Maltreatment in the family: what to do to get out of it

Violence against women is still a current drama today. The statistics are chilling. The United Nations estimates that one in three women in the world has experienced physical or sexual violence, in most cases by the partner or a family member.
And the Del Paese is certainly not excluded from this phenomenon.

We interviewed the psychologist Luisanna Porcu, of the Onda Rosa association of Nuoro, one of the anti-violence centers of the DiRe network (Women on the Net against violence), to find out what steps must be taken to get out of a situation of domestic violence.

1 Understand that you are experiencing violence

"A woman is mistreated when she suffers from her partner or husband such bullying that aims to destroy her personality. It is not just about beatings and insults, which could also occur during a quarrel in a very conflicting couple, where, however, the relationship of the two partner remains on the same level.

In violence against women, however, the relationship is always asymmetrical: the man is in a position of power towards his partner and between the two there is no possibility of dialogue. The woman cannot express herself freely and she is afraid. And the violence is not exclusively physical, but it can also be only verbal (ie made of threats), economic or sexual "she says the expert.

2 Women often find themselves isolated

The woman who is subjected to violence is often very lonely. Indeed the violent man first distances her from his affections: by family, by friends who are often denigrated and insulted. And the woman, to avoid quarrels, begins to limit her acquaintances. So she quickly ends up being isolated.

At this point man begins to devalue it, to make her believe that she alone is unable to do anything ... And after a while she too begins to believe that her husband's words are true.

3 Be aware that a violent man does not change

It is often difficult for a woman to take the first step to get out of such a situation. Both for this situation of her loneliness, and because the violence is not always daily, but it is cyclical. The abusive partner can say that he has repented, that he will no longer behave like this, that tomorrow will be different. And a woman, at least at first, believes it.

But when he realizes that tomorrow will be no different, then it's time to act: pick up the phone and call an anti-violence center.

4 The first thing to do is to call an anti-violence center

When a woman can't take it anymore and has decided to talk to someone about the violence she suffers it is very important that you do this with the right people. Talking about it with those who are not familiar with it can lead to a negative outcome. Friends, family, doctors, etc. they are not good: a specialized center is needed.

An expert will answer the phone, prepared to welcome the woman's experience and ready to direct her on the right path to take.

5 Then an individual interview is arranged

After an initial assessment made by telephone, you can decide to arrange an interview at the center where we study together, woman and experts, a way out of violence.

"These interviews are done only with the party who has suffered violence, it is not family mediation, where a conflicting couple can ask and rightly receive help. In family mediation work, the two parties are addressed as if they were on the same level. in case of violence, as we have already said, the two sides are not on the same level. Violence is a very serious crime. Therefore we work on the removal of the mistreated.

Here women are given the tools to be able to fully realize themselves. On the basis of personal desires and objectives, paths of freedom are identified. Furthermore, every woman is free to decide whether to report the abusive partner. She doesn't have to, if she wants to, if she doesn't, "says Luisanna Porcu.

6 In case of danger there are shelters

When a woman decides to end the relationship, the violence could escalate. In these cases they are proposed shelters: they are places of protection, secret addresses, where women can stay safe, together with other women.

7 If you have children you can take them with you: a declaration of expulsion is enough

"Mothers can distance themselves from the abusive father by taking their children with them without necessarily going through a complaint. A 'declaration of expulsion' is enough, in which they declare that they have to go away with their children due to a serious situation. In this way the woman protects herself from the accusation of child abduction"explains the expert.


Words that hurt children

go to the gallery

The idea behind the "Weapon of Choice" project, the choice of weapon, is to create a visual representation of the emotional damage that verbal insults can do.

8 The violent man is often a normal person and well integrated into society

But who is the man who mistreats a woman? It is not a madman, nor a sick person. He is almost always a 'normal' person with a 'normal' job; he does not come from uncomfortable situations and belongs to all social classes.

"At the base of these behaviors there is a cultural problem and not a security problem. Family values, school, even some television programs ... have meant that there are still power imbalances between the sexes in favor of the male. The Del Paesena company is very backward on this point: just think that until the 60s it was legal to beat one's wife".

Furthermore, while murders committed by men against men in recent years have dropped, murders of women, on the other hand, do not decrease.

2022 was a black year for femicides, with 179 women killed, one victim every two days, compared to 157 in 2022. The number of women killed increased by 14%. This was revealed by EURES in the second report on femicide in Del Paese. Eighty-one women, 66,4% of the victims of femicide in the family, found death at the hands of their spouse, partner or ex-partner; mostly at the hands of the husband or cohabitant (55, equal to 45,1%), followed by the ex-spouses / ex-partners (18 victims, equal to 14,8%) and non-cohabitating partners (8 victims, equal to 6,6%).

9 Very strong women ready to rebuild their lives

Women who have endured years of violence are very strong women and when they manage to break away from violence, they become aware of their strength and are ready to embark on a new life, without fear. Although her partner has humiliated them for years by telling them they can't do anything, as soon as they break away from their abusive husband, they manage to do everything very well by themselves.

"The results of the women who pass through the anti-violence centers are incredible: they redesign a new life and feel fulfilled again." says the expert.

10 In the centers solidarity between women is discovered in a relationship that is finally equal

In the Anti-violence Centers that are part of the DiRe network (Women on the Net against violence) women experience the solidarity of other women, those who have already made it and those who, like them, have just started a path to get out of it. Furthermore, even the experts of the centers, psychologists and lawyers, establish an equal relationship that helps the woman to fulfill herself and no longer feel like a victim.

"Unfortunately, there are also institutional centers for help for women that are still based on an asymmetrical doctor-patient relationship, where the woman is the victim. the centers that adhere to DiRe have signed the 'National Charter of Anti-violence Centers': here the woman is at the center, considered not a victim, but 'in a temporary state of difficulty' ".

Updated on 23.11.2022

  • violence women
  • violent men
  • what to do in case of partner violence
  • anti-violence centers against women
  • get away from a violent man
  • like walking away from an abusive partner
  • leave an abusive partner
  • leaving home with children in the event of violence
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