Events, Equal opportunities, Research and innovation
- 5 minutes
SUPSI's Applied Psychology Competence Center with the Continuing Education of the Department of Business Economics, Health and Social Care (DEASS-SUPSI), the city of Mendrisio and Zonaprotetta have organized two appointments on the theme of violence with the container title What kind of violence.The theme was first declined to language-related aspects during the event Deconstructing stereotypes: what role of education and communication, which was held in Mendrisio in October. The next event will deal more specifically with domestic violence, in the conference to be held on November 28 in the Aula magna of the Trevano Study Center.
This important event will bring into dialogue the interventions and contributions of those who work in contact with victims of domestic violence. The voices of intervention network operators, specialists in the clinical, social and legal fields, and researchers in the field will offer practitioners in the socio-health field an overview of the tools to be developed to understand the phenomenon but also to better intervene in the reception of victims of domestic violence.
Ideally supporting the themes of this conference is the research, funded in part at the federal level by the Office for Gender Equality (UFU), that SUPSI's Center for Applied Psychology recently completed and delivered. The research was concerned with exploring the management of victims of domestic violence in our canton's emergency rooms. The results will be presented for the first time just inside the November 28 day.
From left: Lorenzo Pezzoli Head of the SUPSI Applied Psychology Competence Center, Elisa Milani, Cinzia Campello and Antonietta Colubriale Carone.
Domestic violence, also called Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) to specify the context within which it manifests itself, is a challenging reality for social and health services and the professionals who work with them, of great impact for those who suffer it because, among other things, it affects the freedom and access to resources by those who are victims. Working in this area presupposes specific skills to recognize its manifestations, intervening appropriately and effectively in favor of the victim; but it also requires timely knowledge of the social-health network with the possibilities of access to support and help facilities in the area that it can offer. Finally, it also requires special resources on the part of the workers active in these areas, resources that pertain to sensitivity and the ability to accommodate in the appropriate way the people involved in the dynamics of violence, resources that need specific and constant care and support so that the skills and knowledge acquired can really be spent to the best advantage.
Talking about domestic and gender-based violence
What does it mean today to talk about domestic and gender-based violence? First and foremost, it means recognizing a reality that has a significant impact within society, that burdens the existence of the individuals and families involved, a reality that affects the quality of life, well-being and mental health of those affected.
The suffering that domestic violence produces and nurtures is a pervasive and insidious suffering; it goes to affect the very place where a person should consider himself or herself safe and secure. Indeed, the "domestic" with which the word violence is paired refers to the home. That such a phenomenon develops in a space commonly designated as a place of care and tranquility, of welcome and protection, can only exacerbate its impact, sending into crisis the normal systems of reference to which we cling when things are not going well.
In the phenomena of domestic violence, there is, unfortunately, a progressive impoverishment of the victim's social network as she loses contact with her referral network, friendships and family members. She is isolated and disincentivized to openness and contact with the outside world in favor of an isolation that then short-circuits the actual possibilities of the woman involved seeking help when the violence begins to manifest or escalate.
When endured and suffered, domestic violence opens up several fronts of the victimological dimension.Domestic violence is a complex and multidimensional phenomenon, far from being reducible to beatings and wounds, bruises and fractures. The violence that leaves marks on the body is not the only manifestation of domestic violence, which instead is often preceded and accompanied by other manifestations of violence that progressively converge also (but not only) in the "bruising" violence. However, it does not stop or end at them: there is psychological violence that leaves deep wounds. Violence played on control, threats, mockery and denigration, even to the point of humiliation; then there is verbal violence that, even in its specificities, mixes and blends with psychological violence.
Words, as was covered in the first round of proposed initiatives, carry weight and impact, connote the representation of the other, can strip him of his dignity. Sexual violence represents a further declination of violence; just as economic violence is also noted where the partner's control of resources and possibilities for autonomy pins the victim in a subordinate position devoid of possibilities and freedom.
Each of these manifestations of violence leaves specific marks, traces that the trained specialist can recognize and with respect to which he or she can move in the most appropriate, respectful and delicate way if he or she has acquired the right skills, assimilated the necessary knowledge and cultivated adequate self-care to keep always active the sensitivity and availability necessary for the acceptance of even very painful and emotionally difficult contents and situations.The victim of domestic violence, in fact, to the suffering suffered in the couple dynamic, adds the development of problems on various fronts. There are the more obvious (but never obvious) ones on the physical level both in the short term related to the direct action of violence in its various forms and those, again on the physical level, that drag on over time;there are those that manifest themselves on the psychological level where there is not only the spectrum of depressive and anxiety disorders, but other manifestations are encountered including the typical symptomatology of post-traumatic stress disorder as well as the attempt, through the use of substances (alcohol in primis) or excessive and problematic eating to manage and contain the psychological distress.
An opportunity for discussion
The day on November 28 can become an opportunity to confront these issues, to share experiences and good practices present in this field in other cantonal realities as well, to give voice to difficult issues not only because they are clinically and professionally complex, but also because they carry with them the shadows of a society that risks losing sight of deep suffering because it does not cultivate the tools to recognize and welcome it.