse across the world. According to EU data, almost every third girl and every fifth boy up to the age of 18 has been sexually abused.*

Regarding this data, Slovenia should register far more cases of child sexual abuse. It is evident that the number of sexual abuse charges in Slovenia has drastically fallen over the past few years. Unfortunately, this cannot be said for the number of cases of sexual abuse.

* Source: Association Against Sexual Abuse

Number of criminal charges pertaining to sexual assault on a person, aged 15 or below

Source: Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Slovenia (MNZ)

HOW CAN WE HELP?

CONTACT EXPERT HELP AND SUPPORT IMMEDIATELY

If a child in any manner speaks about their suffering, we need to unconditionally believe them straight away. We need to understand and protect the child even without their disclosure of abuse via the signs and symptoms they are displaying.

Recognising the signs and symptoms depends on the responsible and trained adults, while you can acquire expert advice, directions, and help from the Society against Sexual Abuse.

If you suspect or know that a child is being sexually abused you are probably the only one who can help. Immediately call your local organization.

Illustration: Amadea,
13 years old

SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN

The more people come together, the more individuals will address this issue, and the more power we will have. Sign your name and publicly support the cause.

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