The hardest part of being a victim of abuse might be speaking about it. The Italian Union and Novara Club are determined to change that.

Violence against women can take many forms – harassment, insults, beatings, rape and even killings – but these crimes are widely under-reported. According to an EU-wide survey from 2014, “only 14% of women reported their most serious incident of intimate partner violence to the police, and 13% reported their most serious incident of non-partner violence to the police”. These frighteningly low numbers show how urgent it is to change our culture and our justice system, so that women are finally free to speak out.


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The Italian Clubs have strongly contributed to liberating women’s voices, through their project “A room of one’s own” (“Una Stanza tuta per sè”), launched in 2015. In collaboration with the local police, Soroptimists have helped set up victim-friendly interrogation rooms, which have proven extremely helpful when investigating cases of sexual or domestic violence. Being able to conduct sensitive interviews in a non-threatening environment helps officers obtain more accurate and detailed testimonies, and increases the likelihood of prosecutions and convictions.


As a result of this project, the Club of Novara has initiated the “Antiviolence kit”. This Toolkit consists of a computer, a programme agreed upon with the Carabinieri Army, and a sophisticated audio-video system. This kit contributes to raise awareness to the police on how to conduct sensitive interviews with victims of violence while also helping the women. This Club was the very first in Italy which created this kit. Today, no less than 30 KITS have already been donated to various Carabinieri stations, and Novara Club donated two KITS last year.




This year, for the 16 Days, the Club has been raising funds with the aim of donating another Antiviolence kit to the Carabinieri. They have gained very strong support from the locals through their fund-raising concert (“Concerto Sfumature Polifoniche”) and their orange dish (“Piatto in Arancio”). 14 restaurants have volunteered to support the project – and 2 € per plate will go to the antiviolence kit funding.


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