Photograph by Denise Beckwith
“I am 34 years old, I have a sister and a brother, and the lady you saw over there is my mother. Unfortunately, my father passed away in 2010. For us it’s very important, because everyone else hid it under a rock and we want to speak out. We made this path, and we worked hard to help other women, to help their struggle against their double violence.
When I was younger, a man approached me while I was waiting for the train to go home. He was a homeless man came up to me, and he started to bother me and harass me. My mother couldn’t find me, and I was able to run off and catch the train. My mother finally found me, but I couldn’t be touched, I was afraid and so I didn’t tell her from the start that I was raped. I had to calm down and wait a while. I told her that night that someone had violated me, bothered me. The next morning, I arrived at the Termini station, and he’s there and he throws me against a column. Behind me the two police officers saw it, they actually wanted to intervene earlier but their superior officer held them back, to wait, to see what happens. Only if something serious happens we have to intervene. They saw that he was touching me and so they came in and stopped him, and then they took me away to the police station. They arrested me, he did 6 years and 6 months in jail. He did his time and was then released, and he made his way back to Termini station. I was still working there, but not for long as my boss knew he had been release and he was going to let me go soon. I got off the train, and he blocks my way with a luggage trolley and he tells me because of you I had to do 6 years and 6 months in jail and now you’re going to pay. and my mother she came up and attacked him from behind like a lion, while I was able to run off to work. They told me that he’s been arrested for the second time and will probably remain in jail for the rest of his life, I think he’s in there now still.
After this, it happened again and another man was also charged but I don’t remember for how long, I went to the trial, but I didn’t want to see any of them, I just testified.”
– Danielle, Italy 2017