Differenza Donna - Progetto FUTURE

FuTuRE – “Fostering Tools of Resiliance and Emersion of GBV with intersectional perspective" is a European project financed with CERV (Citizen, Equality, Rights and Value) funds that sees Differenza Donna, lead partner, and University of Tuscia and University of Rome "La Sapienza", partners, engaged in the prevention and fight against gender-based violence, with a specific focus on violence in intimate relationships and multiple discrimination, through the updating and strengthening of procedures and methodologies for assessing the risk of recidivism and self-assessment of risk, starting from a gender, intersectional and inclusive perspective of children's rights, also taking into account the critical issues that have emerged following the COVID-19 pandemic.

This will involve professionals in a common network, reinforcing knowledge, methodologies, skills and creating shared thinking to produce change and offer adequate responses in an integrated, multi-agency perspective.

Within the framework of a European Union project, in 2003 Differenza Donna introduced, validated and disseminated in the Italian context the Guide to Spousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA-C project, Daphne programme 2003). Subsequently, within another EU-funded project, it developed a scale for risk self-assessment (ISA - Increasing self-awareness, Daphne programme 2006).

Today, about 20 years later, male violence against women perpetrated in intimate relationships is manifested through ancient as well as new ways of acting it and exerting control over women (e.g., through Internet, digital devices and social media), just as increased knowledge and awareness of the risks associated with intersectionality has increased, while economic and social phenomena have exacerbated violence against women, in particular the 2008 economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks to the FuTuRE project the experience gained with the previous European projects Daphne SARA-C and ISA coordinated by Differenza Donna in the 2000s, and their results, will be further developed by integrating the changes in the dynamics of male violence against women and highlighting the new challenges and strategies that need to be addressed. In this way, it will be possible to provide women with an accurate risk assessment to strengthen their awareness and facilitate effective accompaniment and access to rights, the institutional network and local services.

FuTuRE aims, in fact, to respond to specific critical issues that have emerged from Differenza Donna's experience of more than thirty years of work in prevention, combating gender-based violence and supporting women, criticalities also highlighted by reports and studies at national, European and international level.

According to the EIGE (European Institute for Gender Equality) it is "recommended that risk assessment tools be used in combination with a variety of other sources of information, including women's characteristics and perceptions of risk" and "risk assessment tools must be sufficiently flexible and dynamic to take into account the unique risks that may be associated with specific groups of women such as migrant women, refugee women, older women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex individuals and women with disabilities' (Risks Assessment and management of intimate partner violence in the EU, 2019).

Although the EIGE and other national and international bodies and organisations indicate how these aspects should be taken into account in risk assessment procedures, no specific and detailed guidelines on the subject have yet been produced.

For this reason, FuTuRE proposes to develop guidelines for the integrated use of up-to-date risk assessment tools and methodologies that will be essential for all professionals dealing with women, from anti-violence centres to law enforcement agencies, from the judiciary to social services, in order to define synergic risk assessment methodologies and procedures, without underestimating aspects that could be important alarm bells to prevent the recurrence of abuse and to avert feminicide. This makes it possible to envisage effective strategies for risk management and for the reduction and elimination of future violence, using a shared language that can be understood by all.




GUIDE LINES for the assessment and self-assessment of the risk of recidivism of male violence against women in intimate relationships:
Download FuTuRE_Guidelines_ENG.pdf


Specific objectives of the project are:

  • The updating of risk assessment tools for recidivism risk assessment (SARA) and risk self-assessment (ISA), starting from a gender and intersectional perspective and taking into account the rights of children, as well as critical issues that have emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;

  • The promotion of the integrated use of risk assessment and self-assessment tools and methodologies by different actors and professionals;

  • The strengthening of professionals' skills in risk assessment and in providing appropriate responses;

  • The promotion of multi-agency cooperation based on risk assessment and through innovative protocols;

  • Awareness-raising of professionals on the importance of risk assessment and multi-agency cooperation;

  • Awareness-raising and empowerment of women victims of intimate partner violence through the dissemination of inclusive risk self-assessment tools.

The main project actions include:

  • A survey activity, coordinated by the University of Tuscia and University of Rome "La Sapienza", aimed at collecting information on specific risk and vulnerability factors and to the criticalities that have emerged from the pandemic, in order to increase the relevance of risk assessment tools for women victims of intimate partner violence and multiple discrimination, and to the criticalities that have emerged from the pandemic, but also analysis of secondary data with respect to access to anti-violence services and possible gaps;

  • Updating of risk assessment tools (SARA and ISA), testing and development of guidelines for the use of the tools with women victims of intimate partner violence and multiple discrimination.

  • Translation of ISA into 15 languages and augmentative communication.

  • Capacity building activities conducted at local (Rome and Salerno) and national level on risk assessment procedures and methodologies;

  • Workshops and development of recommendations aimed at strengthening multi-agency cooperation;

  • Awareness-raising and communication through the dissemination of project results, press releases, press conferences and public events;

  • Dissemination campaign of the ISA risk self-assessment tool which, translated into 15 languages and in augmentative communication, will be available and fillable online.

Project activities were also conceived and will be implemented in order to ensure replicability in other European and international countries.