Funded by the European Program for Rights, Equality and Citizenship, the X-MEN project: “Masculinities, Empathy, Non-Violence” is a project coordinated by Tatiana Moura, a researcher at the Centre for Social Studies (CES) at the University of Coimbra.

The study focuses on young people aged between 12 and 18 who live in educational centres or shelters, who have witnessed or been victims of some type of violence, in all its forms: psychological or physical, for example.

The project, which lasts for two years, aims to “break the cycles of exposure to violence in childhood and adolescence”, which consequently can cause gender inequality, as advanced in a press release sent by Tatiana Moura to The Portugal News.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, “new challenges to strategies to combat and prevent gender violence” appeared. As such, Tatiana Moura’s team is dedicated “to promoting non-violent masculinities and promoting gender equality.” The X-MEN project aims to show a new vision of violence and its “construction of masculinity.”

During the two years of research, the project will, through “direct contact with the target audience” and make conclusions about the impacts of the pandemic on “expressions, gender relations and gender behaviours.” X-MEN also aims to alert and inform education and social action professionals, offering “internationally validated” tools to deal with young people who, in some way, had a traumatic childhood, thus promoting “non-violent models of masculinity.”

During the project, “experiences and tools” developed by international partners, with which CES has already collaborated, will be adapted. During the project, the CEPAIM Foundation in Spain and the NGO STATUS M in Croatia will support the project in their countries. In Portugal, the project also has the help of the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality and the Directorate-General for Reinsertion and Prison Services.