The project addresses the problem of violence and aggression among boys. Police statistics show that more than 90 % of suspects and more than 97 % of those incarcerated for crime, including acts of violence, are men. Gender analysis of the phenomenon allows us to conclude that at an early stage boys are much more likely to be perpetrators of violence than girls. Many stereotypes and social messages justify boyish violence as a normal strategy for dealing with emotions, stigmatising behaviour based on empathy and cooperation. In Poland, there are no programmes addressed to boys to support them in understanding the patterns they may fall into when pursuing a stereotypical model of masculinity based on violence, aggression and domination. Unfortunately, the questioning and exhortation by public officials to denounce the so-called Anti-violence Convention is not conducive to this type of action.
As part of the project, the project promoter created and developed an anti-violence education method designed for school-age boys. Among other things, a training programme for future trainers was created, and as part of the SZTAMY School of Anti-violence Trainers, 16 men developed the competences necessary for workshop work and obtained the appropriate certificatesand then conducted 8 two-day workshops for nearly 100 boys. In addition, as part of the “16 Days Against Violence” campaign, the trainers organised 11 local and online events . The project promoter also developed a handbook for the School’s graduates and a publicly available Catalogue of Good Practice used in other countries. There were also 5 webinars on masculinities and men’s participation in countering gender-based violence. During the project’s closing conference, the ‘Coalition to Support Anti-Violence Education for Boys’ was established.
Through the project, an innovative method of anti-violence work with boys was developed and disseminated. The 16 trainers have gained competence to work with boys, which has had a strong impact on the availability of anti-violence workshops for boys and the popularity of the method itself. The project is a unique educational measure on the map of anti-violence initiatives, as it is one of the few that focuses on working with stereotypical models of masculinity and boys, for whom this type of offer has so far been lacking. Ultimately, the project will benefit boys and men who are still so widely socialised in Poland to pursue a masculinity based on aggression and domination.