ARC Fund has been implementing the project "National campaign for counteracting contemporary methods of gender-based violence in partnership with Association Roditeli.
The project aims to raise awareness among young people of contemporary models of gender-based violence, spreading through the Internet and leading to approval of relationships of gender violence and sexual exploitation.
It is based upon the principle that a successful campaign requires the active involvement of representatives of the target groups in every aspect form planning to implementation. This is the reason why a youth panel will work in cooperation with a team of professionals for accomplishing the project objectives. Furthermore, the youth panel will enhance the attractiveness and relevance of messages and materials created for young audiences. The youth panel activities will however have limited impact unless they receive the necessary support from professionals and institutions that are committed to the education of young people and have duties and responsibilities in ensuring the welfare of children and young people in Bulgaria. In this sense the project will be a platform where young people and adults will be able to present and discuss their views with the aim of reducing GBV.
The project focuses on one aspect of GBV – online violence in intimate relationships and sexual abuse among young people. Although these are not new phenomena, Internet provides many new opportunities for these forms to grow - for example, controlling a social media profile or instant messaging software, technologically tracking whereabouts, insistent check-up phone calls. Another form of violence against girls and young women is the pressure upon them to show off in a sexually explicit way on their public profiles or to send sexual photos or videos of themselves. Furthermore it makes the girls an easier target for grooming, child pornography production, and traffic.
In a research by ARC Fund form 2013/2014 among 958 young people aged between 14 and 17 years, 46.3% of the girls said they had been at least once victims of online violence. These topics are rarely discussed which leaves adolescents with the impression that such problems are either unimportant or their fault. Unaddressed these attitudes may normalize such forms of violence and increase vulnerability towards domestic violence at a later stage. Several studies have shown that the first demonstrations of violence among partners occur before coming of age. Adolescence is the period when young people shape their ideas and expectations of intimate relationships which predispose their relationships in later life. Therefore prevention has to be aimed at this age group.
The project National campaign for counteracting contemporary models of gender-based violence is funded based on a grant agreement № 812108-79/25.08.2015 under Measure 5 - Awareness and sensibility raising campaigns, Program BG 12 Domestic Violence and Gender-Based Violence within NFM 2009-2014
The National campaign against online sexualization continues
The National campaign for counteracting contemporary models of gender-based violence, which started on the 17th September 2015, continues through long-term activities in schools across Bulgaria and through the dissemination of materials developed during its course through different media outlets.
"For and against uploading a sexy selfie" debate
On the 26th April The Applied Research and Communications Fund (ARC Fund) and Association Debates Sofia hosted the public debate "For and against uploading a sexy selfie".
Over 120 students discussed online popularity in the small town of Oryahovo
On the 29th March, experts on online safety from ARC Fund held open lessons in front of more than 120 students from the 5th, 6th and 7th grades in the small Bulgarian town of Oryahovo. The lesson called "I want to be popular like the others", presented in front of the students, was developed within the national campaign for counteracting contemporary models of gender-based violence.
#облечисебе (Dress up) teamed up with "Walk a mile in her shoes"
On March 13th, in order to mark the International women’s day and the European action day against online sexist hate speech, the initiative “Walk a mile in her shoes” took place in Sofia. During the event, the campaign #облечисебе (Dress up) was also presented.
#облечисебе (Dress up) was presented at a national youth conference
The campaign against sexualized online behavior #облечисебе (Dress up) was presented at the ninth annual national youth conference, which was organized by the Youth Parliament of Gorna Oryahovitsa between March 11-13. During the three-day event, many youth organizations and parliaments, along to go with NGOs working for the improvement of children's and teenager's lives and rights presented their activities.
The Conference "Dos and Don'ts... For a Few Likes More" was held on SID 2016
The goal of the Conference, which brought together over 60 children, adolescents and adults, was to create a shared vision of the desired Internet space through the point of view of different stakeolders, coming from different ages and experiences. A special focus during the discussion was given to the need of young Internet users to seek for approval through social media, the ways in which the understanding of what is acceptable and unacceptable when seeking for approval online has changed over the course of the last 5 years, what determines how far are we willing to go today in the name of a few likes more and what do we want to change, in order to make the Internet a better place.
The educational seminar "For a few likes more" took place
An educational workshop for teenagers and a parallel workshop for parents and teachers on the topic of early sexualisation and gender-based online violence took place in Borovetz on December 18-20.
National campaign against gender-based violence
At a press-conference on September 17, the Applied Research and Communications Fund and Association Parents announced the beginning of its National campaign against gender-based violence, financed by Norway Grants.