Children who have witnessed violence. Ceis Catanzaro: “‘Contofiabe’ to Fight the Culture of Gender Stereotypes”

Five boys from 5 to 12 years old who were welcomed to “Mondo Rosa” participated in a creative writing workshop, thanks to which they learned to “tell themselves” and tell their inner world in an easier and more useful way than the most traditional psychological listening sessions

(Photo: ANSA / SIR)

“Contofiabe – 5 stories for free boys and strong girls”. This is the title of a publication published by Calabrian Solidarity Center (Ceis) that sticks to Fikt. The center deals with psychological, educational and occupational support for people who have problems related to situations of pathological addiction, domestic violence, social exclusion. Since 2012, the Catanzaro-based Calabrian Solidarity Center has activated the Anti-Violence Center and the Crisis Center “Pink World”to welcome female victims of sexual violence with their children. The book “Controfiabe” was a way to encourage children who are victims of violence, welcomed in the “Mondo Rosa” crisis center, to “tell about themselves” and tell their inner world in an easier and more useful way than the more traditional psychological listening sessions. The creation of the volume was possible within the project “The Story of …”, funded by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers’ Department of Family Policies, to implement innovative methods of intervention on the issue of assisted violence, reminiscent of the Calabrian Solidarity Center , “when repeated”, “it seriously compromises a minor’s well – being, individual development and the ability to interact in a functional way on a social level”. In fact, “it causes severe discomfort such as stress, depression, academic difficulties, impaired empathic abilities, low self-esteem, self-deprecation and may in the long run increase the risk of reproducibility, that is, develop violent behavior in adulthood, assuming violence as a relational tool, especially in relationships ”.

(Photo: Ceis Catanzaro)

“Writing this book has had a catharsis effect on children who have experienced violence. Writing their adventures in a creative writing workshop gave them the opportunity to give voice to a story that can be changed, to a sentence that is not definitive “, explains Sir Isolina Mantelli, President of the Calabrian Solidarity Center. Through the implementation of the Laboratory, “the children were supported in the creation of stories and adventures that had boys and girls as protagonists overcoming difficulties related to their gender, their physical or family relationships, come to confirm themselves, their passions, their will to live, which makes their social group of belonging rediscover the need and beauty of welcoming diversity. ” Five children aged 5 to 12 participated in the Creative Writing Workshop. “Everyone has learned through this experience that you can make room for the other, you can laugh together,” says the president of the Calabrian Solidarity Center.

“We – Mantelli states – want to work with not just every abused woman, but

we want to contribute to a change in the culture that lives by gender stereotypes.

For example, the feminine is used by the words for the most humble jobs, while it seems to sound bad for the more important ones. Already the language does not respond to the true reality of the facts, but still points to the woman’s presumed inferiority. From an early age, it is necessary to learn that men and women are biologically different, but that they have equal rights. Culture changes not only by being present as women on the global, economic and political scene, but also by changing the role of the family and recognizing that a father does not ‘do’ one thing to help his mother, but because he as father is obliged to provide a service to the family “. In short, the chairman of the center, “If we do not overthrow a dominant male culture, we would never have an end to violence against women, and we would never have a world that has fallen into male and female at the same time. The masculine must learn the sweetness of the feminine and the ability to relate that the feminine entails by opening up to the other. Children are taught that they can cry, that little girls may not want the prince charming. Children who have witnessed violence usually repeat the pattern: Girls will accept violence on their body and psyche, boys will commit violence. The shelter accepts abused women with their children, a great deal of work is done with the latter because they are injured children with behavioral and cognitive disorders whose souls have been wounded by a cruel adult who thought he was in power. For Mantelli, we see the negative fruits of a cultural structure based on male thinking also in the conflict in Ukraine, with war rapes: “The woman is an object of possession of the enemy, the worst offense against the enemy is the rape of his woman. space for women in the world can only enrich humanity ”.

The five stories born of the imagination of the little guests in “Mondo Rosa” were illustrated by just as many new Calabrian artists and tell of those who were born blue and open to color, of how music bestows grace on those who believe They can not get into the flow of life, by a little girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut and manages to be valued for what she is, without giving up herself. Thus, in the “fashion adventure” that tells of the Arborea Fairy and its thousand suitors, the young protagonist Leo understands that male strength is not a rigid armor, but means to overcome seemingly, “understand what was right and what was wrong. … which was worth really worth helping “. This, says the fairy in the story, “is the strength I have always sought in a man, not of the sword or of wealth or of power”. Or in “Reverse Adventure”, Clara shatters the mirror, not reflecting on her, and returns home full of self-awareness while she had left the poor on her mission and may have a friendly prince next to her, after rescuing himself. not at all up on his castle of superiority: “Jason understood that he would never get his castle back, but on the other hand … he had got a magnificent princess who would also be his heroine forever.”

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