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Subject: Project Step4GBV – Support, training, exchange practices for Gender-Based Violence (GBV)

“If you are exposed to violence, it’s time to act…seek for help

Gender based violence is a topic that progressively gets sufficient attention from the general public and those in charge of the society. Nevertheless, it is still necessary to engage in this topic, particularly in order to decrease tolerance towards domestic violence and to assure help to domestic violence victims is available all over the world.

The project STEP4GBV aims to increase the competencies of professionals via capacity building activities. The professionals will thus be better equipped to meet the needs of GBV victims and perpetrators. Another aim is to develop and test new intervention methods package tools. It will be achieved through mutual learning and assessment of the methods used for supporting GBV victims and perpetrators. The project started in January 2018 and ends on December 2019. The coordinator of the project is the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family (APHVF) in Cyprus and the partners are Enoros consuling Ltd in Cyprus, Centro Italiano per la Promozione della Mediazione in Italy, Cyprus police in Cyprus, Diaconia of the ECCB The Centre of Christian help in Prague in Czech Republic, Ass. I Diritti Civili nel 2000-Salvabebè/Salvamamme in Italy and Association Demetra in Bulgary.

The kick off meeting took place in Nicosia, Cyprus in January 2018 in order to plan the upcoming activities of the project. Moreover, 3 transnational workshops took place in Nicosia, Prague and Burgas while the last workshop will be held in Milan (5 – 7.2.2019).

During the 1st day of the Nicosia Transnational Workshop (13th & 14th March 2018), APHVF’s programmes for victims, perpetrators and couples as well as the helpline for domestic violence were presented to the participants through a series of presentations and experiential exercises. During the second day, participants shared their emotions and feelings regarding the previous day. A presentation of APHVF  shelters followed, in which the operation and rules of the shelters were explained. Throughout the two days transnational workshop, the participating organizations discussed and exchanged their experiences and observations about working with victims and perpetrators.

During the Transnational Workshop in Prague (27th & 28th June 2018), SOS centre therapists presented and explained methods of working with victims and perpetrators of GBV. The first day started with an overview of the services provided by SOS centre. The second day of the workshop begun with a presentation about PSSI (a diagnostic tool used in the program “Stop violence”). Afterwards, a presentation on working with unmotivated clients took place. The last presentation of the workshop took place in SOS centre and focused on group therapy for clients who committed violence in close relationships. Throughout the two day transnational workshop, the participating organizations discussed and exchanged their experiences and observations about working with victims and perpetrators. During the transnational workshop in Burgas (29th & 30th October 2018), Demetra Association presented the services offered to victims and perpetrators of violence.  Also, the participants had a unique chance to visit a shelter for human trafficking victims and a sexual assault referral center (a support unit for victims of sexual violence). The participants also learned about the therapeutic methods employed by Demetra Association’s expert personnel. Moreover, the partners had the opportunity to experience the fruitful cooperation between Demetra association and local municipalities along with the police. Outcomes of the shared intervention tool package were also presented during the workshop.