25th of November: International Day for the Elimination of Gender Violence against women and girls

ECPA (European Association of Community Psychologists) and EFPA Community Psychology standing committee, join the UN in celebrating the 25th of November as a worldwide International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women and propose and propose all EFPA members and affiliated associations to join them.

Psychological consequences of gender violence are sometimes more serious than its physical effects. The experience of continuing abuse erodes women’s self esteem and increases the risk of a variety
of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, phobias, post traumatic stress disorder, suicide, self harm, cutting, alcohol and drug abuse, and other forms of distress, and reduced confidence in parenting skills (i.e., lack of emotional support for their children and responding adequately to their needs).

Psychologists are active in psychological assessment, risk evaluation and support of women and girls who have been victimized by gender violence and work also with children who witness domestic violence, and the orphans of femicide (Carnevale et al., 2020). 

With a focus on preventive interventions, psychologists actively participate in programmes to prevent violence in schools promoting gender equality education in behaviour and socio-emotional education; preventive interventions are offered also in the community, targeting sport clubs and youth organizations. They also work with young offenders and bullies, considering that some of the offenders themselves might have also been victimized. 

Psychologists also support volunteer work and organizations against violence, providing consultation, training and supporting the organization of self-help and advocacy groups and coordinated community response. They provide research based evidence for the advancement of support services and community initiatives that can contribute to the survivor’s empowerment and recovery (Albanesi et al., under review, Shorey, et al. 2014).

Psychology Professionals play major roles in emergency units, crisis intervention houses and other support services in many European countries, and have a central role in judicial procedures, including juvenile courts, criminal and civil courts for their expertise in legal psychology, especially required in procedural and regulatory requirements against perpetrators of violence involving families, including children and youth. Finally, psychologists play a role in juvenile and adult prisons, with their diagnostic and therapeutic-reparative function towards detained offenders.

EFPA points out the importance of giving health professionals, both in hospital settings and in general practice, the skills and training to increase their awareness and understanding of the forms and dynamics of domestic violence and gender violence, and to develop procedures for handling such cases in the most effective way (Di Napoli et al., 2019; Procentese et al., 2020).

Appropriate tools for violence screening and intervention are still lacking in most health facilities, especially in emergency departments where the largest number of women victims of violence by intimate partners are observed, but where medical observations are limited to assessing only physical damages (Glass et al., 2001; Sprague et al., 2016).

Psychologists could have more prominent roles in the emergency departments (ED) where women come with severe injuries. Here the link between injuries and domestic violence is rarely recognised (Matoori, Khurana, Balcom et al., 2020). 

Recent reviews (Sprague et al., 2018; Ogbe et al., 2020) suggest that training programmes, and the use of  shared procedures and protocols  between different stakeholders (e.g. police forces, justice authorities, health and social services, support services etc.) relating to identifying and managing assault cases, and injury screening have significant effects on the identification of abused women and on a correct response to their needs. The psychological report in cases of domestic violence is useful for identifying and predicting domestic violence and its effects on health.  

European psychologists mark this UN international day in all professional circumstances; association, training, clinical and social service, welfare, educational and prevention projects and interventions.

Psychologists have a role in supporting social, education and health personnel who take care of victims of violence in recognition of their competences in working for the constitution of safe and respectful environments where women can freely express themselves. 

Psychologists have appropriate tools to plan, implement and evaluate interventions and programs to support women’s empowerment and to educate younger generations to more respectful gender relations.

Beside working to support women’s resilience during pandemic times, psychologists keep warning the institutions of the increased risks that the pandemic entails on women (e.g., stress related to work life balance, job insecurity) and on victims of domestic violence (violence escalation, reduced support), as part of their professional and civic responsibility.

EFPA collaborated to the definition of keywords to prevent risk of home cohabitation in pandemic time.

EFPA signed the statement of the World’s psychological associations unite against home-based violence during COVID-19.

ECPA collected information on the effects of domestic violence in the forced cohabitation of Covid 19 isolation measures and is willing to share them, promoting reflection and shared praxis.

As psychologists we need to be aware of the increasing risk of domestic violence in pandemic forced cohabitation and to propose measures that sustain community efforts to fight intimate domestic violence. A strong sense of community is celebrating the community’s capacity for collective help to individuals. A sense of being a resource for victims of domestic violence. 

