A network of 15,000 paediatricians on the lookout for child abuse

Every year, around 70,000 children and teenagers in Italy suffer violence and physical, psychological and sexual abuse. Of these incidents, 70% take place at home, and two out of three at the hands of a parent. However, not many of these cases ever come to light, as the signs of abuse are not easily identifiable and very few young victims find themselves able to ask for help. Uncovering the many cases which remain hidden is the aim of the first anti-abuse network, which comprises no fewer than 15,000 “lookout” paediatricians and GPs. Launched by Menarini, which has also provided over € 1 million in financing, the project to counter violence against minors has been developed in collaboration with the Telefono Azzurro children’s helpline, the Italian Federation of Primary Care Paediatricians (Federazione dei Medici Pediatri, FIMP) and the Italian Association of Paediatric Hospitals (Associazione Ospedali Pediatrici Italiani, AOPI). Its aim is to turn Italian paediatricians into “lookouts” in the field, thanks to intensive multidisciplinary courses organised in every region to teach them to recognise the signs of potential abuse and how to intervene. Italy’s top thirteen paediatric hospitals will not only provide locations for training courses, but will also be involved as reference centres to deal with any emergency cases.

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