The Youth for Love 2 project, co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union, aims to prevent, detect and address peer violence among adolescents (14-18 years) in 5 local communities in 4 European countries (Italy, Belgium, Greece, Romania), by promoting the adoption of positive behaviours and by involving youth, families, educational professionals and community members at large in community-based initiatives developed and led by youth to prevent and address the problem. The project is the consequential continuation of the previous one, Youth for love, realised between 2019 and 2021 in the same Countries, that had a strong focus on gender-based violence and school related gender based violence (SRGBV).
Please find below and in the following section the two projects details
YFL – 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. 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
YFL2 – The WHO acknowledges youth violence as a major public health issue. Youth violence can take up many forms including physical, verbal, psychological and sexual. The UNICEF 2018 Report “An Everyday Lesson: #ENDviolence in Schools” shows that half of the students aged 13–15 experiences bullying or physical fights within a year. The Council of Europe Strategy on the Rights of the Child 2016-2021 has identified violence prevention as one of the five priority areas to guarantee the promotion of children’s rights. Research shows that there are numerous risk factors strongly associated with youth violence that occur at different levels: individual level (i.e. personality and behavioural factors), family and close relationship level (i.e. negative peer influence, lack of social ties, poor parent-child relationships, parents’ antisocial behaviours etc.) and community and society level (i.e. low social cohesion, inequality, insecurity, gender and cultural norms) (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, WHO, 2015). As with risk factors, also protective factors can be built at these different levels to reduce the likelihood of youth violence. Therefore, based on this evidence and the lessons learnt from the previous project, the “Youth 4 Love 2” project will promote the adoption of a comprehensive multi-stakeholder approach that involves actors that do not typically cooperate such as youth, parents, educational professionals (school and community), associations, private service providers (private and third sector), public services and authorities (public sector) at local, national and EU level.