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"If you loved me you would..." – Say no to dating violence

The 25th November emphasizes one of the main human right violations - violence against girls and women. The worldwide figures are highly concerning – up to 70% of women become victims of violence in their lifetime. According to the World Health Organisation, every third women around the world has been beaten, forced into sex, or otherwise abused in her life; often this violence has been inflicted by an intimate partner. [1]

If the focus is put on Europe, the numbers are also very alarming. A recent study by the University of Bristol and NSPCC analyzed teenage partner violence in the United Kingdom. A quarter of all interviewed girls experienced physical violence in their dating relationships and one in three teenage girls has been a victim of some form of sexual partner violence. [2]

Eliminating such violence requires smart awareness raising campaigns and other tools to expose this phenomenon. The Daphne III project “CAVA – Changing attitudes to dating violence in adolescents”featured in the latest edition of the European Parliament Magazineworks on the prevention of violence in teenage relationships. Since the vast majority of the younger generation consider themselves to be gamers, the project partners use this access to youngsters to call their attention to this crucial issue via an engaging video game.

Diving into the digital world of teenagers and allowing the gamer to live through the different stages of teenage relationships, the CAVA game will address the issue of dating violence in adolescents in a new and lively way hoping to appeal to teenagers. This innovative learning tool teaches girls and boys what healthy relationships are all about and makes them sensitive to warning signs of potentially abusive relationships. The aim of CAVA is to introduce this serious game to the curriculum of schools by training teachers in its use.

The game will be showcased for the first time at the CAVA conferenceon29th February to 2nd March 2012 at the University West in Trollhättan in Sweden (see below for more details). For more information and registration, please go to the CAVA conferencewebsite.

[1](WHO, 2011).

[2](Barter, et al., 2009).