Nov 18, 2022
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has approved a resolution officially establishing today, November 18, as a day to highlight and spread awareness related to the sexual exploitation and abuse of children, as ABC News reported.
Known as the World Day for the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence, the resolution was sponsored by Sierra Leone and Nigeria and co-sponsored by more than 120 countries. Adopted by consensus, the child sex abuse day resolution was greeted with loud applause following a bang of the gavel by the assembly’s acting president.
“Following the action, H.E., Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See United Nations, New York addressed the Assembly expressing appreciation for the UN’s action, and the full support of the Vatican State for the newly adopted World Day,” a press release from child advocacy organization The Global Collective said.
A number of child sex abuse advocates and related organizations are listed as co-founders and partners of the UN’s World Day to Highlight Child Sexual Abuse:
Over 50 individuals gathered together for the passage of the World Day for the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation resolution, including:
H.E. Fatima Maada Bio, the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone and a survivor of child marriage, also addressed the General Assembly.
“Child sexual abuse is a global public health crisis. We must acknowledge this problem, and take every necessary action to protect our children, especially our girls, from this tragic human condition,” she said, urging action on the part of world leaders.
“Her eloquent, impassioned speech was greeted with a round of applause, and cheers from survivors in the gallery,” according to The Global Collective’s press release.
“Child sexual abuse is one of the greatest violations to human dignity, one can suffer,” added H.E. Ambassador Alhaji Fanday Turay. “The World Day for the Prevention of, and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence is a critical step in bringing institutional recognition to this horrific childhood trauma. Too many victims of child sexual abuse are suffering in shame and silence. Many live anguished lives. By adopting this Resolution, we can provide a platform for all nations and civil society to mobilize and take actions to protect children from this tragedy.”
“The toll child sexual abuse takes goes deep. It harms the victim, and their loved ones, and it has grave consequences to the health and wellbeing of our nations costing billions each year in increased health care costs and lost GDP,” H.E. Bio said, noting that the World Health Organization reports that millions of children experience child sexual violence each year.
The UN resolution reportedly aims to bring global visibility to the problem of child sexual abuse and promote the right for every child to grow up free from all forms of sexual abuse, both online and offline.
Specifically, the UN resolution calls on 193 member nations, international organizations, world leaders, civil society, non-governmental groups, faith leaders, academic institutions, and private businesses to commemorate the day “in a manner that each considers most appropriate.”
The assembly also stressed the need for certain steps to be enacted through the new day commemorated to highlight child sex abuse, such as:
Bio welcomed the resolution’s wide support, telling reporters after the vote, “I think the whole world is standing in solidarity to say enough is enough,” according to ABC News.
Bio also said November 18 will not be a day of celebration but a reminder to the world that the “scourge” of child sexual abuse is happening and to give the victims voices “so they know they’re not in this on their own.”
“When someone violates your body without your consent, that is a crime, and it’s taking your human rights away from you,” she said. “So, November 18 will be a day that we will gather, and we will scream together and say, `You’re not going to bring us down. We’re still surviving, and we will live. If you think you have finished us, no, you haven’t.'”
Bio reportedly gave credit for the resolution to Jennifer Wortham, a Californian whose two younger brothers were molested by their parish priest more than 35 years ago and who has been campaigning for a world day to help bring healing and justice for survivors. Wortham raised the issue with her, “making this my agenda,” Bio said to ABC News.
“Wortham praised the backing from UN member nations and said over 100 organizations were going to be tweeting support for the resolution Monday,” ABC News reported.
According to the National Centers for Victims of Crime (NSVC) the prevalence of child sexual abuse is difficult to determine because it is often not reported. And while experts agree that the incidence is far greater than what is reported to authorities, the following estimated statistics shed light on the overall scope of the problem:
In August, Dordulian Law Group (DLG) published a blog examining how much money is spent by the federal government to prevent child sexual abuse. Some statistics on the matter include:
California survivors of childhood sexual abuse currently have a limited window to file claims that would otherwise be barred due to an expired statute of limitations. The California AB 218 law allows all survivors of childhood sex abuse a three-year window to file civil lawsuits seeking to recover financial compensation for various damages:
Under AB 218, child sex abuse claims may be filed until the window’s expiration on January 1, 2023 – regardless of how long ago the crimes occurred. Once the window closes, survivors will be bound by the standard statute of limitations when filing claims.
DLG is one of the nation’s leading child sexual abuse firms representing survivors in all types of cases. To speak with one of our Los Angeles sexual abuse attorneys from the DLG SAJE Team, contact us today at 818-322-4056 for a free and confidential consultation. There is never any upfront fee for our services, and we will fight aggressively for justice and maximum financial compensation on your behalf.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.