Global Reach: Grantee Partners

Association for the Struggle Against Sexual Violence (CSMD)

Context:

The Association for Struggle Against Sexual Violence (CSMD) aims to enable youth to protect their mental and sexual health by increasing knowledge and awareness on dating violence, gender equity, intimate/emotional relationships, protective individual boundaries and the concept of consent. They focus on the individual level (youth directly) and systemic level (teachers, youth service providers, families and society). At the present time, there are two critical perspectives on context- one is about need of youth and youth services providers; the second is about the risk of undertaking this work. CSMD observes that youth in Turkey need access to comprehensive sexual education. Age-appropriated sources are limited; the rates of discriminations against LGBTI+ individuals, femicide, hate crimes, victim blaming and sexual abuse are very high; violence in relationships are acceptable, rape jokes are normalized, abortion is banned and dating without marriage is often seen inappropriate for young women. In addition, schools, public services, municipalities and local administrations need to develop preventive-protective attitudes and practices for the struggle against sexual violence but are prevented in doing so for the following reasons:

  • Lack of specialization in sexual violence related disciplines and fields such as psychology, law, forensic science, health, security, social support, sport, education, etc. The absence of sexual violence related departments and specific services for the survivors of any kind of sexual violence.
  • Absence of free and anonymous centers providing sexually transmitted infection screening in municipalities for women and LGBTI+ individuals.
  • Negative messages in mainstream media and lack of public information on prevention/protection.
  • Lack of solution-oriented studies and services about sexual violence, examples of service models in other cities and countries.
  • Lack of youth-based perspectives in municipalities and youth-centered approaches to policy and service development.

Organization:

CSMD was established in 2014 to prevent sexual violence and help youth have healthy relationships, set boundaries, address bullying and different types of dating violence, understand and apply consent, and access help when needed. They work with youth (15‐24) and adults, helping raise awareness regarding digital, dating and gender‐based violence. LGBTQI+ youth, children, migrants and disabled people are also a very important segment. Since 2016, they reached 3,500 students in 7 high schools mainly in Istanbul and 5,500 students indirectly during 2017-2018 through training more than 200 school counselors. CSMD developed informative awareness raising, age‐appropriate, comprehensive visual and printed materials for teenagers, a Training of Trainers guide and other materials for youth and teachers/ counselors. CSMD’s expertise includes a range of issues to address Sexual Violence: Gender-based violence, date violence, healthy relationships, preventive and protective techniques, reproductive and sexual health and rights, comprehensive sexual education, LGBTQI+ rights, visual culture and representation of sexual violence in media, rape crisis centers, support systems and sexual violence and discrimination in sports. These issues are addressed mainly through three activities: Education, advocacy, and guidance/support counseling. CSMD works very closely with NGOs, high schools, universities, municipalities and the media to promote awareness and execute protective-preventive training. CSMD has a strong emphasis on working with the media (companies, journalists, university students from departments of communication and media) regarding reporting of sexual violence. In addition, CSMD organizes social media campaigns, sexual violence concepts discussion meetings, and symposiums.

Current Grant:

EMpower’s 4th grant to CSMD will enable them to reach 800 youth and train an additional 40 municipal youth workers to support youth in protecting their mental and sexual health.

You can support our work with Association for the Struggle Against Sexual Violence (CSMD) and our other grantee partners.

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