In 2009, the European Parliament called upon the Member States to adopt “measures to prevent gender-based violence among young people by providing for targeted education campaigns and better cooperation among stakeholders and the various circles affected by the phenomenon, such as families, schools, the public space, and the media”. Indeed, education plays a key role in challenging the negative social norms that drive gender-based violence. Teenagers have lower self-protective mechanisms and are particularly vulnerable to perpetuate and/or be subject to violent behaviours. Despite the fact that legislative initiatives have been taken in all EU Member States to combat violence and abuse, adolescent years remain largely uncovered due to the lack of policies targeting this age group and the fact that many of the actions put in place do not integrate a gender perspective and do not consider the cultural contexts of reference. 

 As confirmed by several studies and the experience of partner organizations, gender-based violence is caused by stereotypes and prejudices, lack of sex education, lack of information and awareness about “healthy” relationships and the fact that it is widely accepted that gender-based violence is a transgenerational phenomenon, passing from one generation to the next.

 In this scenario, Youth for Love has the objective to develop, implement and evaluate an integrated high-school educational program in 4 European countries (Romania, Italy, Belgium and Greece) to contribute to the prevention and combating of gender based violence among teenagers providing support and awareness to both high-school students and education professionals with regard to the existence, unacceptability, consequences and management procedures to be applied in gender based violence cases

 The project partnership is composed of the following European organizations: ActionAid Italia (Italy), ActionAid Hellas (Greece), UC Limburg (Belgium), AFOL-Agenzia Metropolitana per la Formazione, l’Orientamento e il Lavoro (Italy) e CPE – Fundatia Centrul Partenariat Pentru Egalitate (Romania).

 On the European level the project will involve:

12 European higher education institutions that will be involved in the development of educational tools and methodologies for the prevention and management of cases of gender violence;

1,200 students and students who will become aware through an educational and practical program on the subject;

180 among educators and school staff who will be trained and supported on problems related to gender violence and how to prevent them;

2 millions of young Europeans will be reached by a massive communication campaign on gender stereotypes and GBV through a website and a webgame.

The main activities of the project will be:

–    The development of a strong network strategy at local, national and European level in order to involve stakeholders (Schools, institutions, other organizations) working with similar approaches, to spread our impact, disseminate communication messages and develop final recommendations.

–    The construction and implementation of tools validated by university researchers (Focus group and questionnaire) to realize school diagnosis to develop an educational programme that will be adapted to the specific contexts and needs of the four countries, and to measure the impact and behavioural change at the end of the intervention.

–    The development of the teen support programme: students will be directly involved in the activities on deconstruction of gender stereotypes and on preventing gender violence and teachers will be involved in some training sessions. The programme will promote peer-to-peer activities in order to create a virtuous circle around project’s themes.

–    The organization of final events in each Countries that will have the aim to involve other targets and show the project’s results.

The project is co-funded by the European Union – Department of Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.

Duration: January 2019 – December 2020