DAPHNE III PROGRAMME

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1 DAPHNE III PROGRAMME These materials are proposed in the framework of the project Drug use and sexual abuse. Training, counselling and support to empower and protect drug-addicted women against violence. (JUST/2010/DAP3/AG/1296) under the EU Programme Daphne III, to prevent and combat violence against children, young people and women. The Project is co-funded by the European Commission (DG Justice, Directorate B: Criminal Justice, Unit B3: Anti-drugs policy). This publication has been produced with the financial support of the European Commission. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission. DAPHNE III PROGRAMME Drug use and sexual abuse - Training, counselling and support The project is carried out and promoted in Italy by Associazione Il Pioppo onlus, to empower and protect drug-addicted women against violence Associazione Giancarlo Siani, Co.Eur, Ires Campania. In Bulgaria by Crime prevention fund-iga Foundation, in Greece by Pyxida, in Slovakia by Plan B, in the United Kingdom by Alfa rehabilitation day centre.

2 ABOUT THE GUIDE Purpose of this guide is to help the networking among institutions which provide services for sexual abused drug-addicted women in order to raise synergy and enhance effectiveness of treatment and prevention. The guide provides information and ideas about the purpose of networking and about strategies to build up and maintain a network of institutions and/or individuals dealing with the issues of drug abuse against addicted women. It is assumed that the network is placed on a national level and is initiated by the institutions participating in this project (as e.g. PYXIDA would do in Greece). Networking reflects the process and the quality of professional relationships which are developed between two or more individuals, groups or organizations. Networking is based on new forms of collective action and intervention. Networking creates a wider dynamic in addressing the social and economic needs of the community, which cannot be met by individuals endeavors without coordination and continuity (ΚΕΘΙ ). There are different levels of networking: communication cooperation coordination interface 1 Μάρη, Ε. (2008). Οδηγός Συνθετικού Μοντέλου, Athens: ΚΕΘΙ

3 A NETWORK. WHY? 1. Purpose of the network: the empowerment of the efforts of social institutions which deal with addicted women in order to protect women from violence and sexual abuse. 2. The ground of the network: defining the necessity of connecting institutions and social services in order to deal with the issue of sexual abuse against drug-addicted women. According to the results of research, there is a need for more training and support of social professionals and also a need for awareness raising in the community (see results 2 from the surveys conducted in the current Daphne project in Italy, Greece, Slovakia, United Kingdom). 3. Defining and describing the phenomenon: sexual abuse against drug-addicted women as a hidden issue. Definitions 3 according to American Psychological Association: Sexual abuse is an unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making threats or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent. Most victims and perpetrators know each other. Immediate reactions to sexual abuse include shock, fear or disbelief. Long-term symptoms include anxiety, fear or post-traumatic stress disorder. While efforts to treat sex offenders remain unpromising, psychological interventions for survivors especially group therapy appear effective. (adapted from the Encyclopedia of Psychology 4 ) Addiction is a condition in which the body must have a drug to avoid physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Addiction s first stage is dependence, during which the search for a drug dominates an individual s life. An addict eventually develops tolerance, which forces the person to consume larger and larger doses of the drug to get the same effect. (adapted from the Encyclopedia of Psychology) 3 2 Cf. Drug use and sexual abuse project website ( php/en/results/questionnaire.html) 3 Cf. American Psychological Association website ( PAGE 4 Kazdin, Alan E. PhD, Editor-in-Chief (2000). Encyclopedia of Psychology, Washington: APA

4 Definition according to United Nations: The United Nations defines violence against women as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life 5. Sexual violence is a serious public health and human rights problem with both short- and long-term consequences on women s physical, mental, and sexual and reproductive health. Whether sexual violence occurs in the context of an intimate partnership, within the larger family or community structure, or during times of conflict, it is a deeply violating and painful experience for the survivor Collecting studies and research available on sexual abuse against drug-addicted women: results from other local or international surveys about sexual abuse against women and drug addiction in women population (EMCDDA, WHO). 5. Identifying national and international legislation and action plans which might be relevant: the violence against women is a very important issue for European Community, also the problem of drug use and the help of addicted individuals. There are some European (and not only) decisions and agreements about the protection of women and also national legislation and action plans (e.g. Council of Europe, Convention on Preventing and Combating violence against women and domestic violence, Istanbul, May 2011). The network has to collect all these agreements, laws and plans in order to inform its members and other institutions and the community in general. 5 Article 1, UN Declaration, resolution 48/104 of 20 december Cf. WHO (2002). World report on violence and health. Geneva: WHO

5 PAGE 5 IDENTIFYING THE MEMBERS OF THE NETWORK In order to create a dynamic and effective network, it is necessary to recognize and explore the previous situation and think about the level of networking and the potential members (criteria as legal status, the topic of work and the population of the institution). Remember that a network should meet the needs of the members in order to survive. Relevant issues: Setting up criteria for the selection of the institutions involved Defining core members and associated members of the network, as police, medical centers, law services, etc. Identifying networks already established on the national level on this or relevant topics»» Identifying international networks which might help (e.g. Institutions involved in Daphne Programme)

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7 PAGE 7 SETTING UP THE NETWORK WITH THE IDENTIFIED MEMBERS The most important think for a network is to be alive, active and helpful network in order to survive. It needs to develop tactics to enhance the network and maintain its function. Relevant issues: Address and motivate possible network members; Initiate conferences and meetings in order to present the purpose and the necessity of the network and also to enhance network s presence in the community; Create a positive environment (mass media campaign, press conference, any other happening would help). Distinguish the role and activity of core and associated members with the purpose to give to each of them an important and specific role in the endeavour to minimize violence against women generally and against the specific population of addicted women.

