Today, on the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, AMBER Alert Europe launches its new awareness-raising campaign ‘Friend or Monster?’ The campaign underlines the fact that, unlike common belief, the majority of sexually abused children are harmed by someone they know, love, or trust.

Each year, the Council of Europe highlights a specific topic on the occasion of this European Day. The 2021 edition focuses on “Making the circle of trust truly safe for children”. In Europe, 8 out of 10 children, who are sexually abused, are harmed by someone in their inner circle, such as a parent, relative, or family friend.

When the harm is done by a person they know, love, or trust, children find it particularly difficult to disclose and overcome the abuse. Additionally, during the COVID-19 lockdowns, children closed in with their abusers had even fewer chances to seek help.

Are you a victim of child sexual abuse or do you know someone who is? Click here to find out who to contact in your country.

More information? Click here to visit the official webpage of the European Day.