Helpdesk against gender based violence

The service offers a protected environment for counselling and providing support for the various forms of violence that can occur both within and outside the university, by partners, family members, acquaintances and strangers.

Who it’s for

The service is aimed at the entire Bologna university community: students, professional staff, teaching and research staff, collaborators of the University in their various capacities, CEL, readers, tutors, language trainers and research fellows.

What it offers

The service is free of charge and offers:

  • one-to-one interviews with an expert on male and gender violence, in a safe environment, where anyone that has suffered or witnessed violence can be given counselling, support, information and talk about their experience
  • telephone helpline, even in an emergency, with the possibility of starting, with the consent of the person involved, an online support program, involving the various services available in the Metropolitan City (Social and health services, law enforcement agencies, other Associations and entities in general, that can help the person to get out of the situation of violence)
  • activation of the emergency procedure, where necessary, in order to immediately protect the person who has suffered violence, after a risk assessment carried out by the expert operator
  • information on the services, reference figures and institutional bodies of the University regarding violence and gender discrimination
  • initial orientation and basic information on the legal aspects and on the most appropriate ways to contact the competent authorities (Law Enforcement, Lawyers and Courts)
  • information and contacts with the network of services and specialised local associations for more complex situations that require a multidisciplinary intervention and different skills
  • liaison with the network of services and specialised local associations for handling more complex situations that require multidisciplinary intervention and different professional figures.

The helpdesk operates in compliance with the right to anonymity, the rights of the person and any witnesses and the confidentiality of the data and information acquired.

The helpdesk is managed by the Women's Refuge in Bologna. The helpdesk adopts an intersectional approach that considers violence and discrimination of all kinds. It is aimed at those who have suffered or who are subjected to violence, from the most serious to the most hidden forms, including gender discrimination, sexism, harassment related to gender affiliation, identity and sexual orientation.

The approach and the programs are personalized to prevent standardization of the proposed interventions, since each situation is individual and personal. The helpdesk offers a risk assessment based on the history and experience of violence of the person requesting the service.

The helpdesk is also available remotely to ensure the service is provided from a multi-campus perspective. It is also available in English. 

How to apply for the service

The helpdesk is available by appointment by contacting the service via e-mail, phone or WhatsApp.