Gender violence among youth is a worldwide public health problem. Youth is increasingly exposed to violence in sexual-affective relationships, both stable and sporadic, and the age of victimization decreases. This adverse life experience affects many areas of youth’s life, such as education, social relationships and, especially, their physical and mental health, with consequences that can be very harmful in the short and long-term. This situation has given rise to many anti-violence programs for adolescents and youth, yet as some worldwide prestigious organizations, like the American Psychological Association, have pointed out, many of those programs do not work. In this article, the authors present a program of preventive socialization of gender violence addressed to adolescents that has proven effectiveness.
The program was composed of seven interventions based on the social impact of the evidence on preventive socialization of gender violence. It was applied at a group level in groups of 15–16 years old teenagers in three high schools in Barcelona. The interventions were conducted over a period of one school year and shared the trait of discussing research evidence on preventive socialization of gender violence with the youth through egalitarian dialogue. These interventions have proved to have a preventive effect of gender violence victimization on the participating teenagers by raising their critical consciousness regarding a coercive dominant discourse in society that associates attractiveness and violence, supporting the transformation of their memories of violent sexual-affective relationships, and providing them tools to better analyze their and their friends’ sexual-affective relationships along the lines of identifying gender violence and being more prepared to help others in this regard. The manuscript describes every intervention applied.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.