This IGEL project was a collaborative team science effort involving professionals from research and practice that followed the public health action cycle model for interventions and policy development. The scientific research progress was led by educationalists, psychologists, sociologists, and socialisation researchers from the Faculty of Educational Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen who teamed up with public health researchers from the Bielefeld University. The IGEL project was conducted between 01.09.2012-31.10.2015 and was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The intervention is based on an asset-based and eco-systematic approach that aims at primary school children attending the 3rd grade and their social environment comprising parents, teachers and professional school staff.
The IGEL intervention aims at promoting a culture of awareness in context of sexual health and sexual violence including assault, abuse, and rape. While the target population comprises both teachers and children, in children the application of the programme will enhance self-protection skills by teaching them practical and theoretical knowledge and action competencies in context of sexual health and violence. During the programme children will be equipped with capabilities to recognise dangerous situations and take action to better protect themselves. The components aiming at teachers will help to raise awareness for sexual violence against children and enable them to better understand and recognise cases. They will be equipped with reflexive and reactive abilities in order to better deal with sexual assault against children. Overall, the programme will support better protection against all kinds of sexual violence against children and improve empowerment in the participants to raise their voices and to actively seek for help. On the long term basis the programme aims at changing school infrastructure towards better networking strategies and prevention concepts as well as improving cooperation with professional health support and first aid systems in case of sexual violence against children.
IGEL comprises seven sequenced classes each focusing a specific topic. The programme is easy to use during school hours while one class perfectly fits into a 45 minutes session and is also easily adaptable in case more or less time is needed during the implementation.
The intervention which is designed as a primary prevention programme consists of two modules:
The implementation took place in eight primary schools while in each two 3rd grade classes were involved at a time (n=16 classes). For assessing effectiveness of the IGEL intervention four control groups were recruited.