The European network against violence against women (WAVE) and the European associations that are part of it launch the campaign step up! on the rights of women experiencing violence and their children.

In Europe, one in three women suffers physical or sexual violence while states ensure limited, and in some states non-existent, access to anti-violence centers. To date, only 15 out of 46 European states have set up an emergency number or a help line and over 47 anti-violence centers are missing. Discrimination is one of the biggest obstacles to women's access to the Centers. Ethnic minorities, immigrants and refugees, women without a regular residence permit, disabled, elderly and lesbian women are the most discriminated against.

“We ask the European authorities and national governments to STEP UP! that is, taking a step in the right direction and ensuring the investments necessary to combat and prevent violence against women ”(Rosa Logar, WAVE President).

The European Union recommends an anti-violence center for every 10.000 people and an emergency center for every 50.000 inhabitants, so in Italy there should be 5.700 beds and instead there are only 500. The requests of many women remain unanswered despite many of them being life threatening.

The WAVE Network and D.i.Re they ask Europe and the Italian government to recognize that the anti-violence centers are not generic services or just any place. Listening, welcoming, relating to other women who suffer violence is a daily practice, a methodology based on empowerment and the relationship between women, a journey to be done together in a place of freedom. In the Anti-violence Centers women are never considered "victims", as happens instead in the communities for "mothers and children" of religious inspiration who try to make their way in Italy, to be accredited with the institutions and to replace the Anti-violence Centers born from feminist practice . We know that women have resources, intelligence, abilities that violence wants to destroy and that we instead consider the fulcrum of their path and our accompaniment, as well as the guarantee of anonymity and the protection of privacy, which we always guarantee and that today they are threatened by regional laws and public order practices. But there is no possibility of an authentic exit from violence without respect for the choices of women, the recognition of their dignity and the enhancement of their resources.

We ask

- A mapping of the Anti-violence Centers on the national territory on the basis of explicit recognition of the nature, objectives and political practice of these places.
- That the anti-violence centers are financed in a stable way, with adequate figures, year after year, putting an end to the discretion of the regions that leave many centers without resources.
- That a prevention policy is put in place: education from compulsory schools, information, cultural campaigns, personal involvement of public television, the media, political leaders and intellectuals.

Violence against women remains the most widespread violation of human rights and can be fatal. It has been estimated that in 2012 feminicides committed by a family member or partner accounted for 47 percent of homicides in Europe.

This violence is officially condemned but in reality it is tacitly tolerated, and women suffer violence repeatedly. The costs of this violence affect us all, violence against women has a strong impact on women's economic independence, a huge impact on the world economy.

We invite Italian companies and philanthropy to make investments to support the Anti-violence Centers.
We invite everyone, each and every one of you to participate in the STEP UP! Campaign

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