VIOLET: Let Violence Go!

Violence against children and among them is one of the most threatening phenomenon in society nowadays. Everyday in the news there are countless cases of domestic and school violence, of cases where children have been victims, accomplices or witnesses of violent acts. In such statistics children who live with a physical, sensory, intellectual or mental health disability are among the most stigmatized and marginalized of all the world’s children and are at significantly increased risk because of prejudices, negative traditional beliefs and ignorance.
Currently the majority of schools all over Europe and the partner countries in particular have neither the administrative, nor the professional capacity for creating particular programs for violence prevention, especially such courses that are accessible for hearing or visually impaired. And this is where the VIOLET proposal aims to offer practical solutions. The project represents a partnership of two big organizations representing and working with sensory impaired children and youth in Bulgaria and the United Kingdom – ARDUS and RNC. They have been joined by a smaller NGO – IOA – with professional expertise in training and rehabilitation for disadvantaged youth.
The main tagret group of project VIOLET is sensory impaired children aged 10-14 and youth aged 15-19 who attend both mainstream and special residential schools in Bulgaria and the United Kingdom. These children and young people are often subject to aggression and peer violence due to the fact that they obviously differ from the majority, as well as the lack of soft skills to ease inclusion among fellow pupils. At school violence and aggression have always been the easiest tools to solve personal problems and externalize personal issues like insecurity amd inferiority complex where youngsters compensate for unconscious feelings of low self-esteem or inadequacy. In such environment sensory impaired children striving for equal participation and opportunities obviously need new and practical knowledge and skills to become more active and independent in occassions where they have to protect themselves. The project also aims to address schools as institutions in general, including all students, teachers and governing bodies.
The main operational objective of these organizations within the current proposal is to create a supportive environment where children and youth with sensory impairements can get help to realize, personally comprehend and learn to protect themselves from the risks and violence exisiting in their everyday life. That means they will be empowered with skills and knowledge how to combat and avoid the most common tools for social exclusion and tormenting: aggression, isolation, and neglect always ending up in violent acts.
Project VIOLET: Let Violence Go plans to address these problems directly by organizing a field work needs analysis and based on its fndings to develop and adapt accordingly special course curriulum dealing with isues such as self-defense, basic legal knowledge, art therapy and psychodrama, soft skills and communication breakdown for the needs of the target group – sensory impaired children and youth.
The project has been planned in two years, starting February 2011 and ending January 2013.