Supporting the Antiviolence Toll Free Number “Mai più Sola” for  Abused Women

Project location: ITALY
Project start date: September 2007 - Project end date: This project covers various years
Project number: 2007-02


2008-2009 Final Report


Total calls received were 5478.

Total dossiers reported (82%) 4491

The remaining 18% is divided as follows:


Call criticism: (3.3%)

These are people who have insulted the operators of the toll free number, claiming the right of men to be protected such as Toll does with women or giving vent to their feelings of hostility towards immigrants.


Information on the toll free number: (6.5%)

Received calls, especially at the beginning of the activity of toll free number made by journalists, non-profit organization operators, anti-violence centers, social workers, to verify that the number was active and to receive information about the activities and services offered. In these cases, to keep the line free, calls were diverted to another fixed line, so we can process all requests.


Disturbance calls: (1.8%)

These are anonymous calls.


Information on immigration laws: (4.5%)

Calls received from lawyers, social workers and immigrants, requesting for clarifications and explanations regarding the laws in force in Italy and in the relevant foreign country.


Information on bureaucratic procedures for documents (1.9%)

Calls received from lawyers, people involved, or those closest to the immigrant question, aimed at get informed on procedures of requests or withdrawal of residence permits, procedures related to the consulate, procedures related to family reunification and on timing of release of the documents.



The dossiers registered (4491) are distributed as follows:


A)-Dossier battered mothers: (61%)

Of which:


Reports received from hospitals (6.1%) Hospital operators have contacted the toll free number so that it be given a linguistic mediation with the victim, or to request instructions to make a report to the Police Forces.


Collaboration requests received by the police: (2.7%)


The toll free number was contacted by Police in order to ask to the operators to act as linguistic facilitators, or to provide clarifications and explanations regarding the laws of the country of origin of the victim.


Calls received directly by women (81%)

At a time when women are able to ensure that our operators respond effectively in Arabic and major dialects, can give greater confidence and find the courage to speak of the violence suffered.


From social workers (10.2%)

Local assistants and social workers in cases of reception looking for more clarification about the victims of domestic violence.



B)-Dossier request divorce (33%)




Polygamy: (32%)

Women forced under threat to accept the presence of one or more wives under conjugal rooftop in Italy, where, however, polygamy is illegal. The threats often result in an enforced return of the legitimate wife in the country of origin to make room for the new wife.


Kidnapping children (25.6%)

The illegal removal of children or threats of kidnapping, fall into what is called psychological violence. In these cases, the kidnapping represnets a kind of retaliation of thu husband against his wife who tried to rebel against his continued imposition and violence.


Stealing documents: (34%)

The classical scheme of family reunification foresees as a first step the arrival of the wife or husband in Italy, which is reached by a spouse after a period of time differently depending on the case. Once reunited, the husband withdraws the residence permit of his wife so that she becomes completely dependent on his will: if the husband for whatever reason decides not to renew the permits of the wife, the latter goes in a position to underground, from which she can not go out except by relying on conditions that makes her as independent (like a regular job) and that lets her obtain a new residence permit not linked to that of her husband.

In other cases, the wife is subjected to forced repatriation and, once the home country, she finds herself deprived of the documents to make her unable to get back her husband in Italy.


Problems of mixed marriages (8.4%)


Nationality marriages:


- Italy and Morocco (40.6%)


- Morocco-Tunisia (27%)


- Morocco-Egypt (30.9%)


- Cuba-Egypt (1.5%)



C)-Various Dossier, relating to social problems (6%)


Intervention of Toll Free Number: 4491


Support and mediation in reports to the Police: 2848

In most cases, Toll Free Number operators have provided an initial psychological support to women, explaining the procedure to be followed and the places and people to turn to file a report. Moreover, operators have maintained telephone contact with the victim, making as mediators with the Police Forces at the time of the report.


Accommodation in shelters: 650

This figure contains cases in which the Toll Free Number spoke after calls by women who were in hardship situations and therefore they urgently need to be away from her husband, but also women who sought to protect not only themselves but also their children. The amount also includes cases where the Toll Free Number was contacted by hospital staff and police officers, and served as an intermediary between them and the shelters which are in contact throughout the national territory.


Contact with social workers: 653

Many of the calls were made by women who, despite having problems with their husbands, did not want to use either the divorce or separation. In these cases, being these problems related to the relationship between spouses or between parents and children, Toll Free Number who, in turn, rely on psychologists and lawyers who carry on business as free advocacy.


Direct assistance by the "Acmid-donna Onlus": 340

At and/or outside the headquarters of Acmid Donna Onlus, the association provides support services to women in difficulty, such as assistance with legal advice from lawyers, with counseling sessions to group therapy and classes on self-determination and italian literacy classes.



Origin of calls cataloged

Total Italy (94.5%)

North Total (71%)



City Share

Piedmont Turin

Alexandria (9.4%)

Liguria Genoa (2.5%)

Lombardy Milan





Mantua (61%)

Veneto Verona

Padua (7.3%)

Friuli Trieste (2.6%)

Emilia Romagna Bologna


Modena (14.2%)

Trentino Trento (3%)


Center total (21.5%)



City Share

Lazio Rome (62.6%)

Tuscany Lucca

Leghorn (37.4%)


South Total (2%)



City Share

Puglia Bari (91.6%)

Sicily Taormina (8.4%)


Foreign (0.2%)


- Belgium

- France


Not received (5.3%)



Calls scheduled by age


Total age (92.4%)


Juvenile (2.8%)

20 to 30 years (73.5%)

30 to 40 years (15.2%)

40 years and older (8.5%)

Not received (7.6%)


Calls scheduled by country origin of victims


Total domestic (98.1%)

Morocco (76.7%)

Algeria (2.9%)

Italy (6.1%)

Egypt (5.6%)

Tunisia (8.3%)

Romania (0.2%)

Cuba (0.2%)

Not received (1.9%)


Call scheduled by time of calling


Morning (7 - 12.00) (47.9%)

Afternoon (12.00 - 20.00) (44.7%)


Night (20.00 - 7.00) (7.4%)

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