Stay Safe: the heritage the project leaves in combating the prevention of violence against women with disabilities.29 March 2022
At the conclusion of two years of intense work, creation and cooperation, the final international conference of the Stay Safe project took place on March 17. The event, virtually hosted by the association Eurocarers, gave the opportunity to many health professionals and stakeholders of different types to discover concretely the tools developed during the project, learn about the results of the experimentation in five countries (Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain), and discuss the status of the fight against gender-based violence perpetrated against women with psychosocial disabilities.
“The Stay Safe project immediately presented itself as a great challenge: because of the subject matter, still little known and in many cases considered taboo, and because of the pandemic context in which most of the activities were carried out,” says Licia Boccaletti, project coordinator, “Despite this, the entire partnership has been strongly committed to overcoming these obstacles and it is with pride that today we present the result of our work, with the hope that it will help many European women with disabilities and the professionals who work to support them.”
Below is an in-depth look at what Stay Safe leaves as a public legacy to the community, seeing what has been done in the duration of the project as an initial step in developing more and more violence prevention interventions.
The first report elaborated within Stay Safe represents a current analysis of the incidence and forms of sexual violence and harassment against women with disabilities in Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain as well as in the European Union as a whole. Data have been collected through a literature search, analyzing statistical reports and scientific researches; moreover a field survey has been carried out, interviewing women and professionals in the field to collect their point of view.
Following the elaboration of a training course focused on offering the tools to recognize, prevent and combat sexual violence against women with psychosocial disabilities, as well as the experimentation carried out during the project, a manual was drafted to implement the training program, aimed at professionals in the social, health and violence prevention fields. The manual contains the “toolbox” developed by the partnership, i.e., a set of theoretical elements and training activities that allow professionals to deepen and replicate the Stay Safe program.
The training program, in its most theoretical part, has also been made into an e-learning self-study course, available in English, Italian, Lithuanian, Greek, Spanish and Portuguese.
The generation of content aimed at providing greater awareness and knowledge on how to prevent and combat sexual violence has not only been addressed to professionals, but has also been developed training material directed to women with psycho-social disabilities. Thus, four videos were designed to show women with disabilities how they can react to sexual harassment (both online and offline) and episodes of violence.
The videos in detail delve into:
- what is meant by sexual assault and sexual harassment;
- what emotional abuse is and how it can manifest;
- the importance of consent in sexual activities;
- the right to say “no!” to unwanted actions.
These videos are also accompanied by a small guide, directed at professionals in the field, aimed at giving instructions on how to use the material within the teaching.
Additional outreach resource created on the issue of sexual violence against women with disabilities was a documentary that brings together the voices of women and the professionals who work with them on how to prevent and combat sexual violence. The documentary is available in English, Italian, Lithuanian, Greek, Spanish and Portuguese by activating subtitles.
The material of the Stay Safe project is now open access and can be used and disseminated. The prevention of violence is in our hands, only by committing ourselves to raising awareness and training on the issue we can hope that one day we will not talk about gender violence anymore!
If you will be using the Stay Safe materials, keep us informed by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or using the hashtag #staysafe_euproject