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On this page we share relevant research and reports, a source of information and inspiration for young readers and professionals working with children. As this page grows, we will add relevant international research, and instructional videos and tools for social workers, adapted for the Cambodian context.

Informaton On Boys

Information on Sexual Abuse and SHB

While most people are aware that sexual abuse of children is a reality, many do not fully understand the types of abuse, how it can happen, what the impact and effects are on the child, or what the best course of action is when someone discloses an occurrence of sexual abuse. 


We define a child as any boy or girl under the age of 18 years. This is in keeping with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and many other definitions used by different organisations throughout Cambodia and the world.

Our Research

Research & Reports

We strive to base our social work and program design on sound research. As research into the issues of sexual abuse, especially related to boys, is scarce in Cambodia, FSC has been leading and contributing to evidence-based research related to the sexual abuse of boys, and sexually harmful behavior displayed by children, in Cambodia and the wider region. 

Caring For Boys (2019)

The Caring for Boys Affected by Sexual Violence study shows that the idea that boys can be victims of sexual violence runs contrary to the mainstream notions of masculinity and sexuality in Cambodian society. In addition, this study investigates the climate in which boys, who themselves display harmful behavior towards others, are faced with tremendously negative consequences. The absence of mature discourse on sexuality as part of the public conversation only increases the risks for both issues.

Boys and Sexual Abuse (2018)

In 2018, Mr. Yaim Chamreun, Executive Director at First Step Cambodia, presented his Research Report as part of his Master's in Social Work degree at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. The report documents the current level of knowledge among Cambodians related to sexual violence against boys. For his work, Mr. Yaim received the award for Best Research Report 2017-2018.

Children FirsT (2017)

The Children First: 'An Initial Exploration of Sexually Harmful Behaviors Among Cambodian Children' was a three-year research and capacity building project in Cambodia. The study builds upon numerous in-depth assessments and documents clear patterns of neglect from parents and carers, and the various forms of violence and feelings of isolation that boys experience. Finally, it investigates the challenges in addressing SHB and the notable gaps in knowledge which were evident among service providers.

Other research and reports

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regional caring

for boys (FEC,2018)

This initial scoping study by Family for Every Child into sexual violence affecting boys seeks to understand the existing knowledge base on the drivers of sexual violence affecting boys, and the existing intervention practice in this area. It explores both sexual abuse experienced by boys, including sexual exploitation, as well as harmful sexual behaviour of boys in South and South-East Asia.

ENDing violence in childhood (kvin, 2017)

The Ending Violence in Childhood report gives a global overview of the types of violence children face around the world. It provides clear descriptions and examples of the main issues. It also confirms the general lack of research and data collection on violence against boys.

A familiar face (unicef, 2017)

The A Familiar Face: violence in the Lives of Children and Adolescents report from UNICEF summarizes the most current data to shed light on four specific forms of violence: violent discipline and exposure to domestic abuse during early childhood; violence at school; violent deaths among adolescents; and sexual violence in childhood and adolescence.

Violence against children (unicef, 2013)

The results of the 2013 Cambodia Violence Against Children Survey (CVACS) provide, for the first time, national estimates that describe the magnitude and nature of sexual, physical and emotional violence experienced by girls and young women and boys and young men in Cambodia. This report shows that the prevalence of abuse of boys in Cambodia may be higher than the abuse of girls.

Speaking Truth

(World Vision, 2008)

First Step Cambodia was established in 2010, after the release of the epoch-making historical research I Thought it Could Never Happen to Boys. A study that documented stories of sexual abuses against boys in Cambodia, which was the first of its kind. Prior to this study, there had not been any other specific research focusing on the sexual abuse of boys in Cambodia.

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