WeToo – Protecting mental health: Empowering frontline workers and SGBV victims and survivors

The WeToo project aims to enable frontline workers to better manage the stress generated by working with SGBV cases and establish trust relationships with SGBV victims and survivors.

Grant Agreement Number: 101005857

Funded by: REC        Duration: 01/12/2020 – 30/11/2022

 


Challenge

Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) disproportionally affects women and girls, also in Europe, where 33% women have experienced physical and sexual violence since the age of 15, while many SGBV cases, mainly against migrant women and girls, are unreported.

Despite the Istanbul Convention and other legal and policy instruments, they are still not fully implemented by Institutions and services provided in Member States. In this framework, to successfully address the alarming phenomenon of SGBV, tailor-made initiatives are needed to meet the needs of public services, to enhance the skills of professionals working with survivors, as well as to improve victim-centred access to justice.

Αccording to the EU Gender Strategy, adequate interventions for SGBV victims should include supporting actions, particularly addressed to frontline workers (police, health, legal and social operators), who are the first line of contact with women and girls affected by violence and are asked to establish trust relations with SGBV victims and survivors.

Protecting the mental health and social wellbeing of professionals who deal with SGBV cases is fundamental in order to respond and tackle gender-based violence, support SGBV victims and survivors and interrupt violent relations/situations and their traumatising consequences.

Innovation

By enabling frontline workers to better cope with the stress generated and the highly stressful situations while working at the front line of SGBV cases, Wetoo contributes to the successful implementation of SGBV primary prevention and response programmes and supports women survivors and victims of SGBV in their trauma recovery.

Action

Two tools will be developed, one to assess (and self-assess) the mental distress of front-line operators and one to assess the mental distress of SGBV survivors and victims, hosted in secure shelters or attending emergency services. On the basis of the (self-) assessment results, recommendations will be provided for improving the wellbeing of professionals and the management of service providers, and for operating and supporting women and girls victims/survivors of SGBV to overcome their traumas.

Pilot training courses will be delivered to improve the awareness of frontline workers and institutions on stress management and mental health care of SGVB victims and survivors, validating the self-assessment tool.

Five national reports will be drafted, presenting the gaps of existing policies and practices related to the care of frontline workers and women victims and survivors at the national and transnational levels. A transnational report will be also developed, summarising the research findings in the national reports.

Empowerment workshops and psycho-social counselling sessions will be delivered for the inclusion of local and migrant women, in the recovery from SGBV-related trauma and distress and for the implementation and validation of the assessment tool on mental health for victims and survivors of SGBV.

Training of the trainers will be held in Greece, Italy, Serbia, Germany and Bulgaria. Professionals who attended the pilot training and delivered the empowerment workshops will deliver a workshop to train other frontline operators.

 

 
REC
European Commission’s support for the production of this content does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
 
 
 

Project Partners

KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre
Oxfam Italia Intercultura, Italy
Intenegra, Germany
Atina, Serbia
Animus Association Foundation, Bulgaria
Alice, Italy

 

 
 
 
 

 

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