Interview with Laura De Dilectis, Association DonnexStrada
The Press Office of the Global Campus of Human Rights asked one of the winners of Women of Europe Awards and founder of the civil society association DonnexStrada Laura De Dilectis about her work to help women victims of gender violence and for their safety in the streets.
Can you tell us more about yourself and where did the idea of creating the association Donnexstrada came from?
Donnexstrada was born in March 2021 after Sarah Everard was kidnapped, raped and killed in London. On a Sunday morning I woke up and learned about the facts. Anger and the desire to do something immediately meant that the project was born in a natural way, quickly putting down a draft which I later launched as project on social media and which today is known as donnexstrada, an association against gender violence and for women’s safety in the streets.
What kind of support does the association provide and how is it developing on the national territory?
The association offers legal, psychological and soon also nutritional and gynecological support services. We want to work and help women and beyond, at 360 degrees. Our projects vary from interventions on the streets and in the cities with our “Punti Viola” (commercial spaces sensitized against violence), to collaborations with institutions and companies, awareness and information campaigns and so on. We have always been present at a national level thanks to our volunteers and associates present throughout Italy.
What are the biggest challenges you faced in educating and raising awareness about gender-based violence and discrimination?
To date, people welcome donnexstrada’s initiatives with great enthusiasm, many are ready to participate in this common project that wants to change things. The biggest challenge is the planning and the economic one, given that the fight against violence and all the projects designed by donnexstrada need support and sustainability. Those who have chosen to dedicate their time and work to combating violence should be supported and valued with concrete actions.
What value do you place on human rights education to help solve these challenges?
I believe that talking about human rights is talking about a gaze and a sensitivity which are the necessary conditions to be able to intervene, but also the answer. It is important to see the other, to create dialogue, to fight to change things, to get angry if such basic rights are not guaranteed. In 2021 I realized that women are not free to walk on the street and that we still don’t have this essential right. It is clear that there is a problem. Until human rights are guaranteed we will not be able to talk about progress. We must start from here and not stop until we obtain freedom and the right to life and not to be killed on the street or at home.
Can you leave a message for the faculty, alumni, students and staff of the Global Campus of Human Rights?
I want to thank you for this important invitation and I am honored. I thank anyone who has chosen not to be indifferent and to be that voice that makes many other people’s voice resonate. We are a society and realizing this gives us a great opportunity to do something. I leave you with a phrase quoted on social media by professor emeritus Philip Zimbardo: I said “Somebody should do something about that.” Then I realized I am somebody.
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