Istat carried out an analysis of the data contained in the dataset of the helpline 1522 in the period between March and June 2020. Following a suggestion provided at international level, the information collected by the Italian helpline promoted and managed by the Department of Equal Opportunity of Presidency of Council of Ministers against violence and stalking, can provide some evidence on the domestic violence’s trend during the pandemic period. In the absence of an updated statistical study carried out in real time, in fact, the analysis of data from calls to 1522, especially if compared with the same period of previous years, can provide useful indications on the evolution of the phenomenon during the lockdown, especially on the trend of requests for help. The awareness campaigns promoted by the Department of Equal Opportunities of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers on television channels and relaunched on social media between the end of March and April have reinforced the message of the importance of the request for help to get out of the violence.
The number of both telephone and chat calls in the period between March and June 2020 more than doubled compared to the same period of the previous year (+119.6%), going from 6,956 to 15,280. On the other hand, calls made for unintentional errors (703) and for intentional errors, those made as a joke (3,585) or simply to harass (766), aimed at denigrating the help and support function of 1522, decreased. The increase in chat help requests has increased fivefold from 417 to 2,666 messages. In addition to requests for help from victims of violence (4,899 calls, or 32.1% of all valid calls), calls for information on the type of services offered since 1522 also increased (3,655, or 23.9%). The helpline during the lockdown period, also provided information and advice to various and heterogeneous needs for help, indicating useful numbers for social and psychological support (2,979, equal to 19.5% of the total), as evidence of the “proximity” function that this service provided in a particular moment of crisis. While 77.2% of the victims were sent to other services.
The tables provide information on the type of users that address the service at a regional level, on the timing, places and forms of violence, as well as on the effects generated both directly on victims and children (witnessing violence), reporting, where available, personal and socio-economic information details and providing indications on the outcomes of the call.
Note. On the 27th of October 2020 tables 8,9 and 11 were replaced with data disaggregated by province.
Maria Giuseppina Muratore