Preventing violence against girls and promotion of gender equality values among adolescents

Association Vesta is granted means by UNIFEM for implementation of the project Preventing violence against girls and promotion of gender equality values among adolescents whose main goal is to contribute to the better understanding of youth needs and problems related to the issue of adolescent dating violence and the establishment of mechanisms for preventive action and the suppression of violence in such relationships. Broadly speaking, this goal is concerned with primary prevention and addresses the very root of the problem of violence against women.


Girls who fail to recognize the danger of an abusive relationship at an early adolescent stage and are unable to handle problematic boys are at a great risk of becoming trapped in those relationships, in a vicious circle of violence. In marriage, this model of violence display continues to develop and leads to an increased intensity of violent behavior of men.


Although a considerable number of non-governmental organizations deal with the issue of violence against women, to this day there has not been any official research into manifestations of violence against adolescent girls. In addition, we are not aware of any programs for combating violence in adolescent dating relationships that were developed by ministries of education (either at the entity or the cantonal level) for secondary schools. This fact bears much more importance if we take into account the increasing number of reports in Bosnia and Herzegovina of girls being brutally murdered by their boyfriends. In Tuzla alone, several murders were committed this year, of which the most tragic one involved a brutal murder of a girl by her ex boyfriend, who then committed suicide. They were both 18 years old. Therefore, the direct beneficiaries from the project are boys and girls aged 15-19 from 32 secondary schools in the Tuzla Canton. The girls from this group of direct beneficiaries will have the end benefit, and we expect to change primarily the lives of those girls who are currently victims of adolescent dating violence.


For that purpose, the following activities will be implemented:


  • Conducting of the research on a sample of 1155 interviewees (pupils and pedagogues) from 32 secondary schools in the Tuzla Canton
  • Processing of the findings followed by a detailed analysis and formulation of the conclusions and recommendations performed by the hired consults (sociologists and psychologists)
  • Publicizing of the research findings
  • Promotion of results in all secondary schools which participated in the research
  • Drafting the proposal of the program for the prevention of violence in secondary schools, in accordance with the results of the analysis, which will include continual consultation meetings with school advisors, the representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Tuzla Canton and the Pedagogical Institute of the Tuzla Canton
  • Integration of the Program for the prevention of adolescent dating violence in the formal Curriculum of secondary schools in Tuzla Canton
  • Producing and broadcast of 20 radio shows which will raise awareness about this specific issue and promote the results of the project


Realization of above mentioned activities will ensure a multi-disciplinary approach to the creation of programs for the prevention of violence against teenage girls and the institutional sustainability of project results. New findings on the manifestations and the scope of violence against adolescent girls will result in appropriate recommendations and have an effect on the content of an educational/preventive program which will be included in the formal curriculum of secondary schools in the area of the Tuzla Canton.


Also, through their active participation in the development of prevention programs, the school advisors will obtain "ownership over the process," so that they could realize and coordinate the stipulated commitments once the program is integrated in the curriculum.