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Stop Violence among Children

‘Stop Violence among Children’ is a programme for the prevention of peer violence and bullying. It was conceived by UNICEF together with domestic experts and implemented in cooperation with the Croatian Education and Teacher training Agency from 2003 to 2012.

"Over the ten years of its implementation (2003-2012) violence amongst school children reduced by half in those schools that participated in the programme."

According to these results, the programme is one of the most successful of its kind in the world. Because of its success rate this programme has been adopted and implemented in schools in Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

  • 301 schools decided to participate in the ‘For a Safe and Enabling Environment in Schools’ programme.
  • 185 schools have successfully completed all seven steps of the programme and received the title of Violence-Free Schools.
  • A total of 15,000 teachers have been educated on what can be done by schools to prevent and reduce violence amongst children.
  • More than 150,000 children have participated in educational workshops.
  • Bullying has been reduced by 50 % in 185 Croatian schools that implemented the UNICEF programme.

In 2012, after 10 years of successful implementation of the ‘Stop violence among Children’ programme, UNICEF handed the programme over to the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport to be systematically introduced into the regular school curriculum in Croatia. UNICEF has provided all primary schools with manuals for the further implementation of the programme..

A public campaign ‘Break the Chain’ aimed at the prevention of cyberbullying was also launched. During the campaign 450,000 brochures on how to prevent cyberbullying on the Internet or via mobile phones were distributed amongst children and parents.

"This successful model for peer violence prevention developed in Croatia was adopted in Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia."

In May 2015 UNICEF organised an international conference on violence prevention in schools at which the English edition of the programme manual ‘For a Safe and Enabling Environment in Schools’, by Jasenka Pregrad, was presented.

The research was conducted by UNICEF in 2010 and encompassed 23 primary schools and more than 8,000 children and parents. It showed that children in Croatia do not lag behind their peers in other countries when it comes to the influence of technology on everyday life.

At that time, a booklet and a leaflet containing information on how to help and support children who suffer from violence, who are violent, and all other children who are exposed to peer violence within the physical or virtual spaces were produced.

Research has shown that children who are exposed to violence at school suffer the consequences. This can be manifested through poor school performance and lead to low self-esteem, psychosomatic symptoms, depression or aggressive behaviour and in extreme cases suicidal tendencies.

Children who behave violently are at an even greater developmental risk than those who suffer from violence.

Global data obtained by UNICEF shows that between 10 and 27 per cent of children are exposed to peer violence, which is present in all parts of the world. This further confirms the seriousness of the problem of peer violence.


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Updated: 25 May 2016
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