Rome

Pellegrini leads fight against violence on women

Yamamay campaign 'Stop the bastard' battles abuse

Pellegrini leads fight against violence on women

(by Kate Carlisle) Rome, August 5 - Champion Italian swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Federica Pellegrini tweeted on Monday that she is lending her voice to the movement against violence suffered by women. Pellegrini is taking part in fashion house Yamamay's 'Ferma il bastardo' or 'Stop the bastard' awareness campaign battling violence and abuse inflicted on women, especially by spouses and partners. On her 25th birthday, the champion swimmer who just returned from Barcelona with a surprise silver-medal win in the 200m freestyle at the World Swimming Championships, asked her fans and followers to spread the news. Pellegrini, who is also a spokesperson for the Lingerie label, posted on her @mafaldina88 account a picture of herself with her teammates from the Italian national swimming team wearing the campaign t-shirt and wrote "Retweet please!" Yamamay has shared the powerful campaign slogan on Facebook, a dedicated webpage and also created an ad hoc hashtag #fermailbastardo. The project is informative, as well as practical with creation of a 24-hour national helpline (1522) established with the country's equal opportunities ministry. National figures for violence against women have taken on an increasingly alarming tone. Sixty-five women were killed in Italy in the first quarter of 2013, with on average a woman murdered every two-and-a-half days, the Italian psychiatric society said in July. Most of the violence occurs within the home and 90% of the abuses are not reported to the police, Yamamay emphasised. Data released in November by the Italian emergency hotline Telefono Rosa said that violence against women in relationships represents the most common form, 85%, of violence experienced by women. "We want to support and strengthen the victims, we want to give them a signal, to create a movement and a shared awareness. Sharing this message wants to be a way to react together," the company said. The three key words of the campaign are: change, solidarity, participation, Yamamay said. In June, the Italian Senate unanimously approved the 2011 Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The Istanbul Convention describes violence against women as a form of discrimination and as a violation of human rights. It also defines crimes against women that are punishable, including psychological violence, stalking, physical violence, sexual violence and rape, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, forced abortion, forced sterilization and sexual harassment. The Istanbul Convention gained political momentum in Italy after House Speaker Laura Boldrini revealed that since she had been elected to lead the Chamber earlier this year, she had become the target of a widespread threats and grotesque photomontages on the Internet. The Convention's approval makes Italy the fifth country to actually ratify the Council of Europe convention. Pellegrini stepped out of a 12-month sabbatical last week that she began after doing poorly at the 2012 London Olympics to take second place in the 200m freestyle at the World Swimming Championships with just 33 centimeters difference from the lead. The broad-smiled blond swimmer from the northern region of Veneto had not planned to defend her 200m world title that she won in 2009 and 2011. Pellegrini won gold in the 200m freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was also the 400m freestyle world champion in 2009 and 2011.

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