The “International Conference on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence: Victims, Perpetrators and Bystanders” took place at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Porto, on the 8th and 9th of October.
On the first day, the event counted on about 200 participants among them the classes of the Portuguese schools where the Bystanders project was devolved. On the first day the event gathered about 200 people and, amongst them, the students and teachers of the schools where the Bystanders project was developed.
The opening session was led by the interventions of the Secretary of State for Citizenship and Equality, Rosa Monteiro, the Chairman of the Pedagogical Council, Henrique Vaz, and Dália Costa, in representation of Anália Torres, founder and coordinator of CIEG (Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Studies) and Bystanders project coordinator, Maria José Magalhães.
Afterwards Maria José Magalhães and Cátia Pontedeira, Bystanders team member, carried on to the presentation of the project’s results.
Throughout the morning session Professor Marceline Naudi reflected on the prevention of sexual harassment, bystanders and the Istanbul Convention.
The afternoon session was highlighted by several moments of knowledge sharing: both teachers and students who benefitted from the project presented the results according to their own perceptions of the project’s impact on their lives.
Escola do Cerco
Escola Leonardo Coimbra, Filho
Escola Dr. Joaquim Gomes Ferreira Alves, Valadares
The afternoon session was also marked by the presentation of the “Handbook on training and prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace: between knowledge transfer and social change” by Bernardo Coelho, one of the book´s authors.
Just before the end of the first day Alessandra Pauncz presented a communication called “Work with Perpetrators or Sexual Violence: What do we know and what is invisible?”.
In order to welcome participants to this event, a Porto de Honra was organized in the Library of the Old Rectory of the University of Porto, that also held a concert by Elsa Pidre and Mário Brañas.
The second, and last day, began with the intervention of Liz Kelly who, via Skype, presented a conceptualization of sexual violence.
In the afternoon, a roundtable discussion was held about “Sexual Violence and Prevention”, which had the following speakers: Vasiliki Saini on behalf of EIGE – European Institute for Gender Equality; Lourdes Maria Bandeira, from the University of Brasilia; and Margarida Medina Martins, from AMVC – Association of Women Against Violence.
The closing session of the International Conference had Manuel Albano, Head of the Northern Delegation of the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG) and Maria José Magalhães as speakers.
The panel’s final moments were reserved to the author’s presentation and Maria José Magalhães’ review of “From childhood to the third age: intervention in contexts of violence and crime – A practical guide for students and professionals”, a book coordinated by Madalena Oliveira (FMUP / JusGov / ISCJS) and Paulo Pinto (Investigation and Support to Specific Victims Group – GNR).
We began the round table with a short video Sexual Harassment in Schools. Then, there was a debate about sexual harassment and sexual violence. Students from the audience asked following questions: how to help a person who is experiencing violence (the victim), how to react when you are a bystander, how to talk to the victim, and what to do when the victims speak up about experiencing violence but later changes their mind and deny it. The students had really good and meaningful ideas. They stressed the importance of reacting to violence; they clearly stated that violence is a problem of entire society, not just an individual problem. They also showed interest in more round tables and events about this topic. One student who had participated in workshops said that workshops had been well prepared and conducted. What he liked the most were the debates and sharing of different opinions.
On the 21st April, the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Porto opened the doors to youth students of high school. This visit of youngsters allowed a closer contact with a, University, their degrees and investigation projects.
Bystanders’ Project was presented to students by the team and 2 volunteers of the project who raise awareness about sexual harassment. During the entire day, the project was presented to 5 groups of students.
At the end of the project presentation, students had the opportunity to create a slogan for the logo of the Bystanders’ Project and write it in Posters with an empty logo.
The photos below represents the result of this activity. Slogans created by youth for the Bystanders’ project.
On the April 12th, the Bystanders project leader Maria José Magalhães and the researchers participated as members of the jury in the “Debate Marathon – Thinking the human”, promoted by the school Dr. Joaquim Gomes Ferreira Alves (one of the schools where Bystanders’ Project is being implemented). The different teams addressed diverse themes such as artificial intelligence and violence in interpersonal relationships. The classes that took part in the Bystanders project were also present and contributed to the debate on violence.
On photos below:
artist-investigator Raquel Felgueiras as member of the jury;
Bystanders leader – Maria José Magalhães as member of the jury.
Listen to interview with Vlasta Jalušič, researcher at the Peace Institute, on revealing a culture of sexual harassment and strengthening of authoritarian political ideologies.
On the 20th of April, the Bystanders project in collaboration with the two classes of the discipline Action Research in Education participated in the event Mostra UP (University of Porto). Having the forum and invisible theater as a starting point, Professor Maria José Magalhães moderated a debate about sexual harassment with high school students. After the debate, the youngsters had the opportunity to edit posters with the Bystanders’ logo by writing sentences that they thought that could work as a slogan for a sexual harassment prevention campaign.
Both in the morning and in the afternoon, the two classes and the Bystanders’ team interacted with the visitors, mainly high school students. This activity had a good participation from the youngsters both in the debate and in the poster editing.