This profile was prepared when Vicki Bernadet was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
The New Idea
Vicki is drawing public attention to a topic that has been veiled in taboo and secrecy: the sexual abuse of children. Vicki founded FADA (in Catalan means Fairy Godmother)—the only organization in Spain that provides support to adults sexual abused during their childhoods. FADA helps renew self-esteem and psychological stability to those still recovering from traumatic experiences. While she provides support and care to adult victims of sexual abuse, Vicki understands that preventing sexual abuse among children is just as important. Only when society recognizes and confronts this problem can many victims cease being inhibited by shame and guilt and begin to seek help. She educates children and trains professionals—teachers, psychologists, lawyers—to teach children how to identify cases of abuse and take appropriate action. From her personal experience as a child victim of sexual abuse, Vicki uses the media to help break the “circle of silence” around the issue and, by example; lead others to seek assistance.