Greenlandic children’s rights advocates began a six-week media campaign Thursday aimed at bringing the country’s high rates of child sexual abuse out in the open.
Studies have shown that as many as one in three children in Greenland are sexually abused, a rate well above the UN’s global estimate of 1 in 20 children.
According to the campaign’s organisers, Nakuusa, a UN-funded organization, addressing the issue starts with making people aware of the extent of the problem.
The six videos produced for the Ullut Tamaasa (or ‘every day’ in Greenlandic) campaign are each targeted at a separate audience. One of the first videos released explains to adults what form of physical contact with children is proper.
“No one may touch a child’s genitals, unless it is for health or hygienic reasons,” the video states, adding further that parents should teach their children to set limits for physical contact.
A second video, directed more at teens, makes sure they know that abuse is not uncommon, stating at one point “[There are] days we want to be without. Days we want to prevent. Days we get abused.” Prevention, it says, requires teens to talk about the issue, and to act if they are concerned that someone else is being abused.
Despite the grim statistics, the campaign is meant to be encouraging, said Nakuusa spokesperson Najaaraq Møller.
“The videos are basically a positive message of hope — that we can bring do something about sexual abuse if we all pull together,” Møller told sermitsiaq.ag, a Greenlandic news outlet.
The campaign is funded using money raised during a TV telethon broadcast last year. The event raised 1.65 million kroner ($270,000), a record amount for a Greenlandic telethon.