Giving hope to victims of abuse through vocational guidance and counselling

Background and objectives

A number of projects on diverse target groups with labour market difficulties have been developed successfully during the last years. There is, however, a very large group that cross-cuts all social groups: victims of abuse, both men and women, whether domestic, sexual or labour market exploitation. For many who have escaped the abusive situation, it is necessary to (re)enter the mainstream labour market, both for financial and social reasons. Here “learned helplessness”, which is experienced by up to two-thirds of victims and leads to fatalism, lack of confidence, self-esteem and motivation, is a powerful barrier. This is a difficult situation not only for the individual but for vocational guidance services attempting to assist them into education, training and work as well.

Activities and outcomes

An expert group intends to produce training materials, organised into a curriculum, for vocational guidance counsellors. Materials include case studies, biographies, links, academic articles and specialised tools and methods for guiding this target group. All materials will be freely available on the project web site and a Good Practice Guide will be published in all the project languages.

The course shall reach a large number of guidance services, practitioners, experts, networks and umbrella organisations, not only in the partner countries but throughout Europe. It is intended to develop the skills and competences of vocational guidance counsellors in the support they give to people with a history of abuse which, even though they have escaped the immediate effects, still erects barriers to their (re)insertion into the labour market. The focus is very much on new skills in a new occupational area: vocational guidance (not only therapy) for victims of abuse, which does not currently exist.

EU-Program: LLP, Leonardo da Vinci Development
Coordination: Universidad Hernández de Elche (ESP)
Contact: Karin Kronika
Duration: October 2011 – December 2013
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.