On April 11, a four hour workshop was held at the Jörg- Ratgeb School in Stuttgart with students of class 9.1. The workshop intended to help teenagers to understand how violence works and how violence may build up and how it can be prevented. The focus was on the prevention of violence in teenage relationships.
The workshop was conducted by a professional coach of the Office of Equal Opportunity of the City of Stuttgart, the Stuttgart coordinating institution of the Stop Initiative against domestic violence, in collaboration with the Stuttgart Sunia Geel 2 team. 26 students participated.
After an introductory session, the young participants went through different exercises. As a first step body language, facial expressions and gestures were discussed. In a second step students learnt to clearly say “Stop” in order to maintain control in situations that may lead to violence. In another exercise, the young people were directly confronted in a game with physical violence and had to evaluate their own reactions and emotions.
The evaluation of the workshop was very positive. The young people suggested to have such a training for each class and suggested to offer it as early as in 8th grade. The materials are now being further adapted and refined to the needs of coaches and adolescents, so that the workshop can become a standard training provision for schools to help to prevent domestic violence and violence in relationships.