Awareness of the phenomenon of sexual harassment has increased over the years. Notwithstanding this, adults in general and children in particular still have difficulty identifying violence, including bullying and sexual harassment.

The phenomenon of adults harassing children is known and considered completely unacceptable behavior by society. However, the phenomenon of sexual harassment amongst children, is often viewed as a form of children’s play. This lack of understanding can have long term implications and result in eating disruptions, low self esteem, and withdrawal from social interactions. The empirical data shows that one in five children, from kindergarten age and up, have experienced sexual harassment behavior by another child.

Voice of the Child is the only organization in Israel that specializes in the development and implementation of programs preventing sexual harassment amongst children. Our programs target children and the adults who are in contact with them, giving them the tools to identify, prevent and cope with the phenomenon. Our programming teaches children the values of mutual respect, integrity, and equality, and thus contributes to the self empowerment of each boy and girl.

Our work has shown that through prevention programs in schools and pre-schools, children learn to behave in a respectful and equal way towards other children and that this decreases the level of violence among participants immediately.? The values of mutual respect and tolerance taught ?in the program, are age appropriate and continue to be utilized in all areas of life. Today in Israeli society, where there is a surge in different types of violence, it is important that an opportunity exists for children from all sectors to acquire these tools and benefit from their implementation.