Anti-violence centres

Trust the anti-violence centres of Lombardy. You will find a network of women, all professionals, to welcome you, provide advice, defend and protect you.


Recognise violence

There are various forms of violence, and they are often concealed.
The first step is to recognise them.

For more information

Violence against women: how it manifests

Violence against women almost always occurs within domestic walls, and the most likely attackers are the partner, a former partner or other known men.

Violence against women unveils in different forms that cannot always be easily identified: violence is not only physical or sexual abuse but also psychological and financial.
Violence against women develops gradually, almost always in a crescendo in cycles.

The intensity of violent episodes increases in daily life until tension reaches a climax and expresses itself with an outburst. This is followed by a calm period until the next episode of threats, verbal aggression, humiliation, beating, homicide.

After the episode of violence, the abuser almost always calms down, «seeks forgiveness» and swears that it will never happen again, but this will not be the case.

The hope that the partner will change, that everything «will be the same as before», is often the main reason that keeps women victims of abuse by the side of their violent partner.

The woman who is subjected to violence often finds it difficult to recognise that she is experiencing violence. She will minimise it, she will feel guilty and she will conceal what is happening to her, living in a condition of anxiety and intense psychological unease.

Violence against women is one of the main causes of death of women worldwide without distinctions of age, standard of education or social status.
In Italy, every three days a woman is killed by her current or former partner.


In 2015 in Lombardy 3,950 women contacted an anti-violence centre or service. 63.2% are Italian citizens, 6.3% are from EU countries and the remaining 30.5% are from non-European countries. The mean age is 40.5 years, about 60% are either married or cohabiting women, and 48.7% has at least one son or a daughter who is a minor. The majority of them are educated women with medium-high educational level, and more than 50% is employed.

In 59% of cases, the abuser is a spouse, a cohabitant or a fiancé, in 20.8% it is a former husband, former cohabitant, former fiancé. Women know about the centre especially through the Internet (17.1%) or through a network of relations or acquaintances (15%).

In two thirds of cases, women themselves established the first contact. The first contact of the woman is especially focused on obtaining general information (50.6%), requesting legal information (43.8%), needing a listening ear (43.7%), and, to a lesser degree, psychological listening (23.7%).

62% of women accepted by the centre in 2015 are in contact with at least one actor of the Local Anti-Violence Network: carabinieri (armed corps) (25.8%), municipal social worker (19.1%), Emergency Department (14.2%), family planning clinic (6.9%) and public safety (6.4%).

In 59% of cases, the author of violence is the partner (spouse, cohabitant or fiancé).

The forms of violence suffered by women are multiple: psychological violence (73.3% of women in 2015), physical violence (66%), financial violence (26.2%).