T-ESSENDO PONTI in the Palermo area: meeting with Sportello Sans Papiers

Thursday 7 March 2024

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The T-ESSERE BRIDGES program, carried out within the COMMUNITY LINKAGE project, aims to establish an effective link between services dealing with gender-based violence and foreign women’s communities.

On the afternoon of Jan. 16, the T-ESSERE PONTI group met with two social workers, Sara Traylor and Giulia Gianguzza, and an advocate Maria Giulia Fava, protagonists of the actions to support and accompany people who turn to Arci Porco Rosso’s Sportello Sans-Papiers.

The drop-in centre is a listening point and a community place. The space, within which Sans Papiers operates, opens onto a large square in the centre of the Ballarò district and has become a reference space for many people, including migrants, who live in the city.

It is open every Wednesday from 15.30 to 18.30 and builds a network of shared solidarity with other associations (and not).

The women’s group ‘T-ESSERE PONTI’, which meets every Tuesday to train and discuss the issues of preventing and combating gender-based violence, has ‘woven’ a discussion with the Sportello, motivated by the search to strengthen a bridge also outside the circle of foreign women of which it is composed.

The purpose of the meeting was the mutual acquaintance of the two experiences: on the one hand, the group had an opportunity for study, professionalisation and awareness on the topic of gender-based violence; on the other, the Sportello found a space to meet and disseminate knowledge, support and continue the struggle in defence of human rights, for freedom of movement and in opposition to all forms of racism.

The meeting was a harbinger of much reflection on the part of the women, who felt grateful for what they shared and for the information they received.

The operators offered the group a holistic viewpoint on the topic, told through the sharing of experiences at the drop-in centre and supported by a broad framework that identifies gender-based violence as a social phenomenon that can (but does not necessarily have to) be denounced through official state mechanisms.

Dealing with the boundaries (albeit often blurred) between violence, harassment and abuse, the operators explained to the group the mechanisms of the criminal justice system to protect people affected by gender-based violence, tracing (also through a critical reading) the judicial pathway that begins with the complaint, involving the intervention of various actors and territorial services, and identifies precise criminal cases that incriminate certain abusive behaviour that can be countered with different forms of protection.

Therefore, the legal framework of reference for the protection and regularisation of the legal status to which people who suffer violence can have access was explained, reflecting, with the group, on what should be some of the transversal competences needed by the professionals who deal with supporting and accompanying those who suffer violence.

The meeting opened a second ‘bridge’ (the group had already widened its reflection spaces in December, hosting other women) to weave new shared possibilities of responsibility in solidarity in preventing and combating gender-based violence.

This is the story of some of the openings (among the first) and sharing of the T-ESSERE PONTI group, which in the coming months will involve new pilot actions co-constructed with other professionals of the territorial services to strengthen the network of commitment against all gender-based violence.

To learn more about T-ESSERE BRIDGES follow us on Instagram or write to tessereponti@cesie.org.

About the project

COMMUNITY LINKAGE – Improving gender-based violence service provision through the empowerment of migrant women as community-based mentors, trainers and agents of change is a project funded by DG Justice – Programme CERV (2021-2027) of the European Commission.


For further information

Read more about COMMUNITY LINKAGE.

Contact Georgia Chondrou: georgia.chondrou@cesie.org.