In January 2020 the GREVIO, Group of experts on violence against women of the Council of Europe, published on Report on Italy, the result of two years of monitoring the application of the Istanbul Convention on violence against women and domestic violence in our country.

La Istanbul Convention on Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence was adopted by the Council of Europe, a body that includes 47 countries, in 2012. Italy ratified it with the law n. 77/2013 and entered into force in 2014.

The campaign "Violence against women. What state are we in? ", launched by D.i.Re – Donne in rete contro la violenza on the occasion of 8 March 2020, it wants to draw the attention of the institutions to the recommendations made by GREVIO and bring its contents to the attention of the public.

For one year, every month, this campaign will investigate a topic covered by the Grevio Italia monitoring report (hereinafter the GREVIO Report) and in March 2021 D.i.Re it will take stock of the concrete commitment of the State.

The aim is to make the contents of the GREVIO Report known to the public, considering that 3 months after its publication the Department for Equal Opportunities has not yet fulfilled the first of GREVIO's recommendations, namely the timely translation and wide dissemination of the text.

The first stage of the campaign of D.i.Re "Violence against women. What state are we in? " therefore addresses the recommendations of GREVIO relating to public support for anti-violence centers and shelters and the collection of data on violence, both issues that the Covid-19 emergency has highlighted in all their importance.

The Istanbul Convention expressly recognizes that services run by women's NGOs (women specialized services) achieve the goal of empowering women survivors of violence through the presence of staff experienced in gender-based violence and the professional support and counseling service based on the needs of women and their children.

In order to select among the many private and public subjects that work on violence against women those deserving of public support the GREVIO Report paid particular attention to the minimum criteria necessary to qualify as a specialized support service: the presence of adequately trained operators, experts, psychologists, lawyers, educators and volunteers who guarantee support and accompaniment to women and children / and from acceptance to autonomy.

In Italy the association D.i.Re brings together 80 independent women's organizations throughout the Italian territory that meet the requirements of the Istanbul Convention.

The GREVIO Report also points out the importance of the role of Centers managed by women in the creation of networks and in the consolidation of interdisciplinary cooperation on individual territories to get more attention to violence against women.

Finally, the GREVIO Report notes that the current state / regional / municipal funding mechanisms for anti-violence centers in Italy are neither clear and effective, nor homogeneous, with a "patchy" mode of coverage of the whole territory, both as regards the distribution of services and the quality of the offer.

The most relevant parts of the GREVIO recommendations in relation to Anti-violence Centers and Refuge Houses bring general attention to human rights of women and are particularly important in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic where the health emergency only accentuates the already existing need for an urgent strengthening of NGOs so that they can operate concretely throughout the Italian territory for the protection and support of women victims of violence and their children.

Recommendations from the GREVIO Italy 2020 Report

    • improve coordination between the various authorities responsible for gender-based violence - State, Regions, Provinces, Municipalities - and to intervene urgently to expand the coverage and capacity of specialized support services throughout the territory
    • harmonize the offer of these services respecting an approach based on human rights and the norms of the Istanbul Convention
    • adopt transparent and efficient procedures in the allocation of adequate financial resources
    • disseminate good practices such as gender budgeting, i.e. the definition of public budgets according to a gender perspective, in order to identify the funds allocated and the amount actually spent in support of measures to prevent and combat violence against women
    • set up a centralized database regarding the loans disbursed of the various institutions at the territorial level
    • simplify and speed up the disbursement of loans to non-governmental organizations, with possible direct transfer of resources
    • ensure financial sustainability and stability to allow the continuity of the offer of services
    • develop adequate long-term / multi-year solutions for economic contribution to NGOs, in particular for anti-violence centers and shelters, in order to ensure ongoing funding for protection and support services for victims and their children
    • strengthen support for independent women's organizations, recognizing the value and experience they bring in pursuing a gendered approach to violence against women based on the promotion and protection of their human rights and on the prevention of secondary victimization
    • guarantee equal access to the offer of services for all victims throughout the national territory, with due attention to the danger of intersectional discrimination, i.e. the consideration that violence affecting women with disabilities, migrant women and asylum seekers, as well as other hard-to-reach groups, risks causing multiple discrimination.

The campaign is realized thanks to the kind contribution of the Kering Foundation

Kering Foundation