June 2, 2022
State-wide symposium “School and sexualised violence”
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
Continuing Education Center Ingelheim (WBZ)
According to the independent commissioner for child sexual abuse (UBSKM), Kerstin Claus, on average one or two students in each class are victims of sexual abuse. The fact that, despite many measures and efforts, children and young people are still victims of sexualised violence is a sad reality that should challenge us all to look and act. Sexualised violence also occurs in the context of school, e.g. attacks by other students or teachers. But, school is also a place where people seek help. As a result, the school plays an important role in prevention and support, as a place of protection, but also as a “space to talk”. Dealing with the issue of sexualised violence can be a major challenge for superintendents, school leadership, crisis teams, school social workers and teachers. In the case of sexualised violence, being able to see what is going on and also act in the interest of young people requires sensitivity to a taboo topic and the courage to intervene when many people prefer to look the other way.
The “School and sexualised violence” symposium, which took place in Ingelheim on June 2, 2022 in cooperation with the prevention specialist group of the state working group for women’s emergency hotlines in Rhineland-Palatinate and the State Educational Institute, aimed to strengthen the security of actors in the school and social context on the promotion of good cooperation against the background of a school culture of looking and listening. Many schools do not start this process from scratch, but build on broadly anchored social learning measures such as the prevention programs “Ich und Du und Wir” or the primary prevention program (ProPP).
Various events for different target audiences are offered in Rhineland-Palatinate in order to raise awareness about the needs of affected schoolchildren, as well as events for affected teaching staff to help make them more effective resources to their students.
The participants were welcomed by the Minister of Education, Dr. Stefanie Hubig. The organizers and Kerstin Claus gave an informative introduction to the topic before the first round of workshops started. The in-depth topics ranged from “Where does sexualised violence begin?” to “Sexualised Violence and Digital Media: Recommendations for Action in the School Context” to “Attacks between Pupils” and more. In a second lecture in the afternoon, Mira Pütz, from “Zartbitter Köln”,, dealt with the topic “What helps? What do those affected need?”. Dr Jörg von Irmer, PL, concluded the event with the importance of developing a protection concept for the prevention of sexual violence in schools. As part of the state-wide symposium, further offers were presented at information stands aimed specifically at schools.