BeFree Coperativa Sociale, Blue Hive Roma, Minerva Auctionsand
with the support of Comune di Roma (Rome Local Administration)
In years of fieldwork, the Rome-based BeFree Social Cooperative on violence against women, human trafficking and discrimination has heard thousands of stories from victims who endured violence in fear, shame, silence and solitude. They were surrounded by friends, family, and neighbors who could see the abuse, but failed to recognize it, who could understand, but feigned ignorance, who could intervene, but who did not come forward. Because of this, because we understand violence against women in all its aspects, nuances and consequences, because we know that society as a whole must take responsibility and action, we strive to counter the culture of discrimination and inequality that fuels gender violence.
#befreefromviolence intends to stimulate everyone to engage in the fight against domestic violence at home, in the streets, in schools…everywhere!
Laws and services in Italy address violence against women (VaW), but there is no uniform and comprehensive political and law enforcement strategy to effectively prevent it and protect victims. According to the Casa delle Donne of Bologna, 117 women were killed by men in 2013. A study conducted by the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union found that 34% of women aged 15 and over in Italy are victims of physical or sexual violence perpetrated by men. Another study, based mainly on 2006 data, estimated that VaW extolled an economic and social cost of Euros 17 billion that year. In Italy, there is no system for collecting reliable and comprehensive qualitative and quantitative data on VaW nor does it exist a plan of action to stem it. Male violence and gender discrimination therefore remain the main obstacles to the achievement of women’s human rights and equality.
A CALL FOR ACTION: HOW YOU CAN HELP:
As a first step, take a photo of yourself with the sign #befreefromviolence and post it on your social media. Invite your contacts to do the same. Keep following the campaign’s calls for action and initiatives on our website befreecooperativa.org and learn how we will develop the campaign and how you can continue to enhance it.
Your participation will help us educate the public on VaW. Your contributions will support BeFree Social Cooperative’s services and, in particular, the Help Desk at the emergency room of the Hospital San Camillo-Forlanini, the largest in Europe. Since 2009, the Help Desk has helped more than 3,000 women victims of violence, but now is undergoing a financial crisis.