Where can I find assistance, medical treatment and support?
- In Italy, you can find assistance and obtain medical treatments in all hospitals, clinics and family counselling. These are free services and are provided to women, girls and children even when they do not possess a permit of stay or other valid IDs. Since FGMs are a serious lesion and may have serious consequences on the health and the life of the person who suffered them, the National Health Service is obliged to provide help to all those in need.
- In Italy, you can find protection and support in all the Women’s Shelters and Centres Against Domestic Violence that are present all over the country, since FGMs are a very serious form of gender-based violence.
Women’s Shelters and Centres Against Domestic violence provide:
- Assistance in getting to know your rights and the services that are available to you.
- Legal advice and assistance to:
- Apply for international protection for yourself or a girl/child under your custody
- Prevent your daughter or any other girl/child/woman from undergoing or re-undergoing the practice (in Italy, also a woman who has already suffered an FGM may request protection, since she may be “opened”, e.g. for giving birth, therefore risking a serious haemorrhage).
- Emotional, relational, psychological, social and cultural support: the qualified workers of our Women’s shelters and Centres Against Domestic Violence, with the help of cultural mediators and women interpreters if necessary, can help you decide what to do in order to protect yourself and/or your daughter, so as to live a good life, free from the threat of violence, mutilations and the emotional blackmail and pressure of your family. If necessary, our Women’s shelters and Centres Against Domestic Violence can help you build new social relationships and enter a social and professional network that may allow you to be self-sufficient and secure. You will be able to talk to many women, also from your same cultural background: women who chose to request protection and support to face the consequences of FGMs, women who chose to protect their daughters from these violent and damaging practices.
- Reception in a Women’s shelter for you, your daughters and your sons, if you can no longer stay with your family or community because they want to force you or your daughter to undergo FGMs. In Italy, many organizations that run Women’s Shelters may offer you accommodation in a safe place where you will be provided food, lodging and medical treatment, in case you were forced to leave your home to protect yourself or your daughters from gender-based violence.