Associations contact information   EFPA – European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations www.efpa.eu ECPA – European Community Psychology association http://www.ecpa-online.com/

Contact persons:   Cinzia Albanesi – President of ECPA (European Community Psychology Association) Nicholas Carr – Convenor of EFPA Standing Committee on Community Psychology Caterina Arcidiacono – ECPA member and EFPA Standing Committee on Community Psychology


AA.VV. (2020) (special issue) Violence against women in the COVID-19 emergency, La Camera Blu, 22  http://www.camerablu.unina.it/index.php/camerablu/issue/view/513

Albanesi C., Tomasetto C., Guardabassi V. (2020) Evaluating interventions with victims of intimate partner violence: a community psychology approach (under review) BMC, Women’s Health

Autiero, M., Procentese, F., Carnevale, S., Arcidiacono, C. and Di Napoli I. (2020) Combatting Intimate Partner Violence: Representations of Social and Healthcare Personnel Working with Gender-Based Violence Interventions. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5543; doi:10.3390/ijerph17155543 

Bjørnholt, M. (2019). The social dynamics of revictimization and intimate partner violence: an embodied, gendered, institutional and life course perspective. Nordic Journal of Criminology, 20(1), 90. doi:10.1080/14043858.2019.1568103 

Carnevale, S.; Di Napoli, I.; Esposito, C.; Arcidiacono, C.; Procentese, F. Children Witnessing Domestic Violence in the Voice of Health and Social Professionals Dealing with Contrasting Gender Violence. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4463. [CrossRef] [PubMed] 

Di Napoli, I., Procentese, F., Carnevale, S., Esposito, C. & Arcidiacono, C. (2019). Ending Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Locating Men at Stake: An Ecological Approach. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1652; doi:10.3390/ijerph16091652 

Glass, N., Dearwater, S., & Campbell, J. (2001). Intimate partner violence screening and intervention: data from eleven Pennsylvania and California community hospital emergency departments. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 27(2), 141-149.

Hauge, M. I., & Kiamanesh, P. (2019). Mothering and everyday life during and in the aftermath of domestic violence among women with immigrant backgrounds in Norway. Child & Family Social Work. doi:10.1111/cfs.12710

Matoori, S., Khurana, B., Balcom, M.C. et al. Intimate partner violence crisis in the COVID-19 pandemic: how can radiologists make a difference? Eur Radiol 30, 6933–6936 (2020). https://doi-org.ezproxy.unibo.it/10.1007/s00330-020-07043-w

Ogbe, E., Harmon, S., Van den Bergh, R., & Degomme, O. (2020). A systematic review of intimate partner violence interventions focused on improving social support and/mental health outcomes of survivors. PLoS one, 15(6), e0235177.

Procentese F., Fasanelli R., Carnevale S., Esposito C., Pisapia N., Arcidiacono C., and Di Napoli I.,(2020) Downside: The Perpetrator of Violence in the Representations of Social and Health Professionals. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7061; doi:10.3390/ijerph17197061

Shorey, R. C., Tirone, V., & Stuart, G. L. (2014). Coordinated community response components for victims of intimate partner violence: A review of the literature. Aggression and violent behavior, 19(4), 363-371.

Sprague, S., Swaminathan, A., Slobogean, G. P., Spurr, H., Arseneau, E., Raveendran, L., … & Bhandari, M. (2018). A scoping review of intimate partner violence educational programs for health care professionals. Women & health, 58(10), 1192-1206.

Sprague, S., Slobogean, G. P., Spurr, H., McKay, P., Scott, T., Arseneau, E., … & Swaminathan, A. (2016). A scoping review of intimate partner violence screening programs for health care professionals. PloS one, 11(12), e0168502.

Other useful resources:



Contrasting gender violence: a community psychology perspective

Webinar with Caterina Arcidiacono, November 26, 5pm (CET Time)

Participation is free of charge. Please click here to register.

About the webinar

This webinar is aimed to present a community psychology vision of sexual and gender violence against women. In the frame of the Istanbul convention, there is the need to recall meanings and procedures in an ecological approach to gender violence (Di Napoli et al, 2019). Frequently psychologists are deepening the individual or at least the systemic perspective, but are not taking into account all the implications of the joint effects of cultural, organizational relational and individual impact of this phenomenon.

Effects of Covid-19 home lockdown on domestic and assisted violence are then at stake. Intimate partner violence is affected by this protracted and forced cohabitation and psychologists have to be able to understand and to intervene.

Moreover, assuming that violence against women is in term of violation of women right to self-determination in this moment, at European level there is the need to be aware of the Polish situation where women self-determination is heavily undermined by the recent provisions on abortion.

This year the 25th of November, the UN day to celebrate women fight against gender violence will be supported on the 26 November 2020 by an ECPA webinar focusing on psychological knowledge and actions to prevent and contrast violence against women.

