Child sexual abuse ... continues to stay a secret

19 November 2021

"The Smile of the Child" supported 2.459 abused children in the first 10 months of 2021

Child sexual abuse ... continues to stay a secret

18 November: European Day for the protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation
19 November: World Day Against Child Abuse

"The Smile of the Child" in the first 10 months of 2021:

  • Supported 2,459 abused children
  • Received requests for the accommodation of 143 children from the competent actors
  • Supported 41 mothers, victims of domestic violence, and their 55 children
  • Carried out prevention actions to 12.921 students, 7.265 parents/guardians & 2.031 teachers




Athens, 19 November 2021

"The Smile of the Child", for 26 consecutive years in service of the Greek society and children in need, stands next to every child victim of violence through a comprehensive network of specialized services, ranging from prevention to treatment, with the ultimate goal to keep providing holistic support to children in need. In its 26 years of operation, the Organization supported 1.285.460 children in the field of violence.

In detail, "The Smile of the Child" during the first ten months of 2021:

  • Handled 1.057 calls relating to incidents of domestic violence
  • Hosted and supported 41 female victims of domestic violence and their 55 children
  • Carried out 125 on-site interventions for 193 children who were in immediate danger
  • Received 1.026 (both anonymous and branded) reports of abuse and neglect of 1.338 children through the “National Helpline for Children SOS 1056”
  • Received 101 requests to host 143 children victims of violence from the competent actors
  • Provided therapeutic mental health services to 112 children victims of all forms of violence
  • Supported with counseling 5.066 children and adults, of which 512 were specialized in a) problems of sexual abuse of minors, B) problems of physical-psychological abuse of minors and c) bullying
  • Conducted interactive prevention interventions to 12.921 students, 7.265 parents/guardians and 2.031 teachers
  • Today the scientific & support teams raise 304 children in the 11 Homes of the Organization situated all over Greece
  • Today the Organization keeps standing next to 79 adult children who grew up in the Homes with holistic support


Child sexual abuse continues to remain a secret

"The Smile of the Child" consistently emphasizes the detrimental effects of sexual abuse of children, a phenomenon that is a matter of Public Health and acquires special characteristics, of which the most important is that it is not being reported and monitored. It is worth noting that "The Smile of the Child" received reports for the abuse of 1.338 children, of which only 11 children were reported as sexually abused.



Percentage minimum, relative to reality

With this as a given, the Organization implements the nationwide campaign "It remains a secret" against the sexual abuse of children since 2017. The campaign runs under the auspices of H.E. The President of the Hellenic Republic, Mrs. Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

“YouSmile”, the European Student Voluntary Network, is an important ally in the activities of the Organization, and its members take action implementing their personal ideas and proposals for the protection of children.

From its foundation until today, "The Smile of the Child" implements actions aimed at the holistic treatment of the phenomena of all forms of violence against children. This is achieved through a multitude of services in three main fields: Prevention, Intervention and Treatment.

In brief, the Organization's initiatives and services are the following:


* Prevention & Awareness: "The Smile of the Child" recognizing the decisive role of the school community in prevention initiatives, carries out organized interactive, experiential actions addressed to students, teachers, parents and guardians.

*  European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116111:   "The Smile of the Child" operates the European Helpline for Children & Adolescents 116111, which provides free counseling support to children and adults.


* Domestic Violence: "The Smile of the Child" supports women who suffer domestic violence, and their children, providing them the basics and more services to support them holistically.

* Adult Children: Since 1997, when the Organization’s first Home for children victims of all forms of violence was founded, “The Smile of the Child” has been raising hundreds of children, many of them from the beginning of their life, as babies.

* National Helpline for Children SOS 1056: The acknowledged as National, SOS 1056 Helpline, is operated by "The Smile of the Child " and is at the disposal of every child and adult to keep providing information and support in matters of concern.

* On-Site Intervention: The service is addressed to children at immediate risk, to children victims of all forms of violence, aiming to protect them and defend their rights, in cooperation with the competent prosecutor and police authorities.

*  Homes:  Children of different ages, regardless of their origin and nationality, are raised in our Homes. These children are removed from their family environment on the order of the competent prosecutors’ & judicial authorities, due to serious abuse and/or neglect.

* Child Advocacy Center: "The Smile of the Child", taking advantage of the experience and the know-how gained through many years of experiences in the field of Child Protection, has created a facility ready to operate for friendly justice services intended for children.


* “The House of the Child”: This is a Day Center providing customized mental health Services to children and adolescents, victims of abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and children victimized, involved in bullying incidents.

All services for the prevention, intervention and treatment of children victims of all forms of violence are described here  (Next to every child victim of Violence - The Smile of the Child ® (

The next steps of the Organization

"The Smile of the Child":

1. … Implements the European Project "CARE", which aims to educate frontline actors and authorities such as the police, prosecutors, helpline members, as well as social and medical services staff, on the best practices in approaching abused children who need to be removed from their family environment.

2. …has been planning work sessions and synergies with the country's police press editors to implement well-structured child protection actions through media outreach.

3. … continues to consistently work to put into action a child-friendly justice system, through international partnerships aiming at implementing child-friendly justice proposals and procedures.

4. … integrates innovative technologies from abroad, such as the GMCNgine, the innovative digital platform on which all information and photos of missing children are posted, accessed by collaborating bodies and prosecuting authorities, and where, in the framework of cooperation with Amazon Web Services, Search and identification in databases and the deep & dark web. When the children are identified, all competent actors are mobilized across borders to located the children and to prosecute the perpetrators. Greece and "The Smile of the Child" thanks to the experience, the technological equipment, the know-how they have joined first in this new tool.


For more information please contact:
"The Smile of the Child"
Tel. +30 210 3306140