Walking across the EU for child sex abuse awareness

Matthew McVarish will be walking across Europe on a 16 000 km journey until February 2015. So far he has gone from London, where he began on May 31 2013, through the Benelux countries, into Scandinavia and down through the Baltic States and Poland to the Czech Republic. In total, he will visit all 28 EU countries plus Switzerland to draw awareness to child sexual abuse.

McVarish is the European ambassador for an international organisation called Stop the Silence, which is based in Washington, DC. The group focuses on exposing child sexual abuse and helping survivors to heal. McVarish’s project is called Road to Change — Walk to Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse.

One out of every four girls and one out of every five boys are sexually abused before they reach the age of 18, he said, citing EU statistics. In Europe, there are an estimated 100 million survivors of child sexual abuse.

Matthew McVarish

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