All over Europe, 9 million girls have experienced some kind of cyber violence by the time they are 15 years old, however in most Member States it is not criminalized and Countries involved in the project differ for sensitiveness and perception on this phenomena.
Gender-based violence (GBV), one of the oldest crime of human history, is based on gender stereotypes and inequalities. Now it is exacerbated by new technologies, which strengthen over-generalisations, offer anonymity to perpetrators and make abuse proliferate very fast. Young people are frequent users of internet, but are often unable to have responsible/respective relations. They are reluctant to report cyber GBV, fearing victim-blaming and/or being unaware that it is a form of sexual violence.
Partner organizations have collected from local stakeholders the need to treat these topics with youngsters and to prepare teachers/educators to this end. In fact, there are not many educational programmes on online GBV and its gravity is often minimised, despite victims have symptoms similar to those of offline abuse
The project aims at preventing cyber GBV through the development of ON-OFF Model with activities concerning underlying determinants, offline effects, targeted behaviours and positive social values. The Model will thus educate, raise awareness and empower teachers/educators and young people through effectively engaging Intervention Strategies. The project will also assess how it will change social attitude and involve decision-makers to promote more effective policies.
The first ON-OFF target groups is teachers/educators, as professionals involved in educating children to respect everyone, overcome stereotypes, and possibly support in case of (cyber) GBV. Improving their competences means increased opportunity to sensitize thousands of young people, really contributing to violence prevention.
The second target group is young people aged 12-17: they are mature enough to deal with project topics (with different levels of sensitiveness) and are particularly affected by the problem. Decision-makers will also be actively involved, encouraging their deeper commitment to ON-OFF topics, promoting project sustainability, follow-up and/or extension.