While they have been known for some time, the figures remain staggering: about 1 in 5 children in Europe are victims of some form of sexual violence by the age of 18. The Council of Europe “ONE in FIVE” Campaign (2010-2015) has been an excellent awareness-raising tool generating many national initiatives. However, combatting sexual violence effectively requires stronger co-operation between European initiatives carried by member States authorities’ and other organisations. In sports, for example, 16% of all girls and women are confronted with sexual violence where positions of trust are misused by trainers or teammates.
Very often sexual violence is kept secret. Since the launch of the #metoo campaign things are changing and more and more secrets are being revealed. Most survivors of sexual violence consider recognition and compensation as very important, because it helps them to recover. But survivors do not receive equal support in all European countries. The Parliamentary Assembly should draw attention to the fact that, even 10 years after the opening for signature of the Lanzarote Convention, five member States of the Council of Europe still have to ratify it. Eventually, a European foundation preventing and combatting sexual violence could lead to stronger co-operation between current initiatives and lobby for a better recognition and compensation of survivors.