Reporting as a protective instrument

Date: 01/12/2019

Author: Olga Venosa, Founder and Chair


<<It is just a bruise, it is just a black eye, it is just...the truth is, I am not good enough, I am wrong, I have upset him, he was tired, he said it was my fault. I went to report him, the officer said I am overthinking, stressed, paranoid, he thinks I am crazy. Today I couldn't breathe, I went into emergency, I had some broken ribs, I said I fell, I couldn't tell he kicked me, it was my fault, after all he loves me>>.

Although it might seem a thriller narrative, this is what lots of women are facing every day, slave of a subtle psychological game that leaves them powerless attached to violent men, if they are lucky enough they will survive, but some might not; violence is increasing: femicide, bullying, stalking, sexual abuse...any kind of violence. The system often fails to recognise and identify target of violence, victimising twice individuals in need. I wanted things to change and with me Cristiana Merli (Donne al Centro Chair) wanted it too. The 20th of November 2019 my charity We are Stronger in cooperation with Donne al Centro non-profit, organized an event in Rome, willing to create synergies and cooperation amongst various entities: police, local authorities, judges, criminologists, charities, and moreover to send a message to the public "Don't be afraid, and report!".

Maria Monteleone (Magistrate Judge, Coordinator of the anti-violence group), Angela Altamura (Leader of the Police anti-crime division in Rome), Francesca Lauria (Captain of Carabinieri division), Ilenia Guerrieri (criminal lawyer) and Susanna Capitani (psychiatrist) were key guest speakers, delivering critical information to understand how to intervene in different circumstances, how to use reporting as a useful tool, how psychological manipulation precedes physical violence, how in Italy, new instruments like warning, help reduce timing in crucial cases.

Prevention and training are essential, reaching schools, transportation companies and parents for bullying, police staff for domestic violence, sexual abuse, stalking; the relevance of bystanders: children, relatives, friends and how significant is their actions toward reporting, is vital to create a protective instrument.

The report has been published on UNESCO Newsletter "Bioethical Voices", 18th Issue November 2019, Page 219-220-221

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