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Closing the gap on gender-related violence among youths

A unique European Union-funded project is training professionals who work with children how to close the gap on gender-related violence.

The two-year GAP WORK Project designed and ran free training workshops in Italy, Ireland, Spain and the UK to improve confidence in youth workers, teachers, social workers and nurses in challenging sexist, sexualising, homophobic, controlling or normative language and behaviour against and among young people.

Led by academics from Brunel University London’s Centre for Youth Work Studies, the findings of the project were presented to an audience of peers at Amnesty International UK’s headquarters in London on 24th October.

Dr Pam Alldred, Director of the Centre for Youth Work Studies, said: “This training explores an area in which we believe there to be a skills and knowledge gap among a range of professionals working with young people.

“It’s about making sure young people don’t fall into a gap between children’s and adult victim support services, while bridging the gap between young people’s everyday experience with their peers and the identification of violence or abuse.

“It’s challenging the values that sustain violence, as well as being able to refer those affected appropriately.

“Professionals who have attended the workshops are expected to pass what they have learned onto colleagues. Our next step will be to evaluate the programme and consider how it can be used to reach new audiences and define future policy.”

The training was delivered to 200 practitioners in each country. The UK team comprised an experienced youth worker, experienced UK lawyer and sexual health trainer. The project was co-funded through the EU’s DAPHNE programme to eradicate violence against women, children and other minorities.