A key aspect of YOU*TH violence prevention is the acquisition of skills which allow them to create and live violence-free relationships with other human beings. This concerns not only friendships but also relationships with classmates, family members, and intimate relationships. Since intimate relationships between teenagers are strongly influenced by societal images and expectations, the dismantlement of gender stereotypes plays a crucial role to achieve the goal of violence-free relationships.
Example questions for young people regarding this topic are: How should a girl behave if she has a boyfriend? Can she give him a call? Is a boy allowed to kiss a girl without asking? Do the non-binary YOU*TH face specific role expectations when it comes to relationships? What role does power play in relationships and how can I deal with it?
Furthermore, questions regarding the quality of relationships play an important role and must be discussed. Topics range from sexuality/ies, communication, and time spent together to violence and suppression within relationships. For example, what are the signs of violence in my relationship? What does stalking mean? What behaviour violates my boundaries and how can I prevent it? Violence prevention for girls often means to reflect on the gender-specific fears of loss, to recognize the value a girl has, and to learn how to maintain independence within a relationship. For the LGBTQIA+ YOU*TH, very often it is the case to first create a space which makes it possible for them to speak about their relationship desires and experiences and have them acknowledged as equal to heterosexual teenage relationships. Moreover, the challenges for the asexual YOU*TH regarding intimate relationships must be perceived and thematized deliberately.
The identity/ies of each young person is/are as diverse and unique as their desire for a relationship, and it is one of the great challenges of our time to help to create them safe and free from violence.
Amnesty International. LGBTQI Glossary, 2015, https://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/AIUSA_Pride2015Glossary.pdf. ↩︎
Čechová, Helena, and Lada Hajdíková. Duhová Příručka pro Vyučující. PROUD: Platforma pro Rovnoprávnost, Uznání a Diverzitu z.s., 2016. ↩︎