The CIF (Italian Women’s Center) of Carrara operates in the territory of the province of Massa-Carrara in Tuscany in the fight against gender violence, a phenomenon that is unfortunately growing and affecting mainly Italian women. The services present in the area, such as the Anti-Violence Center “Donna chiama donna” in Carrara and the Anti-Violence Center of the municipality of Montignoso, managed by the CIF, carry out an extensive work to host victims in the network with the institutions and to prevent the phenomenon. However, there is no specific service that accompanies victims in the difficult path of social and work reintegration without which it is difficult to regain self-esteem and autonomy.
The project DAFNE Women in the way is the winning project of the Fondazione Marcegaglia call for proposals “Con le donne” in 2017 and provides for the creation of a continuous support service to women victims of violence who must re-enter the working world. In order to carry out this service in a first phase, the 12 volunteer operators of the center will be trained to acquire new skills useful in work guidance (preparation of skills balance, work orientation and training, link with services present in the area). This specific training will be accompanied by a broader training to strengthen the working group and improve the listening and relationship skills of the volunteer operators.
About 200 women will be able to be assisted in a year through the new work and social reintegration service and thanks to the support of the operators will be aware of their work and relationship skills, will experience themselves in a protected environment and receive organizational help for the reconciliation of work with childcare. 16 of these women will also participate in an experimental project that provides theoretical and practical training in floriculture and horticulture activities; women will be placed side by side in a period of tutoring in a protected context that will allow them to recover or acquire skills and then try to spend them in the workplace.
The objectives of 2019, the second year of the project, were: to give continuity to the help service for women in situations of fragility through training and career guidance, to strengthen the parenting skills of the women who turn to the center and create a network in support of female employment through the activation of job grants. The project made it possible to take on 8 marginalized women who were supported to improve their economic and social conditions. Another 19 women have received training to obtain the HACCP certificate to be able to work in the restaurant sector, some of them have already found work. At the same time, the operators of the center continued their training on the topics of the interview and job placement in order to offer an even more effective service to women in difficulty. Finally, a network was created between the CIF, the municipalities of Carrara and Montignoso, associations and local businesses to encourage reintegration into the workplace.
In 2020, the operators of CIF obtained the level I Counseling Skills certification. Thanks to the availability of the Counselor and trainer Manuela Baiocchetti and the tenacity of the operators, the restrictions due to the Covid-19 epidemic have not slowed down training. In fact, with the online tools it was possible to continue in the acquisition of counseling skills, deepen the theme of assertiveness, experience supervised operational practice and introduce the theme of creative tools in counseling such as phototherapy and creative writing. The operators were enthusiastic about the distance learning experience, which was also an opportunity for sharing and building relationships in a difficult time for everyone. At the same time, the listening service for women victims of violence has not stopped thanks to the telephone number made available during the months of lockdown.