(Picture Credits: Elyssa Rider)
Hot on the heels of our recent collaboration with German NGO Serlo to create an online course on consent GenPol is extending its successful practices and research to Italy—one of the few European countries where sexual education is still not compulsory—with two exciting sister projects: PREVENT and PIÙ SANE.
PREVENT is an acronym for ‘PREventing Violence by Educating through New Technologies’ and ‘PIÙ SANE’, which means ‘healthier’ in Italian, stands for ‘Promoting, Teaching, Uniting, Health and Affectivity in Education’ (although its quality as an acronym is lost in translation). Both projects are united by the same aim: fighting sexual violence through education. More specifically, the feminine gendering of ‘PIÙ SANE’ points to both projects’ primary focus: tackling sexual violence against adolescent girls, “whose impact is particularly harmful since it may lead to impaired mental health, social functioning, and neurodevelopment.”
However, while our work aims to empower and educate women and girls as a means to tackling sexual and gender based violence, it will not be gender segregated and similarly aims to tackle toxic masculinity and open up conversations about the ways in which gender is socially constructed.
PREVENT and PIÙ SANE’s aims are to pursue specific forms of sex and relationship education, meant to promote women’s mental health and prevent social anxiety and other issues stemming from low self-esteem, as well as the difficulty to express one’s needs. The focus is primarily on the notion of consent, teaching how to express it, recognise it and always seek it in every single moment of a romantic or sexual relationship. The projects look to empower all, and especially young women, to set boundaries, speak out, respect and cherish not only others but first of all themselves.
Targeted specifically at the 12–25 age bracket, the idea is to make these educational materials as user-friendly, engaging and accessible as possible to our young, digitally-advanced audience. PREVENT and PIÙ SANE will thus be composed of multi-faceted digital educational modules, differentiated according to age group, including written materials, illustrations, videos, podcasts, interactive games and exercises. The materials will be freely accessible online through a brand-new website with its own mobile app. These materials will be promoted nationwide, across Italy, through a social media campaign (from Facebook and Instagram to Snapchat and Youtube), ensuring maximal visibility amongst our target young age group. Guidelines and web-training will be created, additionally, to allow different categories of educators and teachers to use the materials in their own activities. As well as their online presence, the materials will be used and tested offline through a number of pilot projects across various Italian regions (Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Lazio and Campania).
GenPol will play a central role in the creation and distribution of digital modules, web-platforms and off-line pilot projects. We hope to launch the projects in June 2018, with a view to running them for 18 months. All the while GenPol will monitor and evaluate its results and measure their impact and reach, with a view to developing future follow up projects, expansions and collaborations.
Having successfully collaborated with organisations such as the aforementioned Serlo in Germany (an NGO working in the educational sector), and with Falling Book in Italy (a cultural association that uses gender education to tackle violence against women), GenPol is extending its work both within Italy and across Europe. The aim is to extend and build upon the work of PREVENT and PIÙ SANE, as well as GenPol’s work with Serlo, to create a multilingual, pan-European web-platform for consent education. In addition to the pilot projects across Italy, we are also setting up off-line projects across Europe, with the purpose of training and supporting local staff from countries as diverse as the UK, Romania, Poland, Malta, Germany and Ireland in the use of our platform in their own activities.
For now, if you would like a taster of what is to come, check-out our web-platform if you have not done so already. Please also get in touch if you are engaged in any form of SRE or consent education, and might be interested in sharing good practices or future collaborations. Lastly—but certainly not least—stay tuned for the launch of PREVENT and PIÙ SANE in the new year.