Press release November 2019
Learning to protect children from sexual violence
EU project to develop a gamification learning platform started
How can children and adolescents be better protected against sexual violence? By education! All experts agree on that. Now in Palermo, a project has been launched that, for the first time in a larger European context, focuses on the prevention of sexual violence and adult education. The partners from eight different countries are working together to develop a learning platform for all who, as lay people, should learn how to deal to prevent child sexual abuse and identify and help those who experience such abuse.
Organize a tent camp? Coach of a girls football team? Head of a group of confirmands? In many contexts adults have to do with children, even though they do not really have proper education for it. "So much can happen: who knows how to behave properly when an adult becomes overbearing at the camp? If one notes that a child at home may be the victim of abuse? If you yourself are tempted and crossing boundaries? "That's why you want to create an offer that reaches people as low-threshold and attractive as possible. Michael Sommer from the Academy Klausenhof in Germany, who developed the concept of the three-year project "STOP! Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse: New Methods, Content and Approaches in a European Context ". It is funded by the Erasmus + program of the European Union.
The learning platform is based on the gamification principle, in which users can playfully go through different learning areas with tasks, knowledge units, scenarios, etc. and in the end achieve a kind of "reward". A special feature is that the graphics are drawn specifically by an artist, which is determined in the context of a call for tenders. "Images are very strong and emotional - and their learning effect is sustainable. That's why we put so much emphasis on good and expressive graphics. "At the first meeting in Palermo, it was decided that the individual learning areas with the topics of institutions and prevention work, empowerment of children and adolescents, perpetrators, victims, facts on sexual abuse, and intervention to deal with acts. The platform will be available in eight languages. In addition there are didactic material for prevention trainers and videos about the opinion of children and adolescents on the subject.
In addition to the Klausenhof, organizations from Spain, Italy, Greece, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Poland are participating in the project. The Polish partner, the "Empowering Children Foundation" ist the biggest NGO in Poland with 100 employee working in the field of child abuse for 30 years and specialize in child sexual abuse. It takes care of the content, while "die Berater" from Austria is responsible for the programming of the learning platform.
Stories on the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe EPALE
How can child abuse be prevented? Adult educators and people whose job it is to protect children have created an artistically ambitious “serious game” as a new means of preventing child abuse. An online platform aims to provide basic behavioural guidelines and information on sexual violence to all those who are in close contact with children.
Jak można zapobiec wykorzystywaniu dzieci? Dzięki ambitnej -pod względem artystycznym- „serious game“, edukatorzy dorosłych i osoby zajmujące się ochroną dzieci obierają nową drogę w pracy prewencyjnej. Na platformie internetowej wszystkie osoby, które mają do czynienia z dziećmi, poznają ważne podstawowe zasady postępowania z dziećmi i przemocą seksualną.
Wie lässt sich Kindesmissbrauch verhindern? Mit einem künstlerisch ambitionierten „serious Game“ beschreiten Erwachsenenbildner und Kinderschützer einen neuen Weg der Präventionsarbeit. Auf einer Onlineplattform sollen alle, die mit Kindern zu tun haben, wichtige Grundregeln über den Umgang mit Kindern und über sexualisierte Gewalt lernen.
Sexualisierte Gewalt gegen Kinder und Jugendliche geschieht in Europa auch heute noch überall und immer wieder. Das europäische Projekt „Stop! Child Abuse“ hat zur
Unterstützung der Präventionsarbeit ein Online-Lerntool (www.stop-child-abuse.net)
entwickelt, das sich an Laien richtet, die ehrenamtlich oder berufliche mit Kindern und Jugendlichen zu tun haben.
The issue 1/2020 of the magazine "Adult Education" dealt exclusively with the topic "Prevention of abuse and sexualised violence". The issue explicitly referred to the launch of the Stop!
project. The editor of the magazine is Stop! coordinator Michael Sommer. Authors in the issue are e.g. the leading expert on the topic Jörg M. Fegert, affected persons and practitioners.
