Italy

A Shelter of One’s Own

Safe refuge and hope for female victims of violence

More than 100 women were victims of femicide in Italy in 2021: this adds up to almost one every three days. In addition to this shocking statistic are the numerous women who experience abuse and violence every day. Unfortunately, the problem of gender violence is becoming increasingly common in every society and at every social level and, as a result of the pandemic, this scourge appears to be intensifying.

Since 1995 the Mondo Donna Association in Bologna has been helping women escape violence. In the more serious cases it shelters them in its safe houses, where, with the help of professional operators and psychologists, they can come to terms with their pain in order escape from the cycle of abuse. The women considered to be most at risk are placed in protection programs that limit their movements and may even mean they have to leave their jobs and change life in order to ensure their personal safety. The refuges are often experienced as a state of limbo where the victims feel suspended between the ghosts and shadows of a violent past and the hope of redemption thanks also to the warmth of those working to help them.

“A Shelter of One’s Own” aims to tell the story of the Mondo Donna Association’s work, opening a small window onto the reality of the safe refuges for female victims of violence and sex trafficking.

( 2020 – 2021 )