How do you approach young people who experience discrimination based on their gender expression? How do you deal with offensive images of your student, for example, on social media? And how do you address sexual violence faced by children or young people? Violence against children and youths is often referred to as bullying, even when it is considered assault by the Criminal Code.
“Gender-based violence against children and youths is a little-known phenomenon. A better understanding of the issue by professionals working with children and young people is key to identifying violence and its consequences,” says Associate Professor Marita Husso from Tampere University.
Husso leads the international Education and Raising Awareness in Schools to Prevent and Encounter Gender-Based Violence (EraseGBV) project coordinated by Tampere University, which has just published a free online course on encountering gender-based violence at schools in English, Finnish and Swedish. The training is also produced in Croatian, Spanish and Catalan.
It is a research-based e-learning package that develops new skills for those working in education, social work and health services. The training is aimed specifically at professionals working with 13–19-year-old teenagers but is also suitable for use with younger and older students. The training looks at the phenomenon from the perspectives of the person experiencing violence, the perpetrator, bystanders, and professionals and experts.
Schools play a pivotal role
Schools play a key role in identifying and addressing violence. The social environment of schools provides an opportunity to learn interaction skills and offers a unique opportunity to influence the perceptions and behaviour of children and young people. At the same time, it enables awareness-raising and change towards more equal relationships and more ethical practices.
“Addressing violence is a prerequisite for promoting equality and sustainable development. This new online training provides tools for preventing, identifying, and addressing violence. It provides information on such issues as digital violence, the impact of violence, good practices and legislation on the subject," says Husso.
“Getting help for problems of violence depends on the problem first being identified and addressed,” she emphasises.
The EraseGBV project has researched gender-based violence and ethical agency in schools and education in Finland, Croatia and Spain. The research partners comprise Tampere University; the University of Zagreb; Blanquerna Ramón Llull University; the Centre for Education, Counselling and Research (CESI); and Conexus.
For more information and instructions on how to register, please see the link to further information and the online course: https://projects.tuni.fi/erasegbv/training-programme/
Photo: In her future projects, Associate Professor Marita Husso will focus on promoting nonviolence and sustainable wellbeing and exploring harmful ideological, institutional and affective practices related to violence. Photo by Hanna-Kaisa Hämäläinen
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