Б’є — значить любить? Як розпізнати насильника на початку відносин (Відео)

The first program of the Project «Prove that you love» is about preventing gender-based violence. We also discuss what one should do if an intimate partner behaves aggressively


Василь Шандро,

Тетяна Трощинська

Б’є — значить любить? Як розпізнати насильника на початку відносин (Відео)
Б’є — значить любить? Як розпізнати насильника на початку відносин (Відео)

How to identify an intimate partner prone to violence at the early stages of a relationship? And what should one do if they get aggression instead of tender feelings? How not to confuse love with emotional codependency or so called «love addiction»? How to build relationships without violence? That’s what we talk about in the first program of the Hromadske Radio Special Project «Prove that you love» the program about dignity and safe connections.

In the Hromadske Radio studio there are guests: Olena Davis, the Gender Advisor of the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs for European Integration, Inna Yakovyshena, the student of the National Pedagogical Dragomanov University and Ignat Kharchenko, the school student. Via telephone – Pavlo Zolotukhin, the student of the Educational Complex «Lyceum School #48», the participant of the NGO «Future Policemen League» from Mariupol.

Vasyl Shandro: What do we mean saying gender-based violence?

Olena Davis: Gender-based violence is violence that is based on gender norms. It occurs as a result of the role expectations associated with each gender. And although it involves both men and women, in most cases women and girls suffer from this form of violence the most. Oftentimes, gender-based violence is replaced by the term «violence against women».

Tetyana Troshchynska: Inna, Ignat, how do you understand gender-based violence?

Inna Yakovyshena: That’s a very big problem, because we face it every day. Unless I faced it in my everyday life, I did not understand it, I was not interested in that. When violence exists near you or against you, you need to learn about it, understand what it is.

Ignat Kharchenko: It’s everywhere: from the moments when boys pull girls pigtails to attract them to the moments when men drink too much and then unpleasant situations happen. This is everywhere, in all age groups. And vice versa too, when girls think that they cannot be offended and get handsy.

Vasyl Shandro: Have you ever pulled girls pigtails?

Ignat Kharchenko: Of course. I like Katya, she sits two desks ahead of me. To draw her attention to myself somehow, I will have to reach her and pull her.

Vasyl Shandro: How did she react to that?

Ignat Kharchenko: Most of the time she said to leave her alone. That didn’t work.

Vasyl Shandro: Inna, did something like that happen to you?

Inna Yakovyshena: Yes, it was in the 7th form. When the guys understand that they like girls more than friends. Then it was considered a norm, but now, when you look at it from another perspective, it’s abnormal. It’s a little trifle, but then it grows into very big problems.

Tetyana Troshchynska: Ignat, have you stopped to pull girls pigtails? Someone said that it’s not worth it? Or did you decide that you wouldn’t do that?

Ignat Kharchenko: I guessed myself. I grew up a bit. I haven’t remained a boy who pulls pigtails to draw attention. I’d better now invite Katya to the cinema.

Vasyl Shandro: Olena?

Olena Davis: This is a very interesting topic. I’m a little older than my colleagues, but oftentimes, I recall the case when I was in the first form. I am 7 years old, a boy runs after me, forces me into a corner and violently kisses me. I wipe my lips, come home and I want to tell my mom that for me it was very unpleasant that the boy
was running after me and kissed me. But my mother shamed me that I was a bad girl because boys ran after me. Next time I did not tell anything about such situations, because in all cases when it happened, I was guilty for my bad behavior.

Tetyana Troshchynska: How should we understand guilt in these situations? Is someone guilty?

Olena Davis: I think nobody is guilty. Had I been in my mom’s place I would have supported and explained that perhaps I had to behave myself in a different way. My mother taught me to be aggressive with men. I saw that model in my family. When I became an adult woman, it was very difficult for me to build relationships with men.

Tetyana Troshchynska: Were someone of our guests lucky enough to get support from parents?

Inna Yakovyshena: Parents play a very important role in this upbringing. I also had a situation when the boy was chasing me. I told my mother about that. I expected to get support or a piece of advice on how to behave myself, but I got the same reaction. And when the violence was more aggressive at a more mature age, I did
not tell my parents about that, because I knew that there could be condemnation.

