Svava and Sigga’s Story

Svava and Sigga are twin sisters who grew up in Iceland. Both were sexually abused by their stepfather from the ages of approximately 4 years old until they were 12. As survivors of child sexual abuse, they were always interested in understanding the causes and consequences of this devastating issue as they tried to sort out their own lives. As they pursued this understanding and sought to heal the wounds of their childhoods, they became educated and informed about child sexual abuse. Later on, they started to wonder how they could take the tragedy of their own experiences and make a difference in the lives of children, especially in their home country Iceland. They both recognized that this could be an important part of their own healing.

The idea for this project began with a small advertisement in a magazine. Svava, who was living in America at the time, was looking through a recent issue of Healthy Cooking magazine, when she came across an ad with a picture of four smiling girls with text underneath that read: “One out of these four girls is being sexually abused, do you know which one it is?” This ad was placed by a grassroots organization in South Carolina called Darkness to Light that seeks to protect children from sexual abuse. They educate adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse (

After thoroughly reviewing their website, Svava decided to contact the CEO, Anne Lee. It was after this initial phone conversation that she got the idea to have a brochure, produced by Darkness to Light, translated into Icelandic. The brochure is called: “7 Steps to Protecting Children” and it is a very powerful information booklet for adults to become educated about the issue of child sexual abuse. The booklet is intended for adults but is written in a language that kids down to 9 years of age can understand.

After Svava got permission to translate the brochure, Sigga got to work in Iceland looking for financial support to get this project going. Their initial goal was simply to raise enough money to print 110 thousand copies; enough copies for every single home in Iceland. They knew this would be a powerful first step in helping the children of Iceland. They imagined what it would have been like if they would have received a brochure like this when they were children – they might have had the courage to get help.

Sigga visited a number of organizations in Reykjavik. Most were supportive and encouraging, but none wanted to donate money. It was not until Sigga had a meeting with the public relation manager of a national youth organization that things started moving forward. The board invited Sigga to a meeting to discuss the booklet and what else they might have in mind. After some deliberation, the board members decided to support the project and hire Svava as the project manager. So, she and her family packed their things and moved to Iceland.

Within a couple months, the brochures were translated, printed and mailed out to every home in Iceland. Thankfully, this was just the beginning for Blatt Áfram. Since then, they have expanded their information resource offerings through lectures, Stewards of Children, Darkness to Light training, and an informational puppet show aimed at young kids called, Kids on the Block and a website. They have gathered tens of thousands of signatures to help end the statute of limitations provision for child sexual abuse offenders, hosted several fundraising events including, an annual “duck race” with raffle tickets and prizes and a huge concert event showcasing the talents of dozens of local rock bands. They have had numerous appearances on television and radio and have had several articles printed in the nation’s major newspapers and magazines.

Blátt Áfram has received over the years funding from the government, businesses, and individuals in Iceland and thanks to their support, and the support of the people of Iceland, their future and the future of Iceland’s children, looks bright! Svava and Sigga are just glad they could make a difference. So can you!

Since 2004 our mission continues to be to educate all adults in Iceland about child sexual abuse and prevention. Blátt áfram has educated thousands of adults, teenagers and children about child sexual abuse and prevention. The awareness generated in Iceland on the issue has resulted in increase in reporting of abuse from teachers and parents and people are getting help!

Sigga, or Sigríður Björnsdóttir, now is the organizations CEO and the president of the board. Sigga is the primary educator on behalf of the organization in Iceland.

Svava Brooks, now is back in America, providing trainings and talks on child sexual abuse and prevention and has partnered up with a non-profit in CA called She continues to serve on the board of Blatt afram and is in charge of managing the organizations web site and social media presence. Svava also provides trainings and trains facilitators for Darkness to Light Stewards of Children training in the states.

If you are interested in learning how you can create an organization like this to educate people in your country about child sexual abuse please contact us at or

To visit the organization in Iceland To learn more about how you can help with prevention of child sexual abuse in America visit

To learn more about Svava Brooks and her work in the states

Thank you for all that you do!

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