European Railway Award Winner Donates to Red Cross
Prize money donated to the Italian Red Cross to support its work against violence
The European Railway award 2014 took place in Brussels yesterday, gathering over 500 guests from all over Europe, including high-level politicians and transport stakeholders. Jointly organised by the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Industry (CER) and the Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE), the award has been honouring outstanding political and technical achievements in the rail sector since 2007. Each award is accompanied by a donation of €10.000 to the charity of the laureate’s choice.
This year, the political award was given to Jacques Barrot for his contribution to the development of the European rail system as European Commissioner for Transport from 2004-2008. The technical award was presented to world renowned specialist in rail vehicle dynamics, Giorgio Diana, Researcher and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Politecnico Milano, who has donated his prize money to the Italian Red Cross.
Professor Maria Teresa Letta, Vice-President of the Italian Red Cross, expressed her gratitude when receiving the donation, "We are extremely thankful to receive this donation, especially in these times of economic crisis. We will dedicate this gift to our Centre Against Violence in Avezzano, which comes to help to all victims of domestic violence, among which there are women, children, vulnerable old people and youth.”
The Italian Red Cross at the European Railway Awards 2014
Run within the structure of the Local Committee of the Red Cross in Avezzano, the anti-violence centre was set up in January 2011, providing a series of activities which are dedicated not only to the victims of violence, but also to the local community. Interventions aim to eliminate prejudice, cultural stereotypes and all other types of discrimination that can undermine a person’s psychological, physical, social and work-related integrity, by making participants themselves the drivers of cultural change and renewal. In addition, the centre operates in synergy with the social and health sectors, with the police and voluntary organisations in the area.
Victims of all forms of violence attend the centre; from those who have experienced or witnessed psychological, physical, economic or sexual violence, to victims of stalking, harassment and trafficking. The centre provides a safe place for them, where they will be listened to, welcomed and supported. Between 2011 and 2012 for example, 99 women contacted the centre, of which 45 were taken in because of the violence they were suffering at the hands of their husbands or a former partner.
With the Italian Institute for Statistics (ISTAT) indicating that a very low percentage of victims declare these crimes, and the Council of Europe stating that domestic violence is the leading cause of death and disability for women between the ages of 16 and 44, the problem of violence is far from being solved. The Italian Red Cross run similar Anti-violence Centres in Asti, Genova and Padova, through which they are supporting and orientating thousands of people in their attempts to escape the situations of violence in which they are often trapped.
Read more about the European Railway Awards 2014.
Learn more about the Italian Red Cross' Anti-Violence Centres.