Subscription of the magazine as e-paper or print: https://www.vandenhoeck-ruprecht-verlage.com/zeitschriften-und-kapitel/55369/erwachsenenbildung-2020-jg-66-heft-1
On page 24, the project itself is presented in detail.
Report on Stop! in the magazine of project partner Akademie Klausenhof (January 2021).
Stop sexualised violence against children!
European Partnership has published a new learning portal for lay people on child abuse prevention.
Press Release June 2022
Sexualised violence against children and young people is still happening everywhere and all the time in Europe today. To support prevention work, the European project "Stop! Child Abuse" has developed an online learning tool (www.stop-child-abuse.net) aimed at lay people who are involved with children and young people on a voluntary or professional basis.
The learning portal was developed over the past three years by experts from the fields of violence prevention, child protection and education. The central goal is to sensitise laypersons to the topic, to provide them with decision-making aids and to impart knowledge. The portal contains basic facts - especially from a European perspective -, learning stories that encourage reflection on one's own behaviour and various questions and learning tasks to be solved. The learning stories are structured in the style of a comic strip and were drawn by the Spanish artist and cartoonist Carlos Rivaherrera. The drawings with the stories were also compiled in a separate comic, which is available in print.
Be sensitive, act adequately and do not get discouraged
"We observe time and again that especially lay people in voluntary work, for example in sports clubs, leisure activities, tutoring or other contexts are insecure and do not know how to deal with the issue of abuse," says project coordinator Dr Michael Sommer from the Akademie Klausenhof, a large further education institution on the Lower Rhine in Germany. "On the one hand, they should learn how to behave adequately and recognise possible cases of abuse. On the other hand, men in particular should not be discouraged from getting involved with children." Therefore, the best way is for this group to also deal with prevention. A recent study has again shown how important educational work is in this context (Julia I. Rudolph , Melanie J. Zimmer-Gembeck, Kerryann Walsh: Recall of sexual abuse prevention education at school and home: Associations with sexual abuse experience, disclosure, protective parenting, and knowledge. In: Child Abuse & Neglect 129 (2022) 105680).
Knowledge and emotions
Five different areas are addressed on the learning platform: In addition to basic information on sexualised violence, these are the aspects "victim", "perpetrator", "reaction" and "empowerment". Each module is divided into three units: Facts and basic information, a video story for self-reflection and learning questions with answers. Reward points can be earned according to the gamification principle. Learning objectives are thus, in addition to imparting knowledge, also the ability to check one's own actions, to also sensitise oneself in the perception of one's own environment, to internalise recommendations for the right, own behaviour and finally to also emotionally side with the children and against sexualised violence. "Knowing more about the topic is central for lay people, but they should also feel sympathy for the victims and disgust for the acts and perpetrators," emphasises the project coordinator. At the same time, this has the effect of deepening the memory of what has been learned. This is a particular challenge in online learning.
Accordingly, special emphasis was placed on high-quality graphics. The partners involved in the project have developed sample stories for each module, which the Spanish artist Carlos Rivaherrera has realised in the style of a comic. In addition, there are various videos with interviews with experts, specialist information on each participating country and a curriculum for classroom teaching. The products are available in German, English, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Spanish, Greek and Hungarian. They are particularly suitable for use in a seminar with classroom phases and individual online learning phases (Blendes Learning).
To ensure that everything is correct in terms of content, the experts from the Polish partner organisation Empowering Children Foundation have checked all texts and content. The foundation is active throughout the country as a counselling, aid and educational organisation with around one hundred employees. This experience is an important part of the project results. The other partners come from the fields of violence prevention and adult education. In addition to the Akademie Klausenhof and Empowering Children Foundation, these are the Spanish organisation Magenta, which is active nationwide in the field of violence prevention against women, the adult education organisation Active Citizens Partnership (Greece), Pro Pro Educatione (Romania) and CESIE (Italy). The adult education organisation Die Berater from Austria was responsible for the technical implementation.
The project with the full name "STOPP! Prevention against Sexual Abuse of Children: New Methods, Content and Approaches in a European Context" is funded by the European Union through the Erasmus+ programme and runs from September 2019 to August 2022. The application is free of charge - an account must be created for technical reasons.