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Women and violence, a high proportion of abuses during the migratory paths

ROME. Today, women migrants who arrive by sea, representing 9.9% of the migrants landed. According to a research of the foundations of The Tree of Life and ISMU

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Women and violence, a high proportion of abuses during the migratory paths
ROME. Today, women migrants who arrive by sea, representing 9.9% of the migrants landed. According to a research of the foundations of The Tree of Life and ISMU, which was conducted in the framework of the project "SWIM - Safe " Women in Migration", funded by the Programme Rights, Equality and Citizenship of the European Union (2014-2020), almost all of those coming from Africa have, in the course of the journey suffered some form of violence.

The survey is the first aimed at operators and managers of day care centres in the 5 Countries involved in the project (Italy, France, Great Britain, Sweden and Romania), and was conducted for investigating the phenomenon of gender-based violence.

"The project - says Ivano Abbruzzi, president of the Foundation on The Tree of Life - intended to support the women throughout the migration route, the subjects are most exposed to human trafficking, exploitation, discrimination and abuse, especially when travelling alone. This violence can occur in different phases of the migration route: at times already in the Country of origin, at other times during the trip and even once you arrive in Europe. With this research we wanted to investigate the lack of knowledge of the phenomenon and the difficulty of reporting such violence, that depends on the distrust in the authority, from blame, from the fear of consequences, but also by the lack of access that foreign women have information on the rights recognized in each of the member States of the EU. Mothers often do not report violence for fear of being taken away from their children. It is our duty, and all of the reception system to protect both the parental figures of both the minors". "Women migrants - adds Vincenzo Cesareo, secretary general of Fondazione ISMU - especially those who travel alone in libya, they run most of the risks and the dangers of violence".

The quantitative research, conducted by Emanuela Bonini, researcher in Fondazione ISMU, examined a sample of 437 operators (70% women) between the ages of 33 and 45 years (35%) in possession, 57%, of an academic degree or equivalent, especially in the area of education (in Italy, 39% of the respondents has a diploma of upper secondary education).

The first aspect to be investigated is the necessary relationship of trust established between the traders and the migrants. Professionals state, in fact, that the women, after having established a relationship of trust and confidence, speak more easily of their lives more than how much they are able to talk about the trip, highlighting the painful aspect of this experience and confirming what is emerging more and more frequently, in particular with respect to the passage from Libya.

The major difficulties in the construction of the relationship with women victims of violence are identified in the lack of specific expertise on the topic and, in particular, with respect to the management of complex cases (respectively: Italy 89%, France 85%, Uk 91%, Sweden 75%). Building a relationship of trust requires a very long time, also because of the cultural distance perceived, both by the operators by the operators (respectively: Italy 41%, France 46%, Great Britain 60%, Sweden 42%) and differences in the experiences of life. In spite of this, the professionals of the systems of hospitality live a strong empathy with the women with whom they work, and it is not so difficult for them to understand what they think, (respectively: Italy 43%, France 35%, Britain 65%, Sweden 66%), feel (respectively: Italy 50%, France 40%, Uk 61%, Sweden-73%), or understand the choices that you make.

most of The women that is interfaced with the operators the respondents suffered multiple forms of violence by men known and traffickers in the Country of origin or during the journey. Violence, physical, sexual and psychological is the present in a meaningful way in all Countries. Cases of torture have been detected mainly in France (49%) and Italy (38%), while cases of genital mutilation and forced marriages are frequently reported by the French operators; this depends, in part, from the Country of origin for women asylum seekers and refugees, where these forms of violence are more frequent. The of gender-based violence related to sexual orientation of the migrants are found to a lesser extent, especially in Italy (10%) and Sweden (18%).

The abuse is perpetrated more frequently by men close to the migrants and which are part of their family, especially as detected by the operators of the French and the swedes, and slightly less by the british. For the Italian, the main subjects of the violence are the traffickers. The family members are recognized as leaders of the "offer" women in the migratory path significantly in France and Sweden, less so in Italy. According to the testimonies of the workers of all the Countries involved, the violence mainly take place in the Country of origin, while 28% of workers in Italian identifies in the trip, the time in which the migrants appear to be most at risk (62%). This depends to some extent at least from the routes of migration used by migrants to arrive in the countries involved in the project SWIM.

with regard To the vulnerability, migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are viewed as being highly at risk of suffering gender violence by about 40% of the operators in the Italian, French and Swedish, while the percentage for the operators the british down to a quarter of the respondents.

Overall, operators of all the Countries think that women migrants suffer violence more frequently than it emerges. Italian operators (82%) think that the migrants come from a Country whose culture includes gender violence, while for the operators of the other Countries in the agreement in respect of this type of argument falls to around 50% or even 30% for the Swedish operators. Also, in the perception of the operators, the women seem to be accustomed to significant levels of gender-based violence, while all operators agree on the fact that the phenomenon is still underestimated.

qualitative research Project SWIM, however, was made by Lia Lombardi, researcher at ISMU Foundation and lecturer at the University of studies of Milan, through 50 semi-structured interviews made to the managers of the reception centres of the partner countries of the project (8 in Great Britain, 10 in Sweden, 10 in France, 5 in Romania, 17 in Italy). The themes explored through the interviews were the type of structures, the characteristics of the guests of the centres, the training courses offered by the facilities and the training needs of the operators and the operators. One of the main objectives of the research was to detect the training needs of operators with respect to gender-based violence against asylum seekers and refugees. There emerged significant differences between the Countries and the centres with regard to both the organization and the management of the centres is with respect to the provision of the services, including those related to the training of the operators and to the same composition of the staff.

The project, the SWIM is carried out in 5 european Countries (France, Italy, United Kingdom, Romania and Sweden), thanks to a partnership between 7 organisations: Fondazione L'albero della Vita (project Coordinator), the Italian Red Cross, ISMU Foundation, British Red Cross, France Terre D'asile, the Swedish Red Cross, Alternative Sociale Association.

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