“More culture, to stop violence”, a conference in the Senate. Italpress news agency

ROME (ITALPRESS) – Senator Giusy Versace, newly elected vice president of the Commission for Culture, Cultural Heritage, Public Education and Sport in the Senate, organized the conference “More culture, to stop violence” this morning, in view of International Children’s Day (November 20) and the International Day against Violence against Women (November 25).
Hosted in the Sala Capitolare del Senato in Piazza della Minerva, the debate served to illustrate the progress, including legislation, made in the field of combating gender-based violence and violence against minors, as well as the measures adopted to combat all forms of violence and discrimination, such as bullying and cyberbullying. Important and significant was the presence of sixty students from the ITT “C. Colombo” in Rome and IIS “Paolo Biffi” in Fiumicino.
The debate, which saw the participation of Third Pole MPs Mariastella Gelmini, Mara Carfagna, Elena Bonetti and Raffaella Paita, the founders of Wall of Dolls Jo Squillo and Francesca Carollo, the President of the National Bullying and Youth Discomfort Observatory Luca Massaccesi and by the European boxing champion Emanuele Blandamura, was moderated by Giusy Versace herself, who received appreciation from all those present, for her constant and continuous commitment to raising awareness in always keeping the spotlight on this terrible scourge.
Culture is the key word of the morning and Versace, in her introductory greeting, immediately addressed the students present: “Thank you for coming to the Senate to listen to a debate that I would like to dedicate to you, because you are our hope and our future. I hope that this moment of testimonies and discussions on such a delicate and tragically topical topic can help the youngest to also get to know the good, practical and collaborative part of politics which often, behind the scenes, works to guarantee those rights and those means of protection and support for women who are victims of violence and who perhaps find little space in the media. This is already the fourth appointment that I organize, in my capacity as a parliamentarian, precisely to turn the spotlight on and urge politics to greater discussions on these issues, as well as to measure the validity of our proposals, so that they are ever stronger and more transversal”.
The occasion also served to present the legislative initiatives presented by the Third Pole in the matter of contrasting violence against women, including the bill, first signed by Versace, already deposited in the previous Legislature, for the establishment of a register of all the associations and the figure of the specialized operator against sexual and gender-based violence, and also guarantee free psychological support, currently not guaranteed, but essential.
The conference opened with the screening of an excerpt from “Donne & Libertà” the documentary film produced by Jo Squillo and presented in 2018 at the Venice Film Festival, twelve minutes of strong and direct testimonies of women who have suffered violence and who, in addition to having found the courage to denounce, today they are ambassadors against violence against women. “By now we no longer need words but concrete actions – Jo Squillo intervenes – in the last 24 hours 3 women have died of femicide and this makes us understand how urgent it is to move from words to deeds, starting from school and culture, to trigger a reversal trending among young people.
From the other interventions, it emerged how transversal the battle against violence against women is and how much, thanks to this teamwork, important goals have been achieved in recent years, but despite this, more work is needed, as underlined by all the speakers .
Mara Carfagna, former minister for the South: “Feminicide claims more victims than the Mafia. Governments must be acknowledged for the steps forward that have been made from a regulatory point of view, such as the strengthening of penalties against sexual abuse and violence, the stalking law of 2009, the decrees against femicide of 2013, the Code Red, the law against forced marriages and the fund for orphans of female victims, but we must increase awareness at school level and I hope there are no steps backwards in this battle which must see us all united. We will always urge the adoption of the necessary rules and instruments, also at an economic level, to prevent women victims of violence from feeling alone”.
Elena Bonetti, former Minister of Equal Opportunities: “It is true that our country has made many steps forward, thanks to a thread that has united different political paths, but with a unified vision. What is still missing are greater tools for the protection of women (immediate detention, warning for minor crimes, use of the electronic bracelet, protection of orphans), more effective prevention actions, greater training of operators, adequate training courses in schools to educate respect for diversity and the fight against violence and, lastly, particular attention to guaranteeing the economic freedom of women who are victims of violence. A woman must be free and to be free she must have true economic independence that does not make her depend on a man. When we achieve equal democracy, we will be a country that will have the antibodies to counter all forms of violence”.
