Strengthening participatory practice with children and young people affected by sexual violence

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Outputs and activities developed by Youth Advocates as part of the Our Voices Too Youth Advocacy Project

Posted: Thu Feb, 2020

Author: Claire Cody

Albania

The Youth Advocates in Albania worked on a number of activities as part of this project. A focus of the Youth Advocates work was on improving responses from first contact police officers to victim-survivors of sexual violence. As part of this aim, the Youth Advocates wrote and submitted an official statement to the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Interior and National Coordinator for Anti-Trafficking in Albania outlining how victim-survivors are treated by first contact police officers and how responses need to be improved. The group also designed brochures and a poster to be displayed in police stations across the country. These resources highlight how to listen and support victim-survivors of sexual violence. Youth Advocates also helped share these messages by organising and co-facilitating information sessions on engaging with victim-survivors of sexual violence to 69 police officers across six districts of the country.

Image: Poster developed by Youth Advocates in Albania


The Youth Advocates also wished to reach out to raise awareness about sexual violence with other young people. They did this by designing and facilitating information sessions to 187 young people across six different districts. To support these sessions, the Youth Advocates designed information brochures for young people and worked with a film company on a short film  entitled “Break the silence!” that explores the sharing of sexual images and encourages young people to report if images are shared.

Image: Taken from the film ' Break the Silence!'


Meanwhile in Moldova…

The Youth Advocates worked together to write a powerful script for a short film called ‘Letter to the Judge’ which documents one survivor’s experience of coming before a judge as a child and recounts the missed opportunities of other professionals to listen and respond to the abuse. The film describes the impact on a young person of being ignored and the difference it makes when someone notices a child, listens and gets involved. Together with the film the Youth Advocates worked to develop a number of brochures and materials to support the launch of the film.

The film was launched on the 20th February, the International Day of Social Justice, at an event organized by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Moldova in collaboration with NCCAP.

Image: Script from the film ‘Letter to the Judge’ developed by Youth Advocates in Moldova.


Whilst in Serbia….

The Youth Advocates undertook a number of actions and activities. This included organising high level meetings with the National Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and representatives from the Centre for Social Work to discuss the treatment of victim-survivors. Based on these meetings the Youth Advocates have been invited to feed into the development of training for police and prosecutors on working with young people affected by sexual violence.

The group also worked with a designer to develop campaign materials (including posters, postcards, T-shirts and bags) which included affirmative messages promoting core values such as freedom, non-discrimination, equality and children’s rights. Postcards and other resources were distributed by the Youth Advocates at stalls and during street actions (reaching almost 1000 people). Postcards with personalised messages were also mailed to over 190 institutions working with children and young people all over the country. Due to these efforts a number of institutions have invited the Youth Advocates to feed into the development of resources for children which explore violence and human rights.

The Youth Advocates also designed and facilitated information sessions about sexual violence to over 100 young people at four separate events around the country. At the end of the project the Youth Advocates presented their experiences of the project and advocacy results to all staff members of the organisation.

Image: Campaign resources developed by Youth Advocates in Serbia