May 7, 2021

Help domestic abuse survivors in Italy with tech - Presenting Project Radia

19. This is the number of women killed by their partner or ex-partner in Italy since the beginning of 2021 - and unfortunately, this figure will be outdated very soon. 

On the first anniversary of the earliest lockdown measures, Italy is firmly in the grip of the so-called third wave of infections and the situation of domestic violence and abuse is as critical as ever. For some women, quarantine meant being forced home with their abusers and fewer chances to seek external help, and the abrupt switch to a mainly online life allowed abusers to deploy new ways of control and harassment in digital form, utterly obscure to most survivors. In this already frightening scenario, a report published by The Italian National Institute of Statistics in January revealed that out of the 101k jobs lost during the pandemic, 98% were lost by women, worsening the conditions for the spread of the economic abuse phenomenon.

Continuing the work of the past year, we kept expanding our knowledge of gender-based tech-enabled abuse, reading reports, cases and international literature on this topic, while our operation team focused on the course production, from tech tools to comms and reach out campaigns.  

WE’RE LIVE!

Thanks to an amazing team effort, we’re thrilled to announce that our project is finally out in the world, with a shiny visual identity and a brand new name: Radia, named after the engineer and mathematician Radia Perlman, one of the very few women involved in the work that laid the foundation of the Internet. 

In the first phase of the project, we will provide online training to Frontline workers of women's aid centres to better support women fighting tech-enabled violence.   

Simultaneously for the past few months, we worked hard to revamp our website to offer the best service and experience possible to women escaping domestic abuse, optimizing it with the feedback gathered from survivors, experts and activists. We finally launched strumenticontrolaviolenza.org in February, a website that focuses on resources for survivors, and we migrated all the information on Chayn Italia, our projects, campaigns and more in our brand new institutional website www.chaynitalia.org

Links:

Jan 11, 2021

Help domestic abuse survivors in Italy with tech. Activities Report 2

What have we been up to?


In sum:

  • we have developed contacts with experts and feminist activists to strenghten our  trainings with a focus on IPV and technology  in the light of the changes related to the Covid-19 crisis; 
  • We plan and structured an online team upskilling with an expert on cybersecurity and technology with a focus on the changes brought about by the Covid-19 crisis;
  • We drafted the structure of the training and the elaboration of materials that will be used during the course;
  • We launched a social campaign, an instagram direct and a Fb online event  focused on non consensual sharing of intimate images, expecially in occasion of The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25th November);

In the last months of this difficult 2020 the Working Group on this project continues the preparatory work for the project Help domestic abuse survivors in Italy with tech. 

In the past few months the Working Group has focused on self-training in tech. In particular, the Online Training team has organized self-training sessions, to be carried out by all members of the Project Working Group, with activists and experts in tech and violence. The aim is to further deepen our knowledge on the issue and on developments that have taken place since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in tech use provoked by COVID-19, unfortunately also with respect to domestic violence.

These training sessions will take place in two ways. The first will involve a set of experts from different sectors and different professional backgrounds selected by the Working Group (sociologists, cyber activists, lawyers) and will take place through interviews geared at analysing and gathering all changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic in our focus area.

The second will involve the participation of the members of the Working Group in a training session held by a cyber security and digital technologies expert. This training will be focused on enhancing our knowledge of stalkerware, privacy and use of IoTs within abusive relationships. 

The knowledge gained and renewed thanks to these trainings will complement and strengthen the needs assessment work carried out in the last months with the anti-violence centers, thanks to which the Working Group has started to structure the course that will be carried out and the materials and content that will be used in this activity.

We have done a lot of communications work in these past few months. There have been some truly unpleasant news stories in Italy concerning various forms of gender-based violence that prompted us to set up moments of information-sharing and sensitization on the subject of digital violence, with a particular focus on the issue of non-consensual dissemination of sexual content and on the construction of solidarity and support networks.

The pandemic has brought to the attention of Italian mass media, more than has occurred in the past, how the web can be used as a space through which violence is carried out. Recognising these dynamics and creating mechanisms to contrast them (such as the solidarity and support provided by anti-violence centres) have been at the heart of our public interventions.

