Teaching (Lidman): Domestic Violence Contextualised, a joint course for visiting and local law students. The course is combined with an annual international symposium, held at the University of Turku Faculty of Law.  For more information please see curricula guide.


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Combating violence against children and youth – an interdisciplinary symposium at the University of Turku Faculty of Law


Venue and schedule: Arcanuminkuja 4 (Auditorio Arc1), Tuesday 27th of March 2018, at 12–5 pm


Costs and registration: Free participation, coffee included. Register here by March the 20th


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Symposium abstract:


The goal of anti-violence work is, without doubt, to combat and end all violence. However, as interpersonal violence is a complex phenomenon taking various forms, it cannot be dealt with an all-encompassing action model. Due to the Istanbul Convention ratifications in Europe, domestic violence and violence against women have recently been discussed more intensively. Accordingly, some societal and legal improvements have taken place. Compared to previous times there is a better understanding of how diverse forms of physical and sexual violence and control are interlinked. Also the awareness of violence against women and violence against men being not symmetrical but rather divergent phenomena is rising.


Despite of these positive developments there are, of course, still numerous problems to be dealt with. One of them certainly is the too little attention given to violence against children and youth. Not only do violence against girls and boys deserve to be placed into the context of gender, but simultaneously the meaning of age and the related dependence of minors on adults have to be considered as starting points of the intersectional analyses. The symposium brings together experts in various fields to discuss the special features and issues of violence against minors in the Nordic countries.


Programme and lecture abstracts:


12.15 pm Welcoming words

Satu Lidman & Tuuli Hong (University of Turku Faculty of Law)


12.30 pm Lecture 1

Tuomas Kurttila (Finland’s Ombudsman for Children): What do we know about violence against minors based on the School Health Promotion (SHP) study?


Information regarding the School Health Promotion study:

      The SHP study is carried out nationwide every second year. In 2017 there were approximately 236 000 respondents; the study reached 80% of the age group in 4th ah 5th grades, 63% in the 8th and 9th grades and 51% in upper secondary schools. The data are gathered by an anonymous and voluntary classroom-administered questionnaire, which includes topics reaching from living conditions and schoolwork to health, health-related behaviour as well as school health services.

     The SHP study aims at strengthening the planning and evaluation of health promotion activities at school, municipal and national levels. It gives an opportunity to monitor trends and assess differences between genders and areas. The results are also utilised in research and in different welfare programs, strategies and policies.


1.15 pm Lecture 2

Niina Antunovic (psychotherapist, crises worker at MONIKA multicultural women's association): Forced marriage in Finland


MONIKA – Multicultural Women’s Association, Finland operates in the field of social affairs, promoting equality of the immigrant women in Finland and aims at preventing violence against women. MONIKA operates as an umbrella organization for several member associations and collaborates with them in the topics of improving the general situation of immigrant women. MONIKA offers support and assistance for immigrant women who suffer from domestic violence in its two units; Mona Shelter and the Crises Center Monika.

    Annually Mona Shelter and the Crises Center Monika offer services for approximately 700 women who originate from 70 different countries. Majority of the women seek help for domestic violence. However, the specific features of violence, such as honor related violence, human trafficking and forced marriage cases are also represented. Every year there are approximately 20 forced marriage cases in MONIKA. Among these cases people are either taken out of the country without their content to get married, or enter to Finland after a forced marriage somewhere else. Forced marriages also take place in Finland. We do believe that the cases we identify in MONIKA are only marginal. Most of them are unidentified. There is a lot to improve in legislation in this area in Finland.

    Some of the clients in MONIKA that are in forced marriages are minors. Forced marriage in itself is a crime against human rights and can lead to serious consequences such as severe traumatization as a result of sexual, physical, spiritual and mental abuse. The development of a child, faced by such a trauma can be altered in many different ways. In our clients we witness the multiple challenges and obstacles they struggle with in order to maintain a balanced life as care takers to their children and members of the society. We see the physical, mental and societal challenges in the client process. We also see a large scale of victimization and traumatization that often passes from one generation to another.  The need for a multilevel help is enormous. In this presentation I focus on the client work process with clients in forced marriages.


2.00–2.30 pm Coffee break


2.30 pm Lecture 3

Anja Bredal (Norwegian Social Research, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences): Victim or perpetrator? Boys and young men in patriarchal families


The presentation will explore how boys and young men may be affected by forced marriage and honour based related violence. 'Affected' here refers to either being exposed to or exposing others. Men's roles as sons, brothers and boyfriends in classic patriarchal family settings will be discussed, based on qualitative research in Norway. In particular the presentation will draw on qualitative individual and focus group interviews with young men and women with a background from Pakistan, the Middle East, and North Africa.


3.15 pm Short break


3.30 pm Comments

Johanna Aapakallio (sexual therapist at SOPU-work, Loisto Setlementti Youth Organisation)


3.45 pm Panel discussion

Kurttila – Bredal – Antunovic – Aapakallio – and researcher Anu Isotalo (University of Turku Faculty of Law)


5.00 pm Day ends


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For previous symposiums see "archive"