Learning from Children Exposed to Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation: The Bamboo Project Study on Child Resilience

Resilience in Children in a Society in Transition, Bulgaria


Date of publication:  15 May 2014 Authors:  Galina Markova Toma Tomov Haralan Alexandrov Jana Katzarova Anet Marinova Antonaneta Mateeva Gergana Popgeorgieva Anna Kabakova Publisher:  OAK Foundation Publication type:  Report / Study / Data

This report forms part of the Bamboo Project, an international program to help understand resilience in children exposed to sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, established by the Oak Foundation. The report outlines the findings of the Bamboo Project with regard to Bulgaria. Children exposed to or at risk of sexual abuse or exploitation in Bulgaria find support in a variety of sources, such as close family members, immediate environments (school, friends, social workers, partners or fellow gang members), state-provided resources, NGOs and religious services, and the child’s own internal resources. These sources of support can foster a child’s resilience in the face of sexual abuse or exploitation, but they can also pose risks, in the form of bullying at school, gang membership, and corruption or inefficacy in state-provided resources, for example. The research suggests that in order to prevent sexual violence against children, the child and/or a concerned adult has to recognize and take charge of the particular risk that exists, while for recovery, facing the crisis and talking about it are important mechanisms. In fostering resilience, involving key figures in the child’s life and ensuring coherence and collaboration among state-provided services on the one hand and NGOs or religious services on the other hand is recommended.

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