June 4, 2020
To illuminate this period of social distancing and offer you meaningful activities, Equitas has adapted some of its activities to offer them online.
Here is the online version of How Violent?, drawn from Speaking Rights.
This activity can be done individually, with your family or other members of your household, or it can be facilitated in a virtual meeting or at a physical distance.
- Age: 14+
- Time: 45 min
- Purpose: To think about violence, its manifestations and its consequences during the pandemic.
Please note: This activity can bring up difficult themes of violence and the statements chosen should reflect the needs of the group. It would be important to consider the level of trust between the participants, and if you feel the space is safe for discussing and/or disclosing potentially difficult information. Please see a list of additional resources on our drive.
For immediate assistance:
- Kid’s Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (Confidential and free phone support for youth)
- Ending Violence Association of Canada Resources (Repository of federal and provincial ressources)
For some additional sources on racism:
- Many have written to the specific racialized experience of COVID-19
- This brilliant resource to support black youth: Black Legal Action Center
- Talking to kids about race
- Anti-racism resources for white people
You can download the instructions of this activity as a PDF to share it more easily: HOW VIOLENT?
- Version A (for online or at a physical distance):
- Piece of paper
- Different colour pencils/ colours/ markers/ highlighters etc.
- Version B (for online only):
- A virtual meeting interface that has a survey or forms option where participants can answer anonymously.
How to play:
Version A (for online or at a physical distance):
- Begin by asking participants some ways in which their world has changed since the start of the pandemic. You can ask them to think about their “physical” world (including their home spaces), and their “online/virtual” world. You can ask them to type something in the chat or put a diagram of everyone’s names in the shape of a circle on the screen (as if you were sitting together in a circle) and go from one to the other. (You can see examples of this in our activity What are you feeling?)
- Continue by asking youth to think about how their experience of safety has changed within their physical and online worlds.
- Ask participants to divide their paper into four quadrants, writing one of the following in each corner “very violent”, “violent”, “harsh”, and “peaceful.”
4. Select relevant statements from the list at the end of this activity based on the needs and interests of the group.
5. Assign a number to each of the statements chosen, and share your screen to demonstrate each statement.
6. Ask participants to classify each of the statements according to how violent it is for them but to write only the number down.
7. When you are done going through the statements, you can go through each statement and ask participants to share where they classified it.
8. Optional: If participants are very hesitant to share, you can ask them to take a photo of it and send it to one of the facilitators (ideally you are able to co-facilitate) to do a quick tally (and keep the answers anonymous) to facilitate the conversation.
- If you have done a tally of the responses, you can share where people have answered, and ask participants if they agree with where the statements have been placed, or whether they would have placed some of the statements elsewhere. If so, ask them why.
- After going through each statement individually, choose the statement that received the most answers for “very violent” and ask participants to think of alternatives to the issue of violence they have chosen.
- 1. Begin by asking participants some ways in which their world has changed since the start of the pandemic. You can ask them to think about their “physical” world (including their home spaces), and their “online/virtual” world. You can ask them to type something in the chat or put a diagram of everyone’s names in the shape of a circle on the screen (as if you were sitting together in a circle) and go from one to the other. (You can see examples of this in our activity What are you feeling?)
2. Continue by asking youth to think about how their experience of safety has changed within their physical and online worlds.
3. Select relevant statements from the list at the end of this activity based on the needs and interests of the group.
4. Through your virtual interface’s survey or “forms” option, copy the statements and give the following options in the survey: “very violent”, “violent”, “harsh”, and “peaceful”. Ask participants to select their answers of how they respond to the statements.
5. After each statement, ask the group if they agree with where the statements have been placed, or if they would have put them elsewhere. If so, ask them why.
6. After going through each statement individually, put a list of all the statements on the screen and ask them each to choose one of the statements that particularly affects them. Ask participants to think of alternatives to the issue of violence they have chosen.
(Please select/adapt this list to the needs of your group and adapt to the most relevant public health measures)
· Asking to borrow money
· Being given a ticket for violating physical distancing
· Being stopped by the police
· Being made to return to work without hazard pay or Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
· Virtual meeting hacking (aka Zoom bombing)
· Being ghosted
·Sneezing or coughing without covering your face
· Having someone eavesdrop on your conversations
· Defying stay-at-home orders/ physical distancing measure to meet a friend at the park
· Defying stay-at-home orders/physical distancing measures to play a game of soccer in the park
· Protesting stay-at-home orders
· Getting angry and slamming your bedroom door
· Ignoring your parent or guardian when they are talking to you
· Graffitying the side of a building
· Sharing a private photo or video of someone online without their permission
· Writing a negative post about your ex on social media
· Asking someone to prove their address
· Giving police extra-ordinary powers
· Cyber-bullying someone
· Calling the police on a group of people sitting in a park
· Reporting individuals to COVID "reporting” lines
· Being kicked out of your home because you can’t afford rent
· Publicly shaming someone for not wearing a mask at the supermarket
· Being forced to turn your camera on during a virtual meeting
1. Was it difficult to decide where to place your statements? Why?
2. Do you feel that you would have responded differently to these statements before the pandemic?
3. Was it difficult to understand why participants felt differently about how violent some of the statements were?
1. How does violence affect your lives? Do you feel that this has changed since the start of the pandemic?
2. Do you sometimes react violently? Why? How does that impact the safety of those around you during this pandemic?
1. Are the solutions you came up with together realistic? Why or why not?
2. What can you do to create a greater sense of safety in your community during the pandemic?
3. How can you reduce the violence perpetrated by others during this time? The violence you also perpetrate.
4. What role can you play when you see others doing things you feel are violent?
Human rights education for building welcoming and inclusive spaces.
This activity uses our
3-step participatory approach to promote learning about human rights and human rights values leading to action:
- Children and youth participate in activities that promote learning about human rights and human rights values (e.g. inclusion, respect for diversity, responsibility).
- Children and youth discuss how an activity made them feel, what it made them think about, and what they can change (act) in their own attitudes and behaviours and those of their peers.
- Together children and youth take action to promote respect for human rights values and children’s rights, and greater understanding, acceptance and inclusion in their classrooms, school playgrounds and communities.
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- If you have not modified the material in anyway, use the following:
Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education. Speaking Rights: Human Rights Education Toolkit for Youth is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
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This work, [NAME OF YOUR PUBLICATION] is adapted from Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education’s Speaking Rights: Human Rights Education Toolkit for Youth used under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. [NAME OF YOUR PUBLICATION] is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.