The 1st Global
Violence Prevention Education Conference,
“Learning to defend ourselves isn’t about gender or taking sides. It’s not about being violent. It’s about defending our right to set and enforce the boundaries that keep us emotionally and physically safe.”
~ Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman
In recent years, the discourse about violence against women and children has grown strong. We have seen the rise of the #MeToo movement, and we have seen more and more harsh evidence of the prevalence of domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence. We know that violence, in all its forms, is the largest health issue of our time, and that it is rooted in the systems that make up our societies.
We also know that violence crosses borders, ages, genders, and populations. It is time to work together to create and demand substantial change. So far, discourse on violence has been largely about secondary prevention that involves removing victims from abusive environments and providing treatment and assistance after the fact.
While secondary prevention is extremely important, we wholeheartedly believe that the time has come to emphasize primary prevention initiatives that will tackle our current culture of violence and create a safer world for all.
In order to make that safer world a reality and build healthier and safer communities, we must first and foremost emphasize the importance and value of education.
The first international Conference on Violence Prevention Education (VPEC) that took place in February 2020 was an opportunity to discuss strategies for primary prevention that focus on interrupting and stopping violence before it starts.
VPEC provided a safe space for presenting methods and holding discussions on the innovative approaches that have emerged in recent decades and to expand the implementation of prevention programs in formal and informal education systems.
The conference was produced by El HaLev, now officially an NGO with Consultative Status to the United Nations (ECOSOC), in partnership with ESD Global Inc. All events took place at the El HaLev Violence Prevention Center in Jerusalem.
The group of attendees and presenters included dozens of renowned experts in the fields of education, psychology, social work, and Empowerment Self Defense, representing Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and The Middle East.
In cooperation with the Israeli Ambassadors Club, diplomats and ambassadors were invited to attend in order to establish contacts, form international relations, and exchange knowledge on this important and timely topic.
We look forward to meeting again in March, 2021 in Prague, and continuing our discussion on practical ways in which it is possible, important, and essential to prevent violence, especially towards children, youth, and women.
Watch interviews from the conference