About the presenter

Caterina Arcidiacono is a psychologist, Jungian analyst (IAAP – International Association for Analytical Psychology). Full Professor of Community Psychology. Former Coordinator of the PhD Course in Gender Studies, of Federico II University of Naples. Past President of ECPA (European Community Psychology Association). She is founder of ENCP (European Network of Community Psychologists) and ECPA (European Community Psychology Association). Currently member of the EFPA standing Committee on Community Psychology.

She organized the first Italian scientific workshop on Women and gender Identity (FrancoAngeli Editore, 1990). Her peculiar research’ areas concern the woman-man relationship with special reference to gender asymmetry and gender violence, community psychology competencies, well-being, power asymmetry,  intercultural dialogue, and migration. Director of the international online gender journal: La Camera Blu. She is co-director of the online international journal: Community Psychology in Global Perspective (CPGP) and co-editor of the IJERPH  special issue: Gender Violence Against Women: Prevention, Protection, Prosecution, Policies.

The presenter can be contacted at caterina.arcidiacono@unina.it or by skype: caterina_arcidiacono

Participation at the event is free of charge, but registration is compulsory. Please click here to register.

A virtual arts festival to raise the spirits of people in a neighbourhood

In our neighbourhood, a place called Chorlton, in Manchester, UK, we (a group of residents, chaired by me a community psychologist) organise a community arts festival every year. This year, after planning and scheduling over 200 artists to engage in creative activities across 60 community places, we had to cancel. Then a local resident came along and offered to curate a digital or virtual festival. This went ahead in October. We worked with 20 of the original artists to prepare virtual galleries, and virtual streets of Chorlton, learning as we went, and opening the festival to all.

Over a 3 day period, residents visited galleries, specially created ‘rooms (one about art-from-rubbish in a rubbish bin!), listened to virtuoso performances and bands on a large screen in a festival field where they could also chat with each other, played games in the virtual streets – and all of this virtual – and free! There were activities for all ages and embraced many different cultures.

Whilst the festival had no barriers to inclusion, of course digital capability was an issue – Like everything else in this COVID year, digital inclusion enabled participation but exclusion did the opposite. If people could not attend uring the 3 day festival, they could access the virtual worlds afterwards. As follow up activities the virtual festival field and local streets were transformed for Halloween. In recognition that not only was digital exclusion an issue, but navigating the virtual worlds was challenging for anyone over the age of 25, we have mounted some learning opportunities in collaboration with a local college.

Story and pictures shared by Carolyn Kagan, United Kingdom.

For more info here or please contact at cmkagan@gmail.com

The 11th ECCP, Oslo June 2-4, 2021

New deadlines, new website and new abstracts submission form for the 11th European Conference of Community Psychology!

Dear colleagues and friends issues regarding abstract submissions for the 11th European Conference on Community Psychology have been finally solved. Now you will be able to submit your abstract using the online form on the conference website. Have a look at the website (it is amazing!). Please scroll down to the Chapter “Call for papers” and click the box “Submit your abstract here…”

Please take a look at the new deadlines:

  • November, 15th 2020 : Opening abstract submissions
  • January, 15th 2021 : Deadline for abstract submissions
  • February, 15th 2021: Notification regarding review

Refugees in Europe: How are community psychologists responding?

Webinar with Serdar M. Değirmencioğlu, October 27, 2020.

About the webinar

Mainstream psychology suffers from a number of biases (e.g., Eurocentrism, colonial approaches, individualistic assumptions, militarism) which make it difficult to relate to and work with the increasing number of refugees arriving in Europe. Moreover, the dominant service model in mainstream psychology focuses on preexisting expertise and competences. If the experts are lacking, then it is acceptable to say “Unable to offer services”.

Psychology students, for instance, are considered incapable of proper engagement and are, therefore, not asked to contribute. These biases need to be considered to grasp why mainstream approaches are not compatible with meeting the needs of the refugees. Community psychology appears to be uniquely well-situated to respond to refugees. An informal survey of community psychologists in 2019 indicated a willingness to work with refugees but a discussion of the existing barriers is needed.

About the presenter

Serdar M. Değirmencioğlu is a visiting Scholar at FernUniversität in Hagen, LG Community Psychology.

Interviewing Neighbors During COVID Brought Her Light “When Things Seemed So Dark.”

Just like everywhere else, COVID-19 came to the small town of Leverett, Massachusetts. And when the town went into lockdown, Jinny Savolainen wanted to do something meaningful. Quarantine was especially isolating for her. In 2019, Jinny lost her daughter. And when the pandemic hit, she lost her job. So, she sent an email to the town listserv asking if anyone wanted to record remote StoryCorps interviews about their life during COVID. StoryCorps is an organization whose mission is to record, preserve, and share the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs. These Leverett stories were then broadcast on NationalPubicRadio.