Olena Davis: If we talk about gender-based violence, we can see areas in which men and women are more affected by GBV. Women suffer from gender-based violence in the private sphere, men — in the public sphere.

Information about gender-based violence

Vasyl Shandro: Now we will talk about the causes of gender-based violence. Why is this happening?

Ignat Kharchenko: It seems to me that a significant part of the sexism concept is created by women who consider themselves a decoration of men.

Vasyl Shandro: So, is the foundation of such model laid in a family?

Inna Yakovyshena: Yes, everything comes from a family. Nowadays families are built with the idea that a woman is just a decoration.

The roots of gender-based violence are in the historical factors of inequality between men and women

Olena Davis: I would like to add that the roots of gender-based violence are in the historical factors of inequality between men and women. The role of a woman is in private life, she cannot be bright, wear a short skirt, bright lipstick, she should be a guardian. And a man is in a social sphere. He is an owner, he has access to resources, to the trophy, to the woman who is his trophy. This is an inequality that derives from cultural, social stereotypes.

Ignat Kharchenko: It seems to me that now the world is almost ready to understand that the institution of family in this form is out of date, it can no longer exist in such a form.

Inna Yakovyshena: When you say that a woman can build something, invent, oftentimes, you hear comments that from time immemorial a woman took care of a house, stay at home waiting for her husband.

Olena Davis: There is a gender structure. One can see the role of a woman or the characteristics of a woman, the role and characteristics of a man. Characteristics of a woman are: weak, emotional, illogical, spends money. The role of a woman is a guardian, mother, housewife. If it is a man, then he is courageous, logical, has the power and access to resources, he is the head. There are links between these structures.

Economic crisis. A man cannot find a job, then he lays on a couch, and a woman starts to earn money. Then comes a conflict. If this is a partnership, then a husband will raise children and a woman will earn money.

Information about the causes of gender-based violence

Vasyl Shandro: Who is at risk for GBV? What are high-risk groups?

Inna Yakovyshena: I noticed that many students who are about my age (1996, 1997 years of birth) are from single-parent families. A lot of girls stay with anyone who pays attention to them. The fact that they lacked their father has a great impact on them.

Ignat Kharchenko: The lack of a father. It is very precisely. It seems to me that there is a lack of sex education in our schools. In my school I have lessons on sex education, but we are told that a woman must give up, and a man must conquer her.

Olena Davis: Risk groups come from a family model. It was an example that a girl from a single-parent family, where there is no father, will be looking for anyone. I am against those families where there is violence between a man and a woman. This is also bad. Both a boy and a girl will witness this violence, and in the future they will become either persecutors, or victims, or rescuers.

Information about risk groups

Tetyana Troshchynska: Now we propose to listen to the Vox pop («man on the street» interviews).

Inna Yakovyshena: No matter how a girl looks, this does not mean that one can apply violence against her.

Ignat Kharchenko: If you are with a person, you will probably endure whatever they do. It seems to me that you can put a girl in her place by saying something.

Olena Davis: And she puts her hands on her hips.

Ignat Kharchenko: A verbal conflict begins and you end up kissing.

Olena Davis: Sometimes conflicts resolve situations. If we talk about violence between intimate partners, then we talk about systematic conflicts. A person can cause economic, sexual, psychological and physical harm. These are acts of violence that do not lead to healthy relationships.

Vasyl Shandro: I want to note one thing that I noticed in the conversation with guests about looks. This is a good marker of how our society has changed. In the 70s, a person in jeans was asocial.

Olena Davis: Vasyl mentioned social norms. I want to bring Nepal, Kathmandu as an example. When a girl passes by men, no matter how she looks, they will whistle at her, shout, discuss her behavior and looks. If there are no people around, these same men can rape this woman or girl. When the girl turns to police department, the police will justify a man, because men are men.

Inna Yakovyshena: I want to return to the question how to identify a perpetrator. I had an example of a relationship: when I was with my boyfriend on the street, he was perfect; when the doors closed, a horror began, with threats, why I smiled at someone else.

Tetyana Troshchynska: Did you have a thought that you would change him?

Inna Yakovyshena: Of course. I thought that I would «wash» him, and he would be a prince.

