Safe way out

The team of the National Call Centre for Victim of Crime – 116 006 is hosting a cycle of lectures with an overarching theme of gender based violence, during January and February 2021. The lectures deal with youth relationship violence, secondary traumatisation of support workers, emotional violence, imposing and implementing precautionary and security measures and corporal punishment of children. The goal of this lectures is education about gender based violence and sensitisation of the general public to the victims.

The first lecture was held on the 7th of January 2021, on the topic of „Violence in romantic relationships of youth“. The lecture was given by Martina Klarić, a victim support counselor on the helpline. During the lecture the participants had the opportunity to learn about what violence in romantic relationships of youth encompasses, what it looks like, hear some statistics of how often it happens and how to help. The lecturer described adolescence as a significant period of shaping attitudes and beliefs, during which young people engage in romantic and sexual relationships for the first time in their lives, while at the same time lacking the experience and skills needed to establish and maintain a quality relationship. She pointed out that the expressed desire for independence from parents and other adults, but also the tendency of these adults to dismiss high school love problems as unimportant and insignificant, contribute to the emergence of violence against young people. The violence in adolescent romantic relationships thus often remains invisible, hidden or neglected. All of this diminishes the ability of young people to recognize violent behaviours, end a violent relationship, report violence, and seek appropriate help.

The lecturer concluded that young people alone cannot be responsible for preventing violence in their relationships, that adults, schools, the public health system, the media and other important community actors should contribute to the well-being and safety of young people through appropriate educational programs, appropriate models of healthy behaviour and clear challenging social norms that contribute to violence. The prevalence and consequences of violence in youth relationships require creative and complex solutions that involve all members of the community – youth, parents, friends, teachers, doctors and other decision makers.

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