The first step in ensuring children are protected from sexual abuse is to raise awareness in schools, NGOs and communities. First Step Cambodia works on the prevention and protection from abuse by doing just this, informing both children and caregivers about the risks and effects, with special attention to boys being at risk and in need of protection - an often uncomfortable conversation, since the idea runs contrary to the dominant social norms around masculinity in Cambodia.
Through a range of workshops and events, and through the distribution of informative brochures and leaflets, we help increase both adults' and children's awareness of (the nature and risks of) sexual abuse. Through learning to recognise grooming techniques, for example, we teach how to recognise situations that could lead to harm. We always encourage children to speak out as soon as they feel uncomfortable and ask for help if something happens to themselves or anyone they know. We put the needs and rights of the child first.
On an annual basis, we educate over 1,000 children and adults via more than 40 workshops, and indirectly improve the knowledge and safety of an additional 11,000 community members. In addition, we distribute over 7,000 educational materials in communities, among families, and to partner NGOs.
Partners are always invited to contact us to organize a workshop or receive educational materials at any time of year. Via our Training of Trainer course, partner NGOs can also learn how to conduct these workshops independently. Learn more.
Our poster workshops are designed for a wide target audience and are adapted to children. Through the use of educational posters we tackle misconceptions, increase the attendants’ knowledge related to sexual abuse and harmful behavior, and show how to respond and help a victim. The key themes include:
'Sexual abuse can happen at any age – and we can all help prevent it.'
'Helping and supporting friends affected by sexual abuse.'
'Sexual abuse is always serious.'
'Vulnerability, disability and protecting children from abuse.'
'Sexual abuse of boys and men is common.'
'Reflecting on masculinity and cultural issues – speaking out and asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.'
Our film workshops are designed for adults and are used in community, school and NGO settings, bringing professionals together to increase their knowledge about the issues surrounding child sexual abuse. We show videos inspired by real cases which are used as a basis of group discussions.
We share facts, techniques for preventing abuse and protecting children from harm, explanations of the types of grooming techniques, examples of the impact of abuse on the child and its environment, and information on the reporting mechanisms that are available.
Group discussions allow participants to share their views and, with our guidance, build upon their existing knowledge.
For our community-based workshops, we listen to our partner NGOs and go into the target communities that need our workshops most.
The workshops are designed for parents, caregivers and village chiefs in the communities and, informed by findings of robust research, address the most common issues. As community members often act out of a lack of knowledge, this workshop is especially powerful – most parents, before our workshops, have never heard of ‘emotional abuse’ and of the idea that boys are at risk of sexual abuse.