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Soroptimist Club of Ingolstadt (Germany)

Domestic violence is a crime. Domestic violence always occurs within an intimate relationship; whether the relationship is present or past, whether or not people live under one roof and whether or not there are children. Nothing predestines to become a victim of domestic violence: neither age, nor social or economic status, nor culture.

 

Domestic violence has negative impacts on the physical and psychological well-being of the people who experience it or the children who are exposed to it, leading to serious consequences for the health, safety and economy of communities, making this reality a major public health problem.

 

It is by making this observation that the Soroptimsts of Ingolstadt have been striving for several years to prevent domestic violence in their community through concrete actions and above all by raising awareness among the youngest. They consider that highlighting prevention measures with teenagers at an age where role models in social learning begin to solidify, is necessary to contain and prevent domestic violence.

In collaboration with the SkF (Sozialdienst katholischer Frauen), the Soroptimists have developed “PräGe”, a training concept to prevent domestic violence and addressed to female and male students of 7th and 8th grade. Since 2013 “PräGe” has been offered at schools by certified employees of the women’s shelter in Ingolstadt. During the training sessions, students can reflect on their own attitudes to violence and the pre-forms of violence and gain insights into the causes and ways out of this violence. The workshops also lead to a questioning of traditional gender roles.

 

The project received good publicity in Ingolstadt, enabling Soroptimists to succeed to initiate a dedicated domestic violence intervention agency with the town hall of Ingolstadt.

 

Some of the teachers in charge of the sessions bring an important perspective that makes us reflect on the importance of holding such meetings with young people:

 

“Above all, students found it important and pleasant to be able to talk about such a topic with neutral persons. This unbiased atmosphere allowed them to open themselves and discuss freely.  They also took a very positive view of the fact that they had the opportunity to exchange their own feelings and thoughts with their classmates and to be able to talk respectfully and openly about important topics such as sexuality.”

“Students have learned that violence has various other facets in addition to the often-obvious physical form. For example, the psychological form was not perceived as violence in the narrow sense.”

 

Author

By Bintou Koïta

for SIE Programme Team 2019-2021

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