The phenomenon of domestic violence is unfortunately spreading in many Italian cities and even in Mantua there are numerous reported cases. It is increasingly necessary to know how to intercept these women victims of violence and to be able to listen and receive them appropriately. Overcoming this trauma is possible as well as recovering self-confidence and rebuilding their own autonomy.
The Mantua Care Center (CAV) responds to the phenomenon of gender violence by promoting a listening and reception desk for women victims of abandonment, mistreatment or violence reported by social services, the Province, the Questura or other associations operating in the territory. Listening to the need, it follows the elaboration of a personal project that can include support and protection through reception in CAV housing or other facilities.
There are over 30 volunteers working in the listening desk that welcome women in need. The volunteers committed with this work, very demanding from a human and psychological point of view, need support in terms of training. Marcegaglia Foundation has decided to fund this specific training. Beginning in 2014, volunteers have participated in a training course that has enabled them to build an effective working group and to acquire new techniques and interview management tools and emotional load connected. From the volunteers themselves, there was the need to continue training with a professionalizing career that is bringing 20 of them to obtain the status of Counselor.
After listening, in many cases, a welcome phase is needed in a protected structure and the definition of an autonomy recovery project. In 2014, the Marcegaglia Foundation contributed to the construction of the new CAV headquarters with 10 sheltered homes for sole women or children. The stay in this facility is temporary and for this reason it is necessary to build with each woman a personalized path that leads her to finding a home and economic autonomy. That’s why we chose to support some of them with home-equity and job-skills. Our support has also been given to a number of related and fundamental activities for adopted women: legal and psychological counseling, nursery and kindergarten for children aged 6 to 10 years.
In 2019, over 70 women were welcomed and listened to at the CAV of Mantua, 52 of whom were taken care of with psychological, legal, intercultural mediation and housing services at the refuge house. The training of volunteers also continued for the sixth consecutive year. The training of the counselor Manuela Baiocchetti was aimed at integrating new volunteers into the working group and supporting the workers with the supervision tool.
In 2020, the limitations imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic had repercussions on the training and listening activities of the CAV. However, an online space for listening, sharing and support was created for the volunteers, which many experienced as an anchor and a chance to get out of the forced isolation of the lockdown. Thanks to this support, the volunteers were able to react and get back into the game to support in turn the women beneficiaries of the Center with concrete activities of distribution of basic necessities and remote listening.
Having a home for yourself and your children is often a necessity for women who are victims of violence. At first, however, it may be difficult to sustain a rent, when you do not have a job yet and with dependent children. Thanks to your donation, we help secure a home to the CAV beneficiaries that start to become independent.