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Eva Ruiz I Sevilla (EFE).- One in three teenagers find themselves in a situation of psychological abuse, which they do not know how to recognize as an abusive relationship, at a time when new technologies and social networks have given rise to new types of gender-based violence.

Carmen Rodriguez – social worker and educator, member Anna Bella Foundation.

Together with other women who have been victims of this behavior, she helps young people to identify “red flags” in relationships through the Abuse Is Not Love program and communicate this information to them from the Ministry of Equality. .

“The types of violence in couples are not the same as they were 60 years ago, when our grandmothers may have suffered from it,” he explains to EFE during a workshop he leads in CESUR Institute social integration in Seville.

Social media abuse

In it, he notes that “new technologies are often misused and violence occurs that was previously unthinkable.”

He speaks of, for example, “spy apps” that are used to manipulate messages in private conversations or locate a person, behavior that “hasn’t been seen before because the technology hasn’t been that advanced.”

However, despite the fact that “teenagers are overly exposed to information and search it on Google on their mobile phones, there is a big knowledge gap that makes violence prevention workshops more necessary,” Carmen explains about social media.

When you say “I suffered from it”

On this day at the Institute, she is accompanied by Piedad Vazquez, who, at the age of 27 and after experiencing abusive relationships at the age of 15, personally shares her experience with students.

She does this after participating in a Foundation video in which, along with other women, she talks in detail about what she went through so that if any girl is going through the same thing, she can understand that “this is violence.”

And that’s what the official data says about 66% of young women not recognizing these situations, compared to 40% of adult women.

“I experienced what I thought was abnormal, that it wasn’t love,” Piedad says, but only months later, and through a TV ad in which a boy took his partner’s cell phone when he saw a reflection.

“There I said, wait, I have suffered. I started to see things and realized that I was in a psychologically abusive relationship and that’s when I realized.

The Importance of Seeking Help

Emphasize the importance of seeking psychological help during this time. “I was a teenager, I was in the developmental age,” she recalls, adding that in her next relationship she will ask her boyfriend for permission to go out or “ask if the clothes she wears fit her.”

Piedad also puts himself in the place of people close to the victim. “If you’re a friend, it’s very important that there is no pressure or pushiness and that you never say, ‘I told you so’.”

Students listen to this feedback during an interactive workshop in which they themselves came up with everything from painting a tree with silhouettes of women to an outreach mural they will hang in the center.

It features photographs of victims of gender-based violence, survivors, and those killed, the latter “in black and white to emphasize that they did not survive”.

“We want to put aside reporting with numbers, which sometimes dehumanize the victims a little, and show the faces of women, names and ages, make it one hundred percent visible, so that they can be seen, not the number. ‘, says 20-year-old Adriana.

Next to her, Rocío, 22, makes a poster and appreciates informative speeches.

“The very fact of having a healthy relationship can help you prevent this, especially with people our age who don’t know anything about the subject and don’t know how to find a solution,” he says.

Labor education from childhood

Esther Benítez, CESUR professor and educator, explains that students are “quite aware” of social integration.

Esther Benitez, professor at CESUR. EFE/Raul Caro

But in other modules, they find that “when girls anonymously expose what is happening to them, boys do not recognize it and are offended as if it is against them.”

“It is not, on the contrary, we want to raise awareness as soon as possible so that they do not commit such behavior, and if they see it among friends or family, they will be able to detect it, both boys and girls,” he said. clarifies.

In her opinion, education on gender-based violence “is the foundation of everything” and could be improved, especially with regard to social media.

“The work starts when students reach a certain age, but it needs to be done earlier, from the very beginning, from the moment they enter kindergarten, to fight gender-based violence,” he says.

Benítez also calls for “synergy” with families and that “you don’t get one set of guidelines in school, but others in the family.”

“There must be good communication between the school or institute and a family to make it work,” he concludes. EFE
Web Edition: Violeta Gil

By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org