Through Instagram live broadcasts, online Facebook events, presentations at university seminars and participation in panels at National Festivals on gender violence, the comms team of Chayn Italia has been dedicated to sharing the knowledge we have acquired in recent years on digital violence, creating moments of debate and exchange with various feminist realities in Italy and reaching a wide audience.

These communication activities have been, in addition to a tool for dissemination of expertise, also an opportunity to involve and get in touch with associations and individuals (experts, teachers, activists, etc..) who have shown an interest in the issue of digital violence, making further clear the need to continue to stimulate a debate on this topic and carry out targeted and shared actions to combat it. 

Sep 14, 2020

Help domestic abuse survivors in Italy with tech. Activities report 1

Our faces when we found out we were receiving fund
Our faces when we found out we were receiving fund

What have we been up to?


In sum:

  • We created a Working Group which will be in charge of structuring and planning the online courses, establishing respective roles of coordination and facilitation of the courses;
  • We mapped the women’s shelters that could potentially benefit from and be interested in the training;
  • We carried out interviews with women’s shelters to map out their training needs;
  • We participated in an online Training organized specifically for us to enhance our knowledge on creating online training courses that are interactive and dynamic.

In the month of June Chayn Italia established a GlobalGiving Working Group that will develop and participate in the project Help domestic abuse survivors in Italy with tech. The Working Group is organised and divided in the following areas of work and operation:

  • Project Coordination: This area deals with overseeing and supervising the overall project, to ensure communication between the different areas and to liaise with the women’s shelters.
  • Administration: This area is tasked with the financial and administrative management of the project.
  • Online Training: This area plans and prepares the tools to carry out the training with women’s shelters.
  • Communication: This area is in charge of managing social media, press office, organisation of events to present the training workshops.

Having organised our Working Group in these different areas, the respective teams got straight to work. First, the Project Coordination and Online Training teams mapped various women’s shelters spread across Italy that could be interested in and benefit from our online training workshops, particularly in light of the important changes and adjustments they have had to make due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, most notably towards increased reliance on technological devices and remote working.

To carry out this mapping activity, we knew it was crucial to get information directly from women’s shelters as to their specific needs, operational contexts and unique challenges they might be facing. To collect this information in a structured and uniform manner, we drafted an online questionnaire with eight questions aimed at understanding how the shelters’ work and operations had been impacted by the health emergency. The questions specifically evaluate the strategies and tools turned to by the shelters to continue to guarantee their availability and responsiveness to requests for assistance, how survivors were reacting to these new approaches, the main obstacles faced and the level of know-how in the safe use of these technologies. The questionnaire also sought to identify where and how Chayn might provide support, especially in the use of digital tools.

Meanwhile, the Communications team was in charge of spreading the questionnaire online in order to reach a greater number of women’s shelters. So far we have received questionnaires from 15 women’s shelters in different Italian cities (Rome and the Lazio province, Venice, Messina, Caserta, Trieste, Gorizia and others).

To have the broadest possible view of what women’s shelters are facing across the different regions of the country and complement the information received via the questionnaires, we also carried out 11 phone interviews with operators and volunteers of women’s shelters. This has also been crucial in gaining a sense of their potential interest in receiving our online training. We continue to liaise directly with the shelters to ensure the outcome of our activities responds to their concrete needs.

From this information, the Project Coordination team elaborated a Needs Assessment, which identifies the areas in which Chayn Italia can provide a contribution. In particular, our course will focus on how to use digital communication methods in a safe and secure way, and how to insert these methods in the support processes which women’s shelters provide for women who have lived or are living abusive relationships.

In the month of June the Working Group participated in a day of training to facilitate the virtual courses. The objective of the workshop Train the Trainers was to gain tools and strategies aimed at providing online courses in a participatory way, through accessible and stable digital platforms and through methodologies based on Experiential learning. Thanks to this workshop, the Chayn Italia team was able to enhance its skills in structuring an agenda for online training, its ideal duration and rhythm of the sessions, strategies to render the training as inclusive as possible and how to deal with the most common technological hiccups. 

In the coming months, the Chayn Italia team will be dedicated to the design and development phase of the online classes to be provided to women’s shelters: we will be planning and structuring the classes, realising lesson plans, elaborating materials that will be used during the course and preparing our invites.

 

 

 
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