Blue Umbrella Day

Changing attitudes around sexual violence affecting boys

Family for Every Child’s research had uncovered a valuable insight into sexual violence affecting boys: harmful social norms around gender were contributing to the issue. They wanted to do something to raise awareness of sexual violence affecting boys, and in a range of countries around the world.

We worked with Family for Every Child to develop a Theory of Change around the topic, leading to the creation of a new international awareness day. Blue Umbrella Day, marked annually since 2020, highlights the often downplayed need for boys to be protected from harm. It highlights the tendency to encourage boys to be ‘brave’, ‘strong’ and ‘self-reliant’, encouraging discussion and social change.


The use of a simple umbrella as an icon of protection against the outside world was universally-understood, and chosen as a non-triggering icon which could be used to badge a wide range of events. 

HopeWorks created Blue Umbrella Day’s overall communications strategy, the name and brand, recruitment of local, in-country leads, and produced participation packs, social media toolkits, videos, a website, and more.

We worked to gather press interest in multiple countries, and Blue Umbrella Day has now reached an audience of over 75,000 people worldwide through workshops and activities, as well as millions more via social media campaigns.

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