Portia Weiskel, a beloved town fixture for more than 50 years spoke with Jinny about a quirky quarantine tradition of a weekly howl at the Leverett Pond that started in lockdown and can be heard throughout the town. Mary Hankinson, a nurse at a long-term care facility, realized when the pandemic first hit how hard it was to access personal protective equipment. She coordinated a group of almost a dozen women who volunteered to make masks. They were hung on a rack outside the post office, where anyone could pick one up for free. Hundreds of these masks were made.

Image from Storycorps

Jinny states “I believe our grandchildren [and] great-grandchildren will want to know how we fared during this pandemic,” “I think they will be in awe of the way Leverett has come together, in the kindest, most humble of ways.” What started with one email ended in a collection of over a dozen interviews.Taken together, these conversations paint a picture of small town life and community during an unprecedented time. As Jinny put it, “Just when things seemed so dark, I found some light in the words of the people all around me.”

Story shared by Tom Wolff, from Massachusetts, USA.

More info here or at tom@tomwolff.com

Culture Delivery Service

Musicians had no possibility for events, shows and concerts and therefore no income during the lockdown. In Munich they were featured by the so called “Kulturlieferdienst” (Culture Delivery Service) organizing little pop-up concerts in the streets, registered as demonstrations for culture.

Kulturlieferdienst Munich

People had fun joining the spontaneous happening in front of their house, giving donations to the musicians.

The street stage is a real win win situation for everybody!

Story shared by Ina Laux, Germany

More info here or at info@lauxarchitekten.com

Call for papers: PSICOLOGIA DI COMUNITA’_1_2021

The role of collective dimensions in emergency times

Quarantine measures caused by COVID-19 sanitary emergency placed communities and populations in new and unprecedented situations and required huge skills to adapt to new ways of living private and public spaces, which arose risks bounded to social isolation and relational breaks. Relational networks, including social services supporting people’s life plans, have been hardly challenged.

As it happens in every emergency, the psychological impacts can be different in shape and depth and can bring different effects in community lives. Thus, in this specific emergency the collective dimension in the one risking more than others to get lost, as it could be mashed by the adherence to preventive norms aimed at protecting from the contagion risks. The built of new narrations and interventions, as studies and research papers referring to this recent emergency show, is to be added to this.

Thus, this call is aimed at understanding Community Psychologists’ reading of social phenomena and community ties which can explain the connectedness, closeness, and reciprocal support emerged during this pandemic. The attempt is to keep alive a vision about the interdependency among the different levels implied in giving meaning to these phenomena.

Re-thinking the interconnections between private, common, and public dimensions can contribute in grasping the meanings the sanitary emergency bounded to COVID-19 breakthrough has from several viewpoints. Have quarantine measures strengthened the berths to social and community dimensions? Which social impacts will it have on building a public opinion? Has what we mean as quality of life gone through any transformation?

Within this perspective, the analysis of community dynamics guaranteeing the success or failure of the policies adopted in several sectors – e.g., work, sanitary, education ones – and aspects boosting communities – e.g., social cohesion, participation, civic engagement, styles of responsible togetherness – are strongly needed with reference to this recent emergency.

Theoretical and methodological reflections about giving meaning to this emergency show that collective paths did not stop but rather shaped and enlarged during this time, to give strength and acknowledge traditional and unusual community competences. Indeed, the collective dimension played a critical role in guaranteeing the effectiveness of individuals’ and politicians’ choices (Jetten et al., 2020) regardless of sanitary solutions, on which future chances to contain contagion spreads will depend.

Communities are re-discovering their intermediate role in the closeness/distance dynamics between individual and social destinies. With reference to this, the call aims at welcoming social work professionals’ interventions giving concrete answers to old and new needs, which have been aggravated by the extraordinary and unprecedented challenge communities have faced and are still facing. What emerges is not a pro-gnosis or a dia-gnosis, but a RE-gnosis (Horx, 2020) meant as answers giving a totally new meaning to the capability to imagine and signify the future with reference to communities’ destinies more than to exact predictions.

All the contributions will undergo a double-blind peer review evaluation process, as requested by this Journal.  

Everyone being interested in submitting a contribution can preliminarily send an abstract to the Guest Editors (fortuna.procentese@unina.it; cinzia.novara@unipa.it) by September 20th, 2020.

The deadline for contributions submissions is December 30th, 2020.

