European Conference "Building Healthy Intimate Relationships"
22-23 September 2016 - Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece
In the context of the GEAR against IPV-II project (co-funded by the DAPHNE III Programme of the European Union), a 2-day European Conference, entitled Building Healthy Intimate Relationships, was held with the participation of policy makers, stakeholders, governmental and non-governmental organizations’ representatives and experts in the area of preventing and combating Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in adolescents.
The Conference, which was jointly organized by the European Anti-Violence Network (EAVN) and The Smile of the Child, was held on 22-23 September 2016 in the Amphitheater of the Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece.
Read the Conference's Factsheet (English)
The GEAR against IPV approach
The approach GEAR against IPV (Gender Equality Awareness Raising against Intimate Partner Violence) is a coordinated action of primary and secondary prevention of Intimate Partner Violence in adolescents’ relationships through interventions in the school setting, that are guided by specially designed educational material and are aimed at secondary school students’ awareness raising and empowerment by specially trained teachers.
The main aim is to promote the development of healthy and equal relationships between the sexes and the development of zero tolerance towards violence by raising teens’ awareness via exclusively experiential and active participation methods.
The GEAR against IPV material consists a precise fulfillment of Article 14 of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, while its primary prevention activities are directly related to almost all of the articles included in the Convention’s Chapter III for Prevention.
Since 2010, in the context of two GEAR against IPV DAPHNE projects that were implemented under the coordination of the European Anti-Violence Network (EAVN), seven National GEAR against IPV Packages have been developed and guided the pilot-testing and evaluation of interventions in high schools of seven EU MS (Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Romania, Spain): more than 450 teachers and school related professionals trained; more than 100 GEAR against IPV Workshops conducted with the participation of more than 2.000 adolescents, girls and boys.
Moreover, during 2016, in 5 MS (Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Spain), peer-campaign were designed by the sensitized adolescents for raising awareness of their peers and National Conferences conducted with invited speakers the beneficiaries: two students/teenagers from each Workshop and the teacher who facilitated it.
The aim of the Conference was to widely disseminate the GEAR against IPV methodology, material, activities, outputs and results in 7 EU Member States, as well as to promote the future development of new National GEAR against IPV Packages for the realization of training seminars and adolescents’ awareness raising workshops in as many as possible EU MS and future MS.
Structure and Content
During the 1st day of the Conference the presentations focused on the GEAR against IPV approach, its philosophy and its material; on the basis of the Master GEAR against IPV Package, 7 National Packages have already been developed, culturally validated and evaluated. Representatives from all partner Organizations (7 Member States) who participated in the GEAR against IPV-I and -II projects, along with the projects’ external evaluator, presented and shared their experience from developing their National Package as well as of training teachers and implementing Workshops with adolescents in their country.
At the end of the first day Experts’ Working Groups were held (closed session): 35 experts in the field of prevention and combating IPV and GBV in adolescents from EU Member States, candidate and potential candidate MS worked together in order:
- to record and discuss existing policies/practices/interventions that are implemented in the schools of their countries with teenagers and/or children aimed at primary/secondary prevention of IPV and GBV
- to assess the compliance of their countries with the CoE’s Istanbul Convention’s articles for primary prevention of VAWG (with emphasis on Articles 14 and 15)
- to evaluate the GEAR against IPV approach, in terms of its usefulness and the feasibility to be implemented in the schools of their country to formulate proposals and recommendations (at National or European level) for the implementation of interventions for primary/secondary prevention of IPV and GBV, in the school setting
During the 2nd day of the Conference, the results and conclusions of the Experts’ Working Groups were presented and discussed with the audience.
The Closing Session entitled “CoE's Istanbul Convention as roadmap towards an effective European strategy for the prevention of IPV and GBV in future generations: the role of school”, aimed to include presentations and discussion about the crucial role school can/must play in prevention of IPV/GBV in relation to the provisions of the Istanbul Convention.
The working language was English/Greek (in parallel translation).
 The GEAR against IPV-II Project has received funding from the DAPHNE III Programme of the European Union and is coordinated by "European Anti-Violence Network", with the participation of 5 organizations from 5 EU countries: Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies-MIGS (Cyprus), Center for Education, Counselling and Research-CESI (Croatia), A.L.E.G.-Association for Liberty and Equality of Gender (Romania), Plataforma unitària contra les violències de gènere (Spain), The Smile of the Chil (Greece). Project's website: www.gear-ipv.eu
The organizations that participated in the 1st GEAR against IPV Project were: SPI Forschung gGmbH (Germany), Austrian Women's Shelter Network, AÖF/ Information Centre Against Violence (Austria), Panhellenic Association of Health Education Teachers (Greece). Project's website: http://1st.gear-ipv.eu/
1st Press release (GR)
2nd Press release (GR)