Gender-based violence occurred in schools in 17% of cases

MySecretCase launched a call among community members to gather testimonials. 90% of the participants stated that they do not feel safe within the school walls

“I was getting caught between my legs in high school and the principal said to my mother: how was your daughter dressed?” Again: “Fifteen years old, my boyfriend is forcing me to give oral sex to a friend of his or he would have left me.” Or: “The teacher gives me a candy and says, this is for you to suck, as you like.” These are just some of the 13,500 testimonials arrived in response to the survey he conducted MySecretCase, an Italian community created to encourage and promote sexual liberation and the first Italian online store dedicated to pleasure.

The investigation began for collect student experiences of yesterday and today, and stimulate reflection on what constitutes violence, its spread and the importance of emotional education in every school. The material collected depicts an unfortunately very clear scenario: over 65% of the people who took part in the survey stated that they had experienced personal incidents of violence. Over 17% occurred in a school settingsecond after romantic relationships (19.4%) followed by friendships (14.7%) and the work context (12.7%).

Among the most widespread types of aggression we find the verbal harassment (27.8%), h sexual abuse (23.2%), h psychological violence (22.1%), persecutory acts (7.2%) and the online harassment – online defamation, insults, revenge porn, etc. – (6.8%). The times, methods and contexts in which these episodes occur change, but the same mechanisms of thought and behavior that highlight an educational and cultural gap remain unchanged over the years.

“It is important that experiences of violence form a trace create a real training program compared to a gap that needs to be filled as soon as possible – said Norma Rossetti, CEO of MySecretCase – News events and the experiences of people dear to us have led us to want to talk about this issue, there is too much confusion about whether it is violence or not, there is a deep sense of shame and even guilt on the part of the victims, a not so rare tendency to underestimate the seriousness of such incidents on the part of the families and, sometimes, a lack of trust in the police” .

In fact, more than 90% of respondents said they do not having filed a complaint officially for a sense of shame (23.4%), lack of trust in the authorities (17.8%), lack of knowledge about services available to support victims (13.2%) and fear of retaliation from the attacker (11.3%). However, more than 80% decide to confide in trusted people and do so mainly with friends (45%), parents (20%), teachers (12%) and in help desks (6.4%).

Among the main factors cited as causes of violence we find gender inequality (16.5%), gender stereotypes (19.4%) and in first place insufficient education (31.9%), also as a main cause of violence in schools (33.1%). Not only that, over 90% of students believe that their school is not doing – or has not done – enough to promote a safe environment.

Student proposals to combat violence in schools

In this regard, more than 40% believe that a school lesson on sex education, to respect physical boundaries and to manage emotions, must be the first – but not the only – tool to prevent and combat violence. They must, in fact, follow psychological support programs for students (11.6%), strengthening laws against these phenomena (10.7%), parent awareness meetings from the school (9%), support for victims through social and legal services (8.6%) and greater supervision by school staff (4.3%).

World AIDS Day, Durex Observatory: less than one in two young people always use a condom


World AIDS Day, Durex Observatory: less than one in two young people always use a condom

“We want a world in which education about sexuality and consent is an integral part of school curricula, because we believe that it is the first tool to prevent violence – continues Rosetti – Programs are currently absent or ineffective in a large part of Italy: almost in 70% of cases they do not include ad hoc courses on the subject, and the few that are planned are considered useless or ineffective by 90% of people’.

Until today his subjectsex education and the emotional in schools is one of the most discussed at government level, thanks to the sad and dramatic number of victims of femicide in Italy and the unfortunately emblematic case Giulia Cecchettin. Minister of Education and Value Giuseppe Valditara, Minister of Family and Equal Opportunities Eugenia Roccella and Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano recently presented a proposal to introduce emotional education in school by providing one hour per weekrelationship training” in high schools with meetings for three months a year and a total of twelve sessions. The plan also includes the intervention of influencers, singers and actors for the greater participation of young people: the draft foresees that students, guided by a teacher in the role of moderator, participate in group discussions, exposing themselves personally to the topic.

The proposal is still being debated, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses, but what the MySecretCase research also highlights is an educational gap that needs to be addressed in the most effective and decisive way. In fact, more than 98% of respondents believe it is necessary introduction of sex education plans in school programs, 40.7% would introduce them starting in elementary school, 32.5% in middle school, and 24.1% in kindergarten.

In addition to the incidents of harassment and violence mentioned above, they are also classified as such threats, insults, humiliationssocial isolation, emotional control and manipulation (23.7%), acts that insult and degrade the person’s dignity, verbal harassment (21.7%), any form of control over financial autonomy, for example, taking away or preventing access to money sabotage the individual’s independence (17.5%), bullying incidents (18.1%) and acts against people belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community (17.3%).

“At MySecretCase we are trying to do our part – underlines Rossetti – at the end of 2022 we launched MySecretCase Education, a sex education platform accessible to all, to educate new generations who are sexually free and aware, thanks to an online platform of professionals that completes the work that the team does every day on social media. But for there to be a real change of direction, a joint commitment between agencies, companies and associations is necessary.”

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