My name is Ljupka Trajanovska I am a 26 year old, women’s rights activist, feminist and a peer educator in comprehensive sexuality education. In the period from 11th till 20th of May in Bar, Montenegro, I was a part of the third training course of the project “Sexual and reproductive health-Knowledge beats taboos” in organization of NGO Prima. The participants came from 15 different countries: Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Italy, Estonia, Latvia, Turkey, Romania and Germany.
My main motivation to take part in this training was the topic-Sexual violence. Sexual violence is a very common problem in our societies, no matter where we come from. The scooping study, that I wrote, on the different forms of sexual violence in Macedonia, showed that every third person has been a victim of a form of sexual violence and every second person knows someone that has been a victim. So I was really interested if this is the case in the other European countries as well and this was a perfect opportunity to inform myself about it. This training gave me the chance to meet peer educators, young activist and youth workers from different cultures and to listen to their experiences and discuss how we can all together prevent the sexual violence.
We were really lucky to be guided by an amazing trainer, psychologist who helps kids-victims of sexual violence, DushicaPopadic from the Incest trauma center Belgrade. Sexual assault, consent, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, incest as well as sexual orientation sexuality, gender identity gender equality were the main topics that we explored.
These kind of trainings give you a lot of mixed thoughts days, weeks and months afterwards. Sometimes you get surprised how ignorant some people in developed countries are and how aware and empathic young people from the developing countries have become. You can be in a room full of people who think they are open-minded but their statements and stereotypes they believe in, pull of their masks. Then again you meet the real ones as well, the ones that give you hope, that make you proud of all the work you and they are doing and the ones you’ll start collaborating with and fight against the sexual violence and violence against women and girls, together.
Meeting people from different countries and traveling was fun, but the knowledge, the energy, the motivation and inspiration I gained out of this journey is what matters. Sexual violence is one of the worst and most common things that happen to women and kids through their lives. It is time to speak up and fight it.