The President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella on the occasion of “The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women” has issued the following statement:
“This Day calls for a yearly comparison with an unacceptable number of cases witnessing a continuous, widespread and ineradicable violence against women. Our society is still filled with incidents of violence, in different territories and a variety of contexts, a verbal, economic and physical violence as a result of the inacceptable idea that men can abuse their power over women using force.
In many cases, violence against women overcomes the couple’s relationship and pours, first, upon children but also upon other relatives, friends and people who try to intervene in order to contain this insane spiral. In all cases, violence against women is a failure of our society as a whole, which has failed to accept a full equal concept of the dual relationships, in the path of liberation done by women over the last century.
Violence against women originates, indeed, from a distorted vision of man-woman relationships, where women are seen as objects and, in any case, as subjects unworthy of full respect. It is in the idea of inferiority that pervades, still too often, the approach to women’s issue, where the roots of every kind of violence are.
In order to leave this spiral, we need to educate people: educate them on the matter of respect, educate them on the matter of equality and on the idea that force can never be a means of dialogue. This education has to be spread among families and then schools since early childhood.
It is fundamental for women who have been victims of violence to feel around them a world that welcomes them and protects them, to allow them to break the silence and free themselves from that fence where violence originated. Violence against women can be defeated only with the help of a society ready to support victims. This is why the activities carried out daily by institutions, voluntary associations and their volunteers are important, trying to build shelters to treat and prevent incidents of violence from happening.
Preventing violence requires listening, interventions, networks of support and, in many cases, instruments to offer women an alternative for a free life. Women’s dependence, often economic, hinders the quest for protection and the report of violent incidents.
There is still a long way to go but we need to keep on working, individually and with class actions since eliminating violence against women is an essential goal for our common life”.