Bon't Worry convention for Italy's women's day

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ROME - A fundraiser will be held in Vernice’s Palazzo Cà Vendramin Calergi at 7pm on Nov. 25. The event is held by the NGO Bon’t Worry, a women rights’ organisation, in celebration of Italy’s women’s day. While the organisation is dedicated to tackling physical violence, their central concern for the night is harassment.

 Fittingly, given the recent scandals in Hollywood, the idea of harassment is more relevant than ever. Bon’t Worry has cited the statistic that 18 percent of the female European population has been harassed online since adolescence. The 9 million total that this statistic represent are mostly aged between 18 and 24. Threats, slander, defamation, and identity theft are just some of the issues that a staggering number of women must endure in their daily lives, helped largely by the anonymity of the internet.

 "Offences against women are not just physical, but also psychological, economic, and facelessly perpetrated through social networks which drag the victims in an eternal silence,”  says Bo Guerreschi, economist and founder of the charity.

 "Requests for to change identity from women persecuted in recent years in Italy number in their thousands, many of them go abroad for personal safety and invent a new name and a new identity,” she continued, “it is absurd that the internet, a place for listening and sharing, can turn into a double-edged sword in which slander and defamation can thrive. This is because in Italy there is no organic law to protect the victims of crime. Only the Ferrara 71/2017 law on cyber bullying has introduced, and while more attention must be paid to the subject, we hope it will soon be applied."

 Bon’t worry’s purpose is to get women out of bad situations. Italy, unfortunately, is a country in which many complaints fall on deaf ears. The NGO offers victims a safe place while waiting to resume their life and provides a network of competent professionals of lawyers, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and law enforcement. Certainly, work of this kind is necessary in a country that has “in the realm of 11 rapes a day, without considering crimes against minors, murder/femicide.”

 Since the NGO was founded in 2015, they have taken charge of 13 children and 150 women. While these may sound like modest numbers in the face of the thousands abused and harassed, the safety of 163 in the hands of those who are able to rebuild their lives is no small task.

 Bo founded the charity after having endured years of domestic violence. Despite being a professional woman, a mother, and a strong personality, she recounts how she was physically punished by her ex-husband, at times by gunpoint. 60 percent of the cases that come to Bon’t worry are the kinds of torment that Bo herself had to overcome. Around 30 percent of the cases are worse still, involving rape and paedophilia. Clearly this work is of immediate importance for large swathes of the population of this country and the culture as a whole.