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Workshop Sessions: New training ,models for University staff: What worked for us.

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Sharing experiences from Greece: Matina Papagiannopoulou (Panteion)

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Workshop Sessions: New training ,models for University staff: What worked for us.

  1. 1. EXPERIENCE FROM GREECE “The sound of voices and silences: unveiling sexual violence in universities” #USVreact
  3. 3. • Sexual violence incidents are not reported and the majority of people feel fear of being blamed. • Sexual violence and its impact are largely ignored. • There are no university-specific frameworks. • The inclusion of guidelines as part of university regulations has not yet been implemented. • There are no Counseling services available in Greek universities, specialized in handling cases of sexual violence and/or sexual harassment. Institutionallimitations
  4. 4. • Resistance among academic and administrative staff. • Reluctance to attend a seminar on sexual violence. • Fear that doing a seminar on USV means that the problem is worse at their institution than elsewhere. Initial reactions / … before the training controversial topic • too feminist • not necessary • non-existent It doesn’t concern us
  5. 5. We tried to disrupt the link between: • signifier [sexual violence] and signified [stereotypical representations, sexual violence mythology] • sexual violence incidences [signifier] and the resistance, reluctance and fear [signified].
  7. 7. Main goals • to sensitise the members of the university community to the topic of sexual violence and/or harassment, and to some ways of resisting and combating sexual violence; • to promote and maintain safe living, learning, and work environments where they can feel welcome and safe. Group synthesis • Mixed groups [role and gender] • Teaching and administrative staff, students • Each group: 12-14 participants, two 4-hour sessions, scheduled two weeks apart, different trainers • Voluntary participation Our training model(1)
  8. 8. Content • A theoretical part: Definitions and aspects of sexual violence / research findings [gendered power relations and inequalities, gender stereotypes, gender norms, sexism, sexual objectification etc.]. • An informational part: Greek legislation concerning sexual harassment and violence at the workplace. • An experiential part: Trainees shared their own experiences or knowledge on sexual and gender violence and their reactions (real or possible) to such experiences. Our training model(2)
  9. 9. Training outline (session 1 / 4 hours) I. Introduction Let’s get to know each other (in pairs) / Personal perceptions of gender stereotypes and discrimination (in pairs) II. Training contract / ground rules e.g. confidentiality, respect others, collaboration, agree to disagree, no disturbances [cell phone, side conversations] etc. III. Gender equality General concepts and definitions (lecture and small group work) Historical outline, key persons, dates, approaches and statements (including use of comic strips) IV. Violence against women (lecture and small group work) General comments, types and forms of violence, policies V. Sexual harassment/violence: “breaking the silence” (lecture and small group work) Definitions, examples, policies Gender and sexual harassment / Perpetrators and victims / Impact of sexual harassment Empirical data National policies and services on sexual violence
  10. 10. Training outline (session 2 / 4 hours) I. Introduction Thoughts or reflections since session 1 (2 weeks ago) (including new expectations of the session) II. Training contract and expectations How we will work together in this session. Important group rules III. Basic characteristics and the extent of women’s exposure to sexual violence •The extent of the problem in Greece, Information based on the 2014 FRA Report IV. Interactive exercises Myths and reality (exercise 4.1.7. GEAR against IPV) Persons and things (exercise 3.4 GEAR against IPV) Intervention strategies (exercise 4.2.1. GEAR against IPV) How can I help in cases of disclosure: Do’s and don’ts and Services (GSGE Manual) V. Closing remarks
  11. 11. Activity 1 Comic strip by Ali Kirkham
  12. 12. 1. You are staying until it’s done 2. You said I could have it once
  13. 13. 3. We'd do things people generally like at times when they do not like it 4. We'd give people things they want someday before that day arrives
  14. 14. 5. We'd act entitled to favors from our partners 6. We'd tell people they owed us participation in activities just because we expected to do them
  15. 15. 7. We'd force people into situations because of how they looked
  16. 16. • Do you think that this comic strip is helpful in understanding sexual violence and issues of consent? • Does it challenge victim blaming, sexual violence mythology, and gender biases? • Is there something that impressed you or you didn’t like? • What strengths did you hear? Group discussion
  17. 17. Activity 1a Tea consent WS4-kU
  18. 18. Activity 2 Do’s and Don'ts
  19. 19. Do’s • remain calm, approachable and receptive • listen carefully, without interrupting and acknowledge that the person making the complaint may be feeling distressed, angry or frightened • be aware of your own biases and preconceived ideas about discrimination and sexual violence • acknowledge you understand how difficult this may be • make it clear that you are taking what is said seriously • reassure them that they have done the right thing in telling you • let them know that you'll do everything you can to help them • inform them of available assistance, support, counseling etc. • make a written record of exactly what has been said
  20. 20. Don’ts • show shock or other strong reaction • blame the person complaining; they should not feel guilty for complaining about sexual violence • make promises you can’t keep • ask leading or probing questions • repeatedly question or ask them to repeat the disclosure • breach confidentiality / discuss the disclosure with people who do not need to know • make any assumptions about the validity of the complaint • delay action – try to resolve the complaint quickly but carefully • involve too many people; try to minimise the possibility of damaging rumours or gossip
  21. 21. • Do you think “breaking the silence” put the survivors in a status responsibility higher than the rest of us? • What are in your opinion the most useful do’s and don'ts, if there are no university regulations on sexual violence? • What is our role as university members to inspire, model or encourage a better way? Group discussion
  22. 22. REACTIONS / … during and after the training
  23. 23. • The most motivated participants were female students / they suggested setting up further initiatives. • The majority of the participants (male and female) asked for more training seminars. • All students have to be trained on the topic of sexual violence. Reactions/ … during and after the training “extremely happy” “a step in the right direction” “these were things that we hadn’t heard before”
  24. 24. • They said that information is really important. • Female participants (staff and students) disclosed personal experiences of sexual harassment, in the university context. • Many of them said that they understand that sexual violence can impact any member of the university community, regardless of their position. • Some female participants appreciated how the training addressed the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships. Reactions/ … during and after the training “completely unaware of sexual violence issues” • “victim-blaming” • “dressed in a provocative way”
  25. 25. • Male participants frequently resisted definitions of sexual harassment and violence, claiming that. • Female participants had a stricter position regarding behaviours and interactions that should be considered sexual violence. • It was difficult for participants to recognise more subtle forms of sexual violence. • Both female, and mostly male participants, had difficulty identifying sexualised behaviours. Reactions/ … during and after the training • some behaviours are just ‘flirting’ • feminists want to ban sexuality from social interactions “simply flirting”, “flattering” “paying attention”
  26. 26. • One of the concerns cited by students was that a one-time training is never enough. • A lot of female participants said that it is frustrating that there are no regulations and supporting services in their university. • Many of them confirmed that the seminar was very well structured and practically oriented. Reactions/ … during and after the training
  27. 27. Thank you!!!