Authors guidelines here

The 11th European Conference on Community Psychology – First Call for Abstracts

The European Conference on Community Psychology (ECCP) will be arranged by the European Community Psychology Association (ECPA) in collaboration with the Norwegian Psychological Association (NPA), The European Federation of Psychology Associations (EFPA) and partners. The conference will be held in Oslo, Norway, from 3rd- 4th June 2021, with a pre-conference workshop on the 2nd June. With this call we are inviting researchers, practitioners, students, activists, writers and scholars in Community Psychology, to present their work under the conference title:

What can Community Psychology do for Europe and beyond?

Social capital, competencies, values and critical visions for future communities

Visit the brand new conference website!

The website provides a lot of information, including new submission deadlines.

The venue

The Red Cross Conference Center in Oslo is a former industrial site, located right at the Oslo city center, close to the railway station and buses.
The warm atmosphere in these old brick buildings reminds us of the past, and inspires for future possibilities.
The «Dugnad spirit» is part of the volunteer movement in Scandinavian countries, and the Red Cross has first-hand experience from street level being one of the longest running NGO’s in Europe. You can study what the activities in Norway look like today in this video.
The Red Cross is a humanitarian organization committed to the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and a guardian of the Geneva Conventions, building on UN’s principles of Human Rights.

Context of the conference

The European Conference of Community Psychology has a long tradition of gathering colleagues from all corners of the world, to share different perspectives on contemporary problems. The lessons learned from the pandemic are about to be evaluated and transformed into new ways of coping with the crisis and preventing the causes behind it.
More important than ever, we need to rethink normality, and find ways to transform communities to foster well being for all. How can we stay connected, and feel safe at the same time? In Oslo we are committed to ensure people health and safety and will provide physical and virtual meeting places to meet these basic needs.

Thematic tracks

Sense of Community, Participation and Inclusion, Competencies and training, Community resilience, Environmental engagement for climate action, Building trust and solidarity, Community memory and regeneration, Transforming communities and social change, Partnerships for community development, Migration, Social justice and gender equality.
The pre-conference workshop will focus on communities’ experiences in coping with the Covid-19 pandemic, chaired by Prof. Wolfgang Stark.

Aims of the Conference

We aim to promote and exchange Community Psychology among scholars, students, activists, volunteers and policy makers, and to create room for professional, social and cultural meetings. We have ambitions to present a diverse and relevant conference addressing the most urgent issues of our time. The activities should reflect Community Psychology core values and competencies. Community Psychology has over the past 25 years oriented itself towards a systemic view of social and psychological problems. By
integrating individual, group, community and societal levels of analysis, we aim to develop a value based psychology addressing the most urgent issues of our time.

Key note speakers

Proposals for key note speakers are currently being evaluated and invited. If you have proposals for candidates, please contact the organizing committee. Proposed Key note topics; “Peace psychology – ten years after the Utøya terror” and “Psychology for climate action as environmental engagement”.

Call for Papers

The conference will include poster and parallel sessions, online lectures and webinars. We also welcome submissions of film documentaries and proposals for new formats that enhance dialogue, interaction and critical reflection. The conference will be characterized by contributions in the form of oral communications, round tables, symposia, innovative sessions and cultural events. The program and sessions might be subject to changes.
The deadline for abstract submission and registration is 29th October 2020.
The link to register and submit your abstract will be open from September. Please submit your proposal here.
If you have any problems registering and submitting, please send an e-mail to the organizing committee: n.carr9@gmail.com

Hotel and accommodation

A list of recommended hotels and accommodation close to the conference venue will be provided with the 2nd Call for Abstracts in November. This link shows a glimpse of what Oslo can offer.

Conference language & publication

The conference language is English. All contributions will be included into the book of abstracts. A selection of these will be invited to publish in the Conference Proceedings.
Further possibilities for publishing selected papers in a European Journal are in progress. We wish you welcome to the 11th European Conference of Community Psychology in Oslo!

National Organizing Committee

  • Jonas Vaag, Norwegian Psychological Association, NPA
  • Ingvild Stjernen Tislov, NPA
  • Mona Cecilie Nielsen, NPA
  • Ole Tunold, NPA board
  • Kjersti Hildonen, Community Psychology section, NPA

International Scientific Committee

  • Cinzia Albanezi (Italy), ECPA president
  • Maria Vargas Moniz (Portugal), ECPA past president
  • Wolfgang Stark (Germany), EFPA SC liason to Ecpa
  • Nicholas Carr (Norway), EFPA SC of Community Psychology
  • Fortuna Procentese (Italy), ECPA board
  • Martina Barankova (Slovakia), ECPA board
  • Anna Bokszczanin (Poland), ECPA board
  • Francesca Esposito (Italy), ECPA board
  • Maria Fernandes-Jesus (Portugal), ECPA board

The conference is supported by