Ignat Kharchenko: Probably, there are cases when a person changes. I believe that it’s me. Earlier I could get angry because of a short skirt, walks with another friend. Parting calmed me down and made me rethink a lot of things. Now I communicate with this person again.

Vasyl Shandro: There are situations that go further than dating: people get married, children are born. Is there a dependency in this case?

Olena Davis: Dependency is based on something. For example, on inequality. I work in a structure that works with people who suffer from domestic violence. By the way, we started the pilot project «Polina» (Police against domestic violence). It was launched in the Darnytsky district of Kyiv, in the Malynovsky district of Odessa and in Severodonetsk. We paid attention to the fact that the police should properly respond to domestic violence. In our society, domestic violence was considered a personal matter.

Information about markers that can help identify a person prone to
violence at the beginning of a relationship

Tetyana Troshchynska: Pavlo, tell us what the «Future Policemen League» does.

Pavlo Zolotukhin: We have a project that is being implemented with the support of UNDP in Ukraine and is called the «League In Action». Within the framework of this project we conduct trainings that help teenagers identify and respond to violence in their families, schools, and their communities. It was planed that participants of our organization would first be trained themselves and then go to educational institutions and conduct trainings there.

Vasyl Shandro: How do your peers react to what you say to them?

Pavlo Zolotukhin: At the beginning there may be some kind of distrust, but the principle of the project is peer-to- peer principle. They see that children who are like them are standing in front of them, and this makes them listen to what we are saing.

Vasyl Shandro: Do you see any positive changes in the relationships between your peers after your trainings?

Pavlo Zolotukhin: We hear from teachers that the trainings reduce quarreling. In our Lyceum there is a mediation service for children who have conflicts. We have specialists and members of our organization who help resolve conflicts.

Vasyl Shandro: Now we turn to focus group analysis. The question was: «What partners would you never date and build relationships with?» The guys formed two lists, and the girls formed one. The guys divided «date» and «build relationships».

I believe that sometimes you can give a second chance, but you should never give the third one. If this happens once, you can think of something. If this repeats, run and don’t to look back

Tetyana Troshchynska: The boys and girls we interviewed are very critical of selfish partners, partners who have dependencies and bad habits. For guys beauty and likeness are the main criteria in the case of «going for a date». For girls, the first stages of dating are not interesting, they immediately go to the stage of mental and physical intimacy, sometimes they completely merge with a partner, losing themselves.

Ignat Kharchenko: As for merging with a partner, it seems to me that this is a common problem. When you start to think for another person, this is the biggest mistake.

Olena Davis: I compare a healthy relationship with a railway track. The train goes on rails, between them there are sleepers. Two people are rails, and sleepers are mutual respect and love that should keep these rails in parallel.

Vasyl Shandro: And what if there are merger and violence in a relationship? What should one do?

Olena Davis: You need to call the line «102». We teach operators, district inspectors, juvenile investigators (who work with adolescents and children) how to properly identify domestic violence. There is psychological violence. Not always our police can identify it as violence. We must give adolescents the understanding of what
fundamental freedoms are. If teenagers know about their fundamental rights and freedoms, they will understand the line between love and unhealthy dependency.

Inna Yakovyshena: Relationship means helping each other. When a person becomes a perpetrator, one must run away.

Ignat Kharchenko: I do not quite agree that one should call the police. It seems to me that in a very stressful situation, even a very good person can do stupid things. I believe that sometimes you can give a second chance, but you should never give the third one. If this happens once, you can think of something. If this repeats, run
and don’t to look back.

Tetyana Troshchynska: Ignat, Inna, what are the most important things for you in relationships?

Inna Yakovyshena: Trust. When I am not restricted, when I develop as a person. It’s really cool when a person supports you in everything and you can rely on this person. You both can be very different, but you feel the support, love, and you can create.

Ignat Kharchenko: Freedom, sincerity, ability to complement each other when necessary.

Listen to the full version of the conversation in the attached audio file.

The Project is support by the International Humanitarian Organization Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World)

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The first program of the Project «Prove that you love» is about preventing gender-based violence. We also discuss what one should do if an intimate partner behaves aggressively
Б’є — значить любить? Як розпізнати насильника на початку відносин (Відео)
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За підтримки Міжнародної гуманітарної організації «Лікарі Світу»