Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 4581-4589
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Abuse is a highly complex topic. It encompasses many aspects, such as arson, attack, burglary, domestic violence, hijacking, injury, kidnapping, murder, prostitution, rape, robbery, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment and violence.

A powerful barrier to providing effective guidance is learned helplessness. This is a condition in which a person has learned to behave helplessly, even when the opportunity is restored for this person to help him or herself by avoiding an unpleasant or harmful situation to which they have previously been subjected. This is difficult not only for the individual victims but for vocational guidance services attempting to assist them into education, training and work.

The idea of the HOPE-project was to contribute to the training of both practising vocational guidance counsellors and trainees in guidance and counselling, thus promoting high performance in the guidance of victims of abuse, who often present a puzzling challenge since the barriers to their progress are not obvious. Based on the experiences and input from a variety of European partners, from Austria, Denmark, Germany, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and The United Kingdom, we aimed to find and develop innovative material to be used as a basis for improving guidance and counselling in Europe.

In every European country there are numerous laws to protect women, men and children against abuse of every kind. The project members emphasise this awareness among the citizens of respect for civil and human rights. These basic rights should guarantee equality and protect everyone, but unfortunately the laws are only as good as the people who enforce them and who protect the victims. That is not only a question of will but also of political feasibility, which depends on the financial and manpower support. In every country there is a lack of a satisfactory situation for victims of abuse. These aspects are present, to varying degrees, in every country.

In the European Member states, the average trend shows a decline in violent crimes of around 7% from 2006-2009. However, in these statistics, domestic abuse such as verbal, psychological and deprivation abuse is not included. There are many unreported cases.

The reports of the members of the Hope-Project have all different emphases. Spain and Slovenia regret in their reports the bad statistical situation. The reason seems to be a different statistical situation and perhaps the relatively generally formulated report conditions. The outcomes of the conclusions, for example, are very different.

Nonetheless it is obvious that some aspects are comparable in every country. Figures will not be compared because statistics are different or non- existent in each country; instead tendencies will be compared.

Furthermore, country-specific situations are relevant. For example, Spain and Sweden mention that that the current economic crisis has had its repercussions in an increase in problems of abuse and laxity of this awareness, something that needs to be rectified.
Vocational Guidance, Victims of Abuse, Europe, European Project.