Addressing questions around healthy relationships in French-speaking Switzerland

Issues Affecting Women

3 November 2022

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina from Unsplash

Psychological and emotional abuse are some of the most misunderstood but widespread forms of violence. Despite abusers’ tactics being subtle and difficult to identify, their behaviour can profoundly damage survivors’ self-esteem and health. The first steps towards dealing with this is for teaching people to understand psychological violence and what it looks like. When young people are starting out in relationships, they need to be able to recognise and name it.

This is why Swiss association Violence Que Faire (VQF) has launched its “I was 16…” campaign, which aims to reach young people online in French-speaking Switzerland, and addresses questions around healthy relationships. Violence Que Faire, meaning ‘Violence, what to do?’ works to prevent intimate partner violence and offers advice and support to all concerned.

Through its Instagram and TikTok pages, VQF publishes testimonial videos from young people who have had personal experiences of abuse. The videos aim to help adolescents identify psychological violence and where to get help, whether they are experiencing it, are worried about their own behaviour, or want to help a friend. They also direct people to the VQF website, where they can receive personalised advice anonymously and free-of-charge.

VQF has also published comprehensive information and advice on the topics of relationships and psychological violence on its website, as well as a podcast series with testimonials, interviews with specialists, and information on many important and related issues.

“The new campaign that Violence Que Faire is running has huge potential to reach young people and to address their questions about healthy relationships and the difference between love and possessiveness,” says Nina George, programme officer at Oak Foundation. “Over the last 15 years, it has developed expertise in its online approach, and this new campaign allows the organisation to expand its audience even wider.”

This grant falls under our Issues Affecting Women Programme (IAWP), which prioritises supporting organisations that address physical, psychological, and sexual violence against women. This includes in the home, at work and in migration, and in situations of crisis. You can find more about the IAWP programme here. You can find out more about the work of Violence Que Faire on its website and by watching the video below:

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