November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a global moment championed by the United Nations and observed throughout Tuscany. According to the Italian Office of Statistics (ISTAT), more than 6.5 million women living in Italy have been subjected to physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives—almost one in three. Foreign women—Moldavian, Romanian and Ukrainian in particular—are more likely to be raped than Italians (7.7 per cent against 5.1).
This year, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign invites everyone to “Orange the world,” using the colour designated by the UNiTE campaign to symbolize a brighter future without violence.
Events this year have included a benefit concert for the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women set against an orange stage at Carnegie Hall in New York, and the lighting of the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. Orange events planned in more than 70 countries around the world will include the orange lighting of major landmarks like Niagara Falls (Canada/USA), the European Commission building (Belgium) and the Council of Europe building (France).
In Florence the Violence Toward Women conference will be held at Convitto della Calza (piazza della Calza, near Porta Romana) on November 18 and 19. Speakers will include Teresa Bruno, president of the Artemisia Centre; Alessandra Pauncz, president of the Centre for Abusive Men; and Florence police commissioner Alberto Intini. For more information, email [email protected] or call 055/222287.
At publication of this article, no “red shoe” events had been announced in Tuscany, although the annual occurrences can be expected throughout the region. Progetto Michela is an educational scheme introduced by Centro antiviolenza Artemisia and Toscana Aeroporti. Launched in memory of Michela Noli, a 31-year-old employee of the region’s airport group who was killed by her husband in May 2016, the programme seeks to spread awareness about domestic violence among the 900 staff members working at Tuscany’s airports and the signs to watch out in order to prevent similar tragedies from occurring. Progetto Michela also provides financial, legal and psychological support to women and children who have experienced abuse.