This project aims to contribute to the protection of children, young people and women against Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and to the development of community policies related to public health and more specifically to gender equality. The GEAR project aims to develop, adapt and evaluate an education and awareness raising programme regarding primary prevention of IPV targeting high-school students and teachers. The GEAR project will be based on the training material developed under the Daphne project No. 2004-1/101/WY, which will be adapted and supplemented in order to transfer and implement it in high-school settings for raising awareness among teachers on gender stereotyping and IPV issues and educating students on the harmful effects of stereotyping. As high school teachers are working with adolescents within the school setting, a training package will be developed for training the teachers on gender stereotypes, the scope, nature and impact of IPV and the links between IPV and gender stereotypes with a view to increasing their understanding and capacity to implement interventions preventing students from becoming either victims of violence or perpetrators, and encourage attitudes of zero tolerance towards violence at a relatively early age.
The specific problem to be addressed is the harmful effects of patriarchal societies, gender stereotypes, and unequal power relationships between the sexes which are widely known to be the root causal factors of IPV. In order to efficiently eliminate IPV, both of these conditions need to be addressed and dismantled. As children are fed stereotypes from birth, it is important to begin deconstructing these stereotypes at as early an age as possible. Furthermore, high school students are at a stage where they begin or have begun their first intimate relationships. The school system can be a key intervention point in providing students with necessary information and skills to avoid violence or react against it. Teachers can play a key role for the implementation of such awareness-raising activities in the classrooms, but only if they have the necessary capacity and skills, as it is expected that many of them will share the same inherent stereotypical view of genders with the general population. If this is not adequately addressed, this will be a major barrier that will intervene in the Program’s implementation. In order to overcome this barrier, the anticipated Train-the-Teachers Seminar will place great emphasis on dissolving teachers’ gender stereotypes as well as to genuinely convince them of the importance of the project’s implementation. As a great number of children and adolescents attend school, it is imperative that gender equality programs are offered in schools and that teachers are properly sensitized and trained on gender stereotypes and how they relate to violence.
For these reasons, the target groups include both teachers and high school students in at least 3 countries (DE-AU-GR).