Freedom income, on the side of women victims of violence

November 25th is celebrated World day for the elimination of violence against womenan anniversary established by the General Assembly of the United Nations through a resolution of 17 December 1999. A particularly delicate topic with a great social impact, especially for our country, where statistics speak of one woman victim of violence every three days. Physical violence, but not only, also psychological and economic, in over half of the cases perpetrated by husbands and partnerswhich when it does not cause death, still forces many of the victims to live in conditions of mental and financial dependence.

The complexity of the components involved makes this type of violence particularly subtle and insidious. For this reason, women must be put in a position not only to report violence of any kind, but also to be protected from any retaliation and concretely supported in a path towards financial, work and psychological autonomy. Among the various initiatives put in place by the institutions to try to combat the phenomenon, freedom income represents real help. In summary, it is an economic subsidy established to promote the economic independence and emancipation of women victims of violence who find themselves in disadvantaged conditions.

How the measure and the funds allocated were born

Freedom income is a measure established by Decree Law of 19 May 2020 (Relaunch Decree) then converted into Law 17 July 2020 n.77, in order to contain the serious economic effects caused by the health emergency from Covid-19 for women victims of violence and in conditions of poverty. The first allocation provided for by the Prime Ministerial Decree of 17 December 2020 was 3 million euros for 2020, merged into the special “Fund for the income of freedom for women victims of violence”. The INPS is in charge of disbursing the fundsupon request by the municipal operators of the victim’s residence, within the limits of the resources assigned to each Region or Autonomous Province on the basis of the number of female inhabitants, as established within the Permanent Conference between the State, the Regions and the Autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano.

Subsequently to what was initially arranged, in order to help a greater number of women victims of violence, it was established that each Region or Autonomous Province can increase the resources allocated for the Freedom Income by the State with additional own fundstransferred directly to INPS, following the presentation of a specific request for a budget increase.

Furthermore, the Prime Ministerial Decree of 1 June 2022 defines the criteria for the distribution of resources equal to 9 million euros allocated for 2021 and 2022, intended to finance the Freedom Income. The new resources will allow INPS to liquidate applications not accepted due to insufficient budget according to the chronological order of presentation and to accept new applications.

Amount and requirements to obtain it

The financial contribution is intended for women victims of violence, childless or with minor children, followed by anti-violence centres recognized by the regions and social services in the paths of escape from violence. The Freedom Income is paid in the maximum amount of 400 euros per month per capita granted for a maximum of 12 months. The measure is aimed at supporting expenses as a priority to ensure housing autonomy and to regain personal independence, as well as to contribute to the education and training of minor children. Furthermore, the contribution is compatible with other income support instruments such as Citizenship Income, NASpI, Redundancy Fund

Earnings or other contributions in favor of dependent children disbursed by Regions, Autonomous Provinces, Local Authorities.

To apply for the Freedom Income, they are required some requirements:

– Being a female victim of violence between the ages of 18 and 67, alone or with dependent minor children

– Be an Italian citizen or a European or non-EU citizen with a regular residence permit

– Be resident on 1 January 2021 in the municipalities of the Regions or Autonomous Provinces of Trento or Bolzano

– Having embarked on a path of escape from violence at an anti-violence center recognized by the Region

– Be followed by social services

– Being in a condition of vulnerability and poverty

In order to access the service, an application must be submitted to INPS by the person concerned through the Municipality of residence, using the appropriate form available in the Social Services online service on the website. The service is accessible by municipal operators in possession of at least second level SPID, CIE or CNS. The application must be completed with the certification of the condition of ordinary need or the condition of extraordinary and urgent need issued by the professional social service of territorial reference, in addition to the declaration certifying the path of emancipation and autonomy undertaken by the woman, issued by the legal representative of the center anti-violence.

Freedom income numbers

From the entry into force of the measure until November 23, 2022, INPS received a total of 4,232 Freedom Income applications. Of these, 2,390 were accepted, 1,521 were not accepted as the requisites did not exist, 264 were accepted and liquidated with the regional budget, 56 are in the preliminary phase and 1 application is still to be investigated. The overall budget used to pay the freedom income is equal to 11,712,000 euros out of the total allocated of 12 million. To the total figure, 1,296,000 euros of the regional budget allocated directly by the Emilia Romagna Region must be added.

The primacy for the number of applications submitted belongs to Lombardy with 715 (of which 409 paid), followed by Emilia Romagna with 526 (of which 177 paid with the national budget and 264 with the regional one) and by Campania with 491 (of which 249 paid). In terms of budget, 1,992,000 euros were used to pay the Freedom Income for women victims of violence in Lombardy, 1,228,800 euros for victims residing in Campania and 1,166,400 euros for victims in Lazio.