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The invisible children – Childhood and the Rainbow Fund

Childhood and the Rainbow Fund are launching a joint initiative to draw attention to and strengthen work against sexual abuse of boys.

  • Boys who are sexually abused are often not covered by legislation.
  • Boys who are sexually abused are often not visible in the statistics.
  • Boys who are sexually abused often do not dare to make a report to the police or tell their families what has happened.

See the invisible children!

A comparison of 60 countries on legislation and efforts to stop sexual abuse of children shows that almost half of the countries compared lack clear protection against sexual abuse of boys in the legislation. Only 6 out of 60 countries have information on the proportion of boys who have been sexually exploited.

There are a number of examples of how abuse of boys is judged to be less serious than if it were to affect a girl. In some cases, they are jokingly brushed aside. In other cases, the adult world blames the boy. The adult world simply does not know how to deal with a boy who has been abused.

I think it’s sad how those of us who work against sexual abuse of children have failed the boys,” says Britta Holmberg, Programme Manager at Childhood. We have talked far too little about how they are abused and how it affects them. We have to change that now!

Rainbow children (children who are lesbian, gay, bi and trans) often have no other choice in their search for identity than to approach highly sexualised adult environments where they risk being exploited by the adults. Their first sexual encounters are therefore often abuse.

“I myself was abused as a child, and almost all the gay guys I know have such experiences,” says Jonas Gardell, Ambassador for the Rainbow Fund. It’s so common that we’ve taken it for granted.

Jonas Gardell, Ambassador for the Rainbow Fund

Boys who are sexually abused and children who are rainbow children are two distinct and sometimes overlapping groups where children become invisible and the invisibility has been able to function and serve as protection for the perpetrators.

The Rainbow Fund and Childhood are now launching a joint three-year initiative, that we call “The Invisible Children”, where we together intend to:

About Regnbågsfonden

The purpose of the Fund is to financially help HBTQ people around the world, as well as individuals, primarily in countries where HBTQ people are stalked and harassed by authorities, police and religious institutions.

Our funds will not go to organisations or individuals who do not respect human rights and freedoms. These include racism, and antisemitism, sexism and children’s rights.

Sexual minorities uganda