Anna, Giovanna, Mihaela, Giulia, Natalia: our eyes scroll across the names of the victims of femicide in the pages of the daily news. They represent the peak of violence, the most brutal and inhumane side of this phenomenon. But violence against women has a much broader span, that has its roots in the patriarchal society and is expressed in various ways, some more and some less overt. There is physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, economic violence.
Violence against women, moreover, does not take place only through the hands of violent and abusive men but is also manifested in ways more covert and more challenging to define through the system and institutions, namely in the inadequate and unsympathetic response of magistrates, lawyers, social workers, and the media.
What can society do to eliminate this phenomenon and help women victims feel not blamed, but supported?
The e-book #ISaidNo. When Women are Victimized Twice, designed and developed by Alley Oop - Il Sole 24 Ore within the European project “Never Again. Developing an innovative training methodology to prevent and combat the risk of secondary victimization of women victims of violence”, attempts to provide answers to these questions.
The e-book focuses on the phenomenon of secondary victimization, occurring when women victims of male violence become victims twice in the courtrooms, where women who have dared to report the violence, are blamed and accused of being inadequate mothers for breaking up the family; when they have their children removed because "they were unable to defend them from the violence of their father". Victims twice: victims of those who said they loved them and victims of the institutions supposed to protect them.
Women are victimized twice in the media, where journalists are more likely to reflect the point of view of the mistreating man rather than that of the woman, and to use words and images that justify the perpetrator’s violence ("jealousy" or "raptus" for example);when the narration of blame is often used to portray the victim; when the title becomes sensational,and the reporting becomes a novel.
The cultural change necessary to prevent and combat the plague of gender-based violence must be triggered by the institutions, by the comparison with what works (and what doesn’t work) in other European Countries, by the legislative interventions, and by the adequate training of professionals (social workers, technical consultants, police officers, lawyers, magistrates).
The E-book (English version) is available on the NEVER AGAIN website at this LINK
The project Never Again, launched on 25 November 2020 and co-funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme, is coordinated by Università della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli in partnership with Il Sole 24 Ore, D.i.Re - Donne in rete contro la violenza, Prodos Consulting, the theatre association M.A.S.C. , and the associationMaschile Plurale.