Our presentation concerns the initial results of the European Project Daphne III, coordinated by the University of Cyprus and entitled: “An indirect harmful effect of violence: victimizing the child and re-victimizing the woman-mother through her child’s exposure to violence against herself”. Research priorities are domestic violence and children’s rights. In the Italian study we report some of the qualitative data drawn from testimonies and interviews of women-mothers victims of domestic violence and their awareness of the effect of violence on children. The documents collected confirm international and national evidence about: typology and reasons for the violence, violence reported to the police, tolerance level. The socio-demographic variables (age, education, occupation) explain the diverse reactions of women. In 100% of cases, the women bear the violence because of the children and defend the patriarchal family model. The violence is hidden for socio-cultural reasons. As soon as the violence involves the children the mothers break their silence and come out into the open. From their words it is clear that there is an indirect harmful effect of violence on children. Memory and experience are the secret between mother and child. Mothers ask for psychological, social and pedagogical help and hope that the children will be able to forget the episodes. Nevertheless, one of the most negative effects is that children do not want to form a family to avoid the repetition of the violence they witnessed. The next phase of research concerns the study of perceptions of children aged 10-11 examined through purposely developed scenarios. -
Sandra Chistolini (2011). The indirect harmful effect of violence as an unforgettable experience in the child’s and woman-mother’s life: a qualitative research in progress in Italy. In Mapping the Gender Equality: Research and practices - The national and international perspective (pp.59-69). NICOSIA : University of Cyprus.