We stand up against violence!

The Vides Auxilium ODV Association, born in 2013 and operating in Sardinia, with offices in Guspini and Sanluri, has always had specific attention to women and their development, both from a professional and human point of view. Throughout the pandemic period you carried out the project “PER HER.I. – Work and Inclusion” supported by the Sardinia Region, Ass.to Lavoro, in response to the notice for the presentation of active inclusion experimental projects aimed at women in a state of hardship. The aim was to improve the welfare conditions of 5 women, victims of violence and residing in a sheltered structure with their children, through a multidimensional approach centered on the model of “social and community empowerment”. Knowing so intensely the life of women, some little more than girls of age, who have known violence almost always caused by their partner, has led us to implement all the actions aimed both at supporting the victims, but in a Salesian spirit, at prevention and similar behaviors do not occur.

“All these years,” says the president

Louis Serra, «also thanks to the implementation of various social projects aimed at the new generations and families, we have experienced how the best way to capture attention, especially in the new generations, is to offer a true and sincere message. Retouched photos or captivating words flood social networks daily, today to be considered the new squares of sociality. We therefore asked the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the “San Giovanni Bosco” Province, to which we belong, to collaborate with us in the creation of a manifesto, which spread both on social networks and in other ways, communicated a strong message in a simple and “family” way, according to the style of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello. Women must not feel alone, judged, with the fear of reporting after an act of violence; in the same way, the educational action to prevent violent behavior in young people, based on presumed gender superiority, must be strengthened. By educating children and young people, indirectly, we are able to reach even within families”.

Reading any report, continued the president, «we realized that young people, more than anything else, today recognize the authority of those who put their face into it, personally testifying their thoughts. Thus was born the choice, without photographic tricks, to ask a group of young FMA, to live fully, “with the face” that ENOUGH to violence against women. We wanted to accompany the image with a sentence which simultaneously encapsulates that sense of family of every Salesian house, that maternal welcome typical of one who gives oneself totally to the other and for the whole of one’s life, that proper confidence that exists between sisters”.

campaign poster

Sister Loredana Locci, councilor of the Pastoral Care of the “San Giovanni Bosco” Province, who followed the whole project as a referent of the FMA, tells the reason for this step: «We are some Sisters, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, from the Roman Province “San Giovanni Bosco” , in communion with Vides Auxilium, we have felt the duty to openly show solidarity with women who suffer all kinds of violence. As Salesian Sisters, we work especially in the educational field, following Don Bosco’s preventive system. Every day we meet numerous girls and boys, girls and boys in different educational settings: schools, professional training courses, oratories, day centres, family homes, youth centres. Our work aims to help young people develop a personal identity marked by human and Christian values, through training courses and the care of significant and humanizing educational relationships. Specifically, we seek, on the one hand, to make women aware of their value, dignity and potential, and on the other to make boys grow in greater sensitivity, awareness and respect. Accompanying emotional growth, we believe it is essential to be able to prevent violence and know how to counter it also through reporting”.

From the very acronym of the name – VIDES (International Voluntary Work for Women, Education and Development) – and from its Salesian identity, «it is evident» concludes President Serra «that the reflection necessarily leads back to two great pillars, indispensable for raising awareness of a dramatic reality such as that of violence against women and gender equality: education and development. As the Vides Auxilium Association, we are committed to developing, in all the children, teenagers, young people and families we meet with our many activities, a culture of the other, to get to know and educate themselves about diversity and hospitality. Our entire project, is enclosed by a phrase of Pope Francis, on which we have reflected and meditated: “How much violence there is against women. ENOUGH! To hurt a woman is to outrage God, who took humanity from a woman”».

We stand up against violence!