Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Violence against Women: Italy highlights 1522 helpline

Calls to 1522 double after Giulia Cecchettin murder.

The Italian government on Friday night lit up the façade of its Rome headquarters with the 1522 helpline on the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The helpline - which is free, anonymous and active 24 hours a day - is designed as a first response to the needs of victims of gender-based violence and stalking.

"It is a number that you can call at any time if you are afraid and you can find someone on the other end who can help you" - Italian premier Giorgia Meloni said on Friday night - "Those who are afraid should know that they are not alone."

Meloni was joined outside Palazzo Chigi by family minister Eugenia Roccella and sport minister Andrea Abodi, along with numerous figures from the Italian world of sport including Paralympic fencing champion Bebe Vio.

"When you think that being afraid is normal, it is not. When you think that love hurts, it is not like that" - Meloni said - "We are free and there is no one who can take that freedom away from us."

 

On Wednesday the Italian parliament approved new measures to clamp down on gender-based violence, including a school campaign to address sexism, machismo and psychological and physical violence against women.

Calls to the 1522 helpline - whose operators respond in Italian, English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Albanian, Russian, Ukrainian, Portuguese and Polish - more than doubled last week after the murder of 22-year-old student Giulia Cecchettin, news agency ANSA reports.

Cecchettin's brutal killing sparked a wave of outrage and protests across Italy, and she will be remembered during two major rallies in Rome and Messina on Saturday for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Rome is hosting a series of events to mark the day and on Saturday night the Colosseum will light up in red, in a symbolic gesture to promote awareness and the fight against gender-based violence.

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