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
Beneficiary: ACMID DONNA ONLUS
2010-2011 Final Report
Only in the 2010-2011 year, the "Mai più Sola" Call Center received almost 3.000 calls for help. Many of them were from young girls (16 to 20 years) of second generation (74 cases), threatened with forced marriage by their parents, under the menace of final return to their country of origin.
"Mai più sola", in cooperation with the police, and social services, has assisted last year 23 girls in reporting their cases to the authorities and finding a suitable accommodation in specialized centers. The 23 girls, young schoolgirls, were thus able to avoid both deportation to Morocco and forced marriage. They have been assisted by lawyers and social workers suggested or contacted directly by the Acmid Donna association.
In addition to dealing with cases of forced marriage, Acmid has been able to bring issues related to this social phenomenon to the attention of the Moroccan authorities (Ministry of Family, Ministry of Justice and finally the Moroccan community abroad), which has recently launched a campaign to raise awareness among the Moroccan community abroad, on the basis of the experience and data provided by the "Mai più sola" programme.
The 35% of women calling the toll free number denounce the kidnapping of their children, very often deported by husbands in the country of origin. The reliability of the "Mai più sola" project for women experiencing domestic violence, has risen to the level that the toll free number (800911753) has been placed on the agendas of the emergency numbers of police headquarters, Immigration Services, and Social Service centers. The calls from Italian women and of other foreign communities asking for help and advice to address the violence have increased (216 calls in the reference period), as well as other calls diverted to "Mai più sola" by the national anti-violence programme of the Italian Ministry for Equal Opportunities. Among the various activities targeting abused women organized by Acmid within the programme "Mai più sola" there are: literacy courses, psychotherapy and counselling, professional training and guidance.
Over the 2010-2011 year, the association attracted a great number of voluntaries, almost 50 in Rome, Aprilia, Bolzano, Padova, Palermo, Treviso, Pesaro, Firenze, Milano. In these cities, voluntaries' groups have been formed, which are now working in close connection with the Headquarter in Rome to help migrant and Italian women over the whole national territory.