For years already, the University of Eastern Finland has been organising large-group simulations in collaboration between various disciplines and different professionals. These simulations have provided professionals with an opportunity to learn about interprofessional collaboration and interdisciplinary treatment of demanding, sensitive topics. Since 2020, simulations have been held online, and they have been aimed at students and professionals dealing with family violence.
Video for training professionals in Namibia
The Department of Social Sciences at the University of Finland has been collaborating with the University of Namibia by, for example, preparing joint educational materials on family violence. Now, the department has produced an English-language version of a family violence simulation, which is being expanded into an examination of the two cultures in the form of a video. The video, titled Early-Stage Intervention in Family Violence, has been tailored to Namibian needs and will be released in January 2024. Both Finnish and Namibian perspectives to addressing family violence are included, and Namibian students involved in anti-violence work in schools have also contributed to the video. In addition, University Lecturer, Dr Rachel Freeman of the University of Namibia tells in the video how professionals in Namibia deal with family violence.
“We find it important that these large-group simulations carried out at the University of Eastern Finland and involving different professionals find more targeted future uses in education. Perspectives from both cultures must also be included in educational materials used in an international context,” says Senior University Lecturer, Dr Kaarina Mönkkönen who, together with Senior University Lecturer, Dr Marja-Leena Hyvärinen, has been responsible for planning the content of this year’s online simulation.
“Family violence is equally prevalent in Finland and Namibia. In Finland, one in two women has experienced family violence, and in Namibia, one in three women aged 15–49 has experienced physical violence. In Namibia, alcohol consumption, poverty and unemployment are seen as the main reasons for this, but also the status of women plays a role. In Finland, reasons behind violence include heavy use of substances, personal crises, learned problem-solving behaviours and the need to control one’s partner,” Dr Mönkkönen says.
“Both universities have gained new insights and we have learnt a lot from each other. For example, our Namibian colleagues report having learned new things about interprofessional collaboration and about simulation as a teaching method. We, on the other hand, have learnt about how the victim’s entire community should be involved in the processing of the matter, and how family violence should not be dealt within the networks of authorities alone,” Dr Mönkkönen points out.