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9 STRATEGIES OF NETWORKING Meetings and conferences In order to survive, a network needs action and communication. Regular meetings are necessary for the connection among the members and also for the organizing of activities. Each network has to create groups of work according to the needs of members and their timetable. In addition, conferences give to the network the opportunity to present the work and to promote its action and also to attract new members and colleagues. Training seminars A network can provide a framework for ongoing education and training on topics of common concern. Training events further help network members to meet, have common experiences and enhances their communication. Website and newsletters Setting up a website helps professionals to support their daily efforts against violence and to inform other social services and also the general population about the problem and network actions. Additionally, the members of the network can prepare a newsletter where they can promote first of all the network news and activities and also news from other members. Common declaration and contract among members A network needs a specific contract which has to make clear the rules and the obligations of each member. Also the contract has to bring out items as the representation of the network to mass media or in meetings with other networks, NGOs or governmental organizations. It could be an informal contract but it is advised to keep it written and signed by the members. 9 PAGE

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11 MAINTAINING THE NETWORK Creating common products as for example A step by step guide of actions to be taken when faced with a sexual abused and drug-addicted women : social services in general, and specially institutions who treat drug addicts, are often faced with women who have experienced violence and sexual abuse. The most experienced social professionals know how to approach a woman who suffers from violence, but in many other cases (professionals who have no previous experience or professionals with experience in different topics, new employees, insecure professionals, professionals with different studies, e.g. social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc.) social professionals are not familiar with the most effective approach. Another problem is that each organization follows a different strategy of admission and providing services for this population and this is a confused situation which doesn t help women with problems like addiction and violence. It is obvious that a step by step protocol is needed, where the process of interviewing and counseling is defined and where also some information and advices are given, regarding the characteristics and needs of a victim of violence and some hints are given about the best service. Raising awareness in specific target groups as medical units and police officers. In many cases an addicted woman victim of violence would ask for help from a policeman, a doctor, a nurse or a priest, long before she approaches a social service. Unfortunately, usually the above professionals aren t enough informed about violence against women and they don t have the necessary knowledge about the characteristics of violence and also of addiction. Further, often they don t have communication skills in order to approach a woman in this situation and to motivate her to ask for help. In addition, usually they don t have knowledge about special treatment institutions in order to refer them. This means that women are not helped and sometimes they are victimized for their help-seeking efforts. Therefore, it is necessary to network also with professionals who might be contacted by women in need, providing them with the necessary information and referring them to special counseling and treatment centers. The network can organize seminars and informative visits for these professionals. 11 PAGE

12 Facilitating access to scientific articles and data in order to empower professionals. For all professionals who work with this topic it is important to know more about the phenomenon of hidden violence. One of the main activities of the network is to collect data and publications on this topic and to make them available to all the members. Each member can contribute to the enrichment of this database by sending new articles. Evaluating the network (identify the positive results, address further actions needed, etc.). The evaluation can help the network s improvement. The evaluation can give the members important data for the necessary changes and redefinition. The process of evaluation has to be described and scheduled at the beginning. All the members have to contribute to this. The results of the evaluation can be used for the promotion of the network. Recruiting new members. Address and motivate possible network members in order to enlarge the network and replace drop outs.

13 13 NECESSARY SKILLS FOR NETWORKING According to Mayo 7 executives of organizations need to develop some important skills in order to be able to network: Communication skills with individuals, groups & institutions; Capacity to estimate/evaluate the needs and the recourses which can cover these needs; Capacity to develop a strategy on local level in cooperation with others (professionals, institutions); Skills to facilitate the formation of groups and to support the effective development of the group; Capacity to intervene positively in possible conflicts between groups; Capacity to understand social inequalities and discriminations against women; Capacity to co-operate and negotiate with organizations and staff members of social services and also with social support institutions; Capacity to have an effective connection with local level politicians who are responsible for the social policy; Skills to communicate in written word and orally with individuals, groups and organizations; Skills to manage recourses and budgets; Skills to write down and evaluate experiences in the process of networking, in order to improve deficiencies and to avoid errors. PAGE 7 Mayo, M. (1977). Women in the community. Community Work. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul

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15 AN EXAMPLE OF AN EFFECTIVE AND WITH A LONG STORY NETWORK The network of Centres for Drug Prevention and Psychosocial Health Promotion of Central Macedonia, in Northern Greece. The Network consists of 11 institutes which work in the area of Northern Greece. It was established in 2001, as a result of the previous cooperation among some of the participating institutes. The aim of the network is: a) to enhance the action of the Prevention Centres in their region; b) to create a frame for discussion and thinking so that prevention professionals can interchange experiences and ideas; c) to organize specific trainings and give some opportunities for educative experiences to the professionals. For the best organizing of the network activities, there is a group of work which consists of the institutions directors, which has regular meetings. For a period there were groups of work on specific topics like school based prevention programs, voluntary work in prevention, etc. The groups of work consisted of Centres staff members interested in these topics. In addition of the above actions, the network organized some common prevention interventions and activities: Common happenings Common prevention projects Trainings for prevention Some proposals for the resolution of important problems in the field of prevention in Greece The most important reason for the surviving of this network is the commitment among the members and the need to be together. 15 PAGE

16 IMPORTANT LINKS AND ORGANIZATIONS Council of Europe Equality Now European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction United Νations Office on Drug and Crime World Health Organization Women Against Violence Europe

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