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The helpline 1522 during the pandemic period - IV quarter 2021

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ISTAT with this publication continues the analysis of the data contained in the data set of the public utility number 1522, against gender-based violence and stalking, provided to Department of Equal Opportunity of Presidency of Council of Ministers. Following a suggestion provided at international level, the information collected by the Italian public utility number, can provide some evidence on the domestic violence’s trend during the pandemic period, and, after a few months, also its monitoring. 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, which, in consideration of the new updated data, confirm their relevance.

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, the fourth quarter of 2021 recorded a marked increase in valid calls (from 6,858 to 11,337; +65.3%); the increase is most evident in the case of contacts via chat, which passed from 912 in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 1,761 in 2021, with an increase of +93.1%, while for contacts via telephone this represents an increase of +61% (from 5946 to 9,576). The factors that most characterize this trend are requests for information. In particular, calls for information on 1522 go from 954 to 3.739 (+292%), calls for legal information +142% and calls for information on anti-violence centers increase by 29,2%. The increase in calls from victims is much more limited (from 3,874 to 3,967; +2.4%), in particular +1.8% increase for requests for help from victims of violence.

Comparing the previous quarters of 2021, the number of valid calls, both phone and chat, increases by 38% (8,217 in Q3 2021) and by 5.7% in the case of calls from victims (3,752 third quarter 2021).

The increase in correspondence with the fourth quarter is imputable to the day of “Violence against women” on November 25th, which as every year registers peaks in contacts with 1522, thanks also to the sensibility campaigns in correspondence with this event. It is relevant to note, in fact, that in the period between November 20 and December 2 in years 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 valid calls represent respectively 26.7%, 22.3%, 27.2% and 32.3% of the total valid calls of the reference quarter. The largest increase in 2021, +96.5% compared to the same period in 2020 (3,066 in 2021- 1866 in 2020), is mainly related to the increased familiar with 1522, as visible from the analysis of call motivations (+355.4% request for information on 1522; + 294.1% requests on legal information) and to the +171.3% of requests for help not strictly related to violence (off-target requests).

For victims, the reasons that lead them to contact the toll-free number are requests for help and reports of cases of violence, which together make up 31% (3,586). Calls for Information about Anti-Violence Centers increased to 14.3% (up 61.4% from the previous quarter).
People who called 1522 for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2021 are 84.8%, a figure that remains constant compared to the previous quarters and slightly lower than the same period in 2020. Among victims this rate reaches 91.7%.

Victims who contacted 1522 reported suffering multiple types of violence in 68.7% of cases (specifically, 2 in 24.1% and 3 or more forms of violence in 44.6% of cases). When victims contact 1522, they most frequently report physical violence as the primary violence they suffer, but when considering all forms of violence suffered, psychological violence is the most common.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, over 56.7% of victims report that they have been experiencing violence for years, a rate that is slightly lower than both the previous quarter (57.2%) and the respective quarter of 2020 (58.4%).

The 1522 service performs an important function as a hub at the territorial level between services to support those who turn to it: 68.8% of victims in the fourth quarter of 2021 were referred to a territorial service and of these 93.5% (equal to 2,553 victims) were sent to an Anti-Violence Center, a figure that is an increase compared to the previous quarter.

Tables report information: on the type of users that addresses the service articulated at regional level, the timing of calls, the places and forms of violence, as well as the effects generated by it both directly on victims and children (witnessing violence), reporting, where available, information details of social and personal data and providing information on the outcomes of the call.


More information

Service Population Register, demographic statistics and living conditions

Alessandra Capobianchi

Claudia Villante

Maria Giuseppina Muratore

Reference period: IV quarter 2021

Date of Issue: 13 May 2022