Raffaella Paita, head of the Action-Italia Viva-Renew Europe group in the Senate: “I have never dealt with these issues, my political vocation has always been linked to Infrastructures, for which I want to thank and acknowledge the contribution that my colleagues have made to make our laws against violence against women among the most advanced in Europe. But today I would like to underline another point of view: we women must not go to war with each other, because if we want to create culture, we must be united and supportive, while very often we attack each other in vain, creating that cultural humus on which negativity is built”.
Mariastella Gelmini, deputy secretary and spokesperson for Action: “We are at the beginning of a new legislature and we must treasure the progress made, but we must ask ourselves why, despite the laws having been improved and strengthened, there are still women who, after denouncing they lose their lives.
The Femicide Inquiry Commission, which we have also called for the establishment in this legislature, has a fundamental role in clarifying the points to be improved. As for investments in anti-violence centres, during my mandate as minister of the Draghi government, together with the other ministers Bonetti and Carfagna, we managed to make a Fund that allocates more than 30 million euros a year structural, but it is clear that is sufficient and that more and more suitable instruments must be found to make women more autonomous from an economic point of view. The PNRR already allocates specific resources to anti-violence centers and women’s empowerment.”
Luca Massaccesi, president of the National Bullying and Youth Discomfort Observatory, Olympic bronze in Taekwondo in Barcelona in 1992: “We have to do something more, because today the kids, especially after Covid, have suffered a very significant setback. Together with all the managers of the Observatory, we have created a network of many sports federations and identified 20 Olympic testimonials to bring to schools, because we are convinced that champions are able to convey the right messages and values ​​to children, and therefore contribute to strengthen that path of prevention and above all the fight against all types of violence and discrimination”.
The conference was also hosted by one of the testimonials of the Observatory, the former boxer Emanuele Blandamura (WBC Silver International Champion and European Middleweight Champion), writer, winner of the Paladino d’Oro Sport Film Festival with the biographical docufilm “The Sioux of the Ring” : “You guys need to change this country through your dreams, just like I did. Each of us has a goal to pursue in life, which will make you proud of yourself. You must seek and find this spark, to transform your life into a masterpiece.”
The debate ended with the video conference intervention of the president of the “Wall of Dolls Onlus” association, the journalist Francesca Carollo who urged the legislators to make a concrete commitment to guaranteeing true economic independence for women, which also and above all passes from work, in order to feel truly free to get away from abusive husbands and men.
“Wall of Dolls” – The Wall of Dolls against feminicide, is a permanent installation that takes up an ancient Indian tradition whereby every time a woman suffers violence, a doll is posted on the door of her house. The first wall was inaugurated in 2014 in Milan, in via De Amicis 2, on the initiative of Jo Squillo, and in 2019 it became an association that operates in the area to help women victims of violence.
On the occasion of the International Day against Violence against Women on 25 November, Jo Squillo recalled the upcoming appointments of “Wall of Dolls”: Friday 25 November Milan (via De Amicis 2), Saturday 26 November Genoa Piazza De Ferrari), Monday 27 November in Brescia (via Solferino) and Tuesday 28 November in Trieste (via Dei Navali, 9). For more information: www.wallofdolls.it
Also present in the room were: Italo La Penna, President of the Italian Association of Olympic Champions; Valerio Di Cocco, European ParaKarate champion; Professor Antonino Mancuso, regional coordinator for the Miur Lazio of all physical education teachers; the school directors Monica Bernardi of the IIS Paolo Baffi of Fiumicino and Maria Chiara Gallerani of the ITT Cristoforo Colombo of Rome and the Senator (Azione).

– Senator Giusy Versace press office photo –


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“More culture, to stop violence”, a conference in the Senate. Italpress news agency – Italpress