Supporting girls and young women victims of sexual harassment in schools : "me and you and everyone we know"

Goodman, Anthony and Calestani, Melania (2022) Supporting girls and young women victims of sexual harassment in schools : "me and you and everyone we know". Safer Communities, ISSN (print) 1757-8043 (Epub Ahead of Print)

Abstract

This article highlights an innovative project, across three European countries (Italy, Sweden and Romania), that used a pictorial co-design educational tool to empower young women to counter sexual harassment and abuse. Data is very hard to obtain on levels of sexual harassment and the project revealed that there was a need to educate female and male students, as well as professionals of its long-term impact. The co-designed cards generated discussion and comments both with the young participants and educational professionals. Focus groups were organised in the three countries with students using the co-design tool. What emerged from those focus groups are different attitudes towards sexual harassment and how this may affect girls and young women in the three participating countries. This article reflects upon the use of a transnational co-design tool to prevent sexual harassment and abuse in schools. The main aim was to promote a dialogue with young people on the complexity of issues surrounding this topic in order to promote change in this area. Findings from this project revealed that there was much variation between the three countries in a number of important areas, such as the support and knowledge base on the issue.

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