Building a community against gender-based violence intersectionally

Thursday 16 May 2024

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Gender-based violence is a complex phenomenon that can have devastating consequences on the identity of those who experience it. Discrimination, prejudice, and repeated abuses of power contribute to fueling this phenomenon in a system that seems unable to provide tools, methods, and resources to counter it. The principle of formal and substantive equality, enshrined in Article 3 of the Constitution, seems to have no effect when targeted and aware responses, recognizing the complexity of each of our experiences, are absent.

Convinced that combating gender-based violence requires an approach capable of deconstructing the individual aspects of identities without ever reducing them to a universally valid whole, adopting an intersectional focus appears as the only option to build bridges on the gaps in the system, representing the final piece of a mature and shared reflection, an echo of a structured path of a “community of practice.”

In light of these premises, we organized four thematic workshops within the T-ESSERE PONTI program, which followed the pattern of the aforementioned “community of practice.” The meetings, structured to allow the sharing of skills and useful tools, saw the participation of the group of foreign women from T-BEING BRIDGES, already trained on the topics as trainers and facilitators, as well as the intervention of three external experts: Yodit Abraha, mediator at the Le Onde Anti-Violence Center, Lucia Siracusa, physician at the UOSD Infectious Diseases Vulnerable Populations-ARNAS Civico, and Giulia Gianguzza, social worker, and Maria Giulia Fava, lawyer, at the Sans Papiers Desk of the Arci Porco Rosso circle. Among the topics addressed were the role of mediation in handling gender-based violence, best practices in intersectional care in the medical sector, and holistic care and legal tools for the protection of victims of gender-based violence.

The analysis of the numerous elements that characterize each individual’s identity was a starting point and essential prerequisite for the construction and deconstruction of a conscious discourse on discrimination, cultural prejudices, and institutional violence, which allowed us to collectively identify the lack of sufficient tools and resources, training, and communication as the major obstacles to access to services for foreign women. Identifying these latter undoubtedly means being able to work towards their removal, specific insights into violence contexts, and the sharing of direct experiences by professionals working in the sector have favored the development of greater awareness, a necessary key to explore the complexity that surrounds us and of which we ourselves are a part.

The four workshops managed to create a space for care and co-creation, where participants could share narratives, means, and strategies, foundations for future actions. “BRIDGE Actions,” which will be implemented in the coming months in collaboration with those who have taken part in this process.

Fighting against gender-based violence also means not reducing complexity, being able to see the world through the eyes of others, building BRIDGES so that every identity is recognized and validated.

Do you also want to participate in the T-ESSERE PONTI pilot actions? Please contact: 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.

Partners

For further information

Read more about COMMUNITY LINKAGE.

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

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