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It’s always difficult to leave the house on these gray November evenings, with the tiredness accumulated from the day due to the thousand commitments that overlap without stopping. Yet the round table organized by Soroptimist club of San Marino had caught my attention for the title, “Je suis Artemisia”, and for the topic: how to recognize the signs of violence in a relationship.
I must say that my curiosity was amply rewarded, because the meeting turned out to be very rich in food for thought, even beyond my already optimistic expectations. The doctor Francesca Bonsignori, representative of the French association “Le Planning Familiale” brought an extensive report, full of information, insights, strategies and experiences implemented by the reality for which he has been working for many years. He offered an insight into what is the prevention of gender violence in France, which not only has a long tradition, but in the last five years has been able to count on very substantial financial investments wanted by the government in office, which has made one of the central points of its political action.
Of the many aspects dealt with, two in particular struck me deeply: the reflection on the fact that, statistically, among the women who access the protection and information services of the French center there are also very many girls between 15 and 25 years old, and the great importance given to the attention towards women with disabilities, due to the very high risk to which they are subjected. Even if coming from a distant and larger reality than ours, these two aspects alone reflect on how broad and profound the work still needs to be done.
The intervention of the French guest was accompanied by the contributions of the doctor Serena Baldaccicoordinator of the ISS anti-violence network, and of Dr Maurice Farone, commander of the Gendarmerie Corps, who both illustrated the important work carried out to date in San Marino to prevent and stem the phenomenon of gender-based violence, creating a network of services to protect women and promoting awareness and knowledge of the phenomenon at all levels. We therefore had the small and large reality compared, on issues that know no boundaries.
I find it of fundamental importance, for a small reality like ours, the exchange of information with different and particularly evolved experiences, which can provide new tools for analysis and action. The examples of communication and cultural work strategies that Dr. Bonsignori illustrated were very interesting, tools that could be imitated and adapted to our reality. Furthermore, it emerged that in France women who suffer ill-treatment are intercepted not only through traditional institutional channels, but also thanks to the listening network set up by non-governmental organizations, which are more easily able to approach the victims, even before they reach a real complaint.
Such opportunities are precious, they have a very high value of information and cultural growth for the entire citizenry and should be promoted on a frequent basis, to keep attention focused on a phenomenon which, unfortunately, still needs all our energies and our collective efforts to be effectively countered. So thanks to the friends of the Soroptimist Club for organizing this moment of meeting and public debate.