Saying No to Intimate Partner Violence in Adolescence
“Saying No to Intimate Partner Violence in adolescence”, is one of the projects implemented in Albania by the Gender Alliance for Development Center (GADC) and funded by the Austrian Development Agency, during 2019. This initiative aims to combat intimate partner violence in adolescence, as well as to help young boys and girls understands the legal consequences they have to face if they get involved in criminal acts such as blackmailing through photos and videos, sexual harassment, rape etc.
This project was implemented in the high schools of the three major municipalities of Albania, Tirana, Elbasan and Durres including about 50 high school pupils, their teachers and parents.
“In such a situation, where blackmailing through photos and videos, harassment and rape are heard so often, such awareness raising can help students to understands the consequences”, says one of the teachers of “Sami Frashëri” high school in Tirana.
One of the aims of the project was to provide legal education to adolescents due to the lack of information they had regarding the major legal responsibilities they have to undertake in case of exercising any form of violence towards their partner in intimate relationships.
The initiative was welcomed by young people, teachers and their parents, who are now aware of the harms and legal responsibilities in the matter. They have also developed attitudes against violence in intimate relationships.
“I don’t feel safe when a friend invite me at home. When you think you spend most of your time with your classmate, and when the latter is wickedly planning to ruin your life, it provokes a very bad feeling,” says A. S., a student from Petro Nini Luarasi high school. “Girls on occasion need to be more alert, but boys also have to realize that when girls say no is No,” continued another young man.
Banners with legal awareness excerpts from the Criminal Law were placed in 50 high schools, at the entrance of each school and will remain there always. An awareness-raising video has been shared on social media and has been labelled as necessary by dozens of comments and has been reposted in 100 cases.
An extract of the law comes as a summary aiming to identify the penalties that are imposed on individuals as young as 14 years of age when they commit offenses, such as harassment, rape, stalking and blackmailing through photos and videos.
In addition to young people, the initiative “Say No to Intimate Partner Violence in Adolescence” was widely embraced by the academic staff, security officers and school psychologists. They have unanimously evaluated this project as very necessary as per the information and education of young boys and girls got, individuals who today as far as intimate partner violence is concerned are at greater risk than ever.