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16 Sep 2017

In Genoa, every paediatrician has an average of ten children in their care who are at risk of serious abuse - but these cases often go undetected.


Today, paediatricians in the region of Liguria in north-west Italy will attend a training and awareness-raising day on the subject of the abuse and ill-treatment of minors so that they can be increasingly active in the fight against this social scourge

GENOA, SATURDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 2017 – The “Stop Child Abuse” project is progressing in its network creation phase and tomorrow will come to Genoa with a training course for paediatricians, with an approach which is both innovative and highly practical, promoting strong preventive action against child abuse.

The project, launched and supported by the pharmaceutical company Menarini, with an investment of € 1 million, has the aim of creating an anti child-abuse network that covers all Italian regions, which will see “trainer” paediatricians ready to pass on their knowledge to engage 15,000 “look-out” doctors among paediatricians and trainee doctors. The project is carried out in collaboration with the Italian Society of Paediatrics (Società Italiana di Pediatria - SIP) and the Italian Federation of Paediatricians (Federazione Italiana Medici Pediatri - FIMP), who have selected the “trainer” paediatricians.

Young lives are scarred, sometimes destroyed by abuse, yet only a very small number of cases are ever brought to light. According to statistics, every year in Italy about 70-80 thousand children and adolescents suffer abuse, but too few cases are reported.

According to Giorgio Conforti, Chairperson of SIP Liguria “every paediatrician in Genoa and the surrounding province has ten children at risk of serious abuse, including sexual abuse, among their patients. However, in many cases it has emerged that paediatricians were unaware of the abuse because they had not been informed by social services. Furthermore, it is estimated that in a school with 500 children, on average 5 children are recognised as being at risk of abuse. For this reason we are very pleased with this project, which aims to train paediatricians on the subject of child abuse. The project has found fertile ground in this region since it will strengthen a support network made up of various professionals, in order to bring cases to light.

“We believe that paediatricians, whether they are family, university or hospital paediatricians, have a leading role to play in the fight against child abuse of any kind or severity” – Luigi Nigri, FIMP project manager stated – “but in order to bring submerged cases to light and give concrete support to young, voiceless victims, it is necessary to be familiar with the clinical and legal tools and the most appropriate approach to take in these delicate situations. This is why the training day aims to offer a concrete guide to recognising signs of abuse in order to create a system made of paediatricians that each know how to direct other colleagues, giving advice and support in managing suspected cases.”

“Defending children is the spirit that animates this ambitious and engaging project that makes Italy an example for other countries to follow” – stated Lucia and Alberto Giovanni Aleotti, Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Menarini Group – “after this event we hope that paediatricians in the region of Liguria can increasingly become a bastion of safeguarding and contribute to bringing an end to child abuse.”

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