Aim & Context
The culture of care project aimed at creating and strengthening supportive environments for male children and adolescents as (potential) victims of sexualised violence. So that male children and youth are less likely to experience sexualised violence, get help to end violence and receive gender-sensitive and child-centred support in dealing with the (psychological, physical, social) consequences.
As a Culture of Care needs a caring environment another aim was to capacitate first-points-of-contact working with male children and youth on the topics of: needs of male children and youth who have experienced sexualised violence, how to recognise signs of sexualised violence, perpetrator strategies and the intricacies of disclosure processes.
Breaking the taboo on sexualised violence against male children and youth by raising awareness on the topic amongst male children and youth, their immediate environment as well as policy-makers was also a core aim of the project.
The partners assessed the needs of professionals working with male children and youth concerning the topic of sexualised violence summarised in a needs assessment report per partner country and a comparative transnational report. Best-practice from the partner countries were exchanged at two mutual learning seminars, which were also included in the reports.
Based on the results of the needs assessment, 18 capacity-building programs (CBP) were implemented in all partner countries. Some of the trained professionals carried our 24 specific support actions for the children and youth they work with.
Parallel to the CBP, an awareness raising campaign was conducted in which flyers, posters, cards and a homepage were created, which aimed at sensitizing male children and youth and their close environment (professionals, teachers, peers…).
As part of the campaign, nine national awareness-raising conferences were carried out in the partner countries and an international conference in Florence, Italy. All the insights of the project activities were summarised into a handbook aiming at professionals to learn about sexualised violence against male children and youth.
The needs assessment showed that in all partner countries, professionals voiced needs to learn about sexualised violence against male children and youth and on how to support (potential) victims. Building on these findings, the innovative CBP was designed and tailored to fit the needs of the professionals, effectively addressing the assessed needs. Through the creation of the appealing awareness raising material, male children and youth, as well as their close environment, have easy-access to information on support services and the topic in general. The created handbook will serve as a self-learning tool for professionals, long after the lifetime of the project.
The awareness, knowledge and capacities on the topic of sexualised violence against male children and youth from a child-centred and gender-sensitive perspective amongst the 257 professionals trained was increased. They will act as multipliers to spread the acquired knowledge and expertise, and male children and youth will have better access to trained professionals who are able to support them.
The knowledge and awareness amongst the 650 male children and youth taking part in the specific support actions could be increased, as well as among children and youth exposed to the awareness raising materials. Likewise, the awareness and knowledge of the 293 adults attending the awareness raising conferences and other adults impacted by the awareness raising activities could be increased. Policy-makers on a local, national and European level were sensitised for the topic through the national awareness raising conferences, as well as the international conference with 46 participants. The developed material is available in printed form and digitally unlimited in the partner countries. The English version enables transfer to other EU countries.