In Italy, ordering pizza can save lives.
In August, a 35-year-old woman called the police and pretended to order pizza to save herself from her violent partner. The agent who responds understands the request for help, sends the clerk to the address he provides for “pizza delivery,” and the man is arrested.
In honor of the International Day to End Violence Against Women, held every 25 November, the charity ActionAid has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the lack of support for women at risk of domestic violence in Italy.
Italy’s coronavirus lockdown has become “accelerator” of violence against women and femicides. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said yesterday that limiting COVID measures in Italy “are inadvertently creating deep pressure.”
The ActionAid campaign is called “Call4Margherita”. “Margherita” is a symbolic name for the woman who pretends to order pizza because “it represents all the women who are at risk of not getting help every day,” according to ActionAid Ambassador Claudia Gerini. However, the pizza is also a symbol of the struggle against domestic violence.
Various pizzerias in Milan, Bologna, Rome and Naples have collaborated with ActionAid on the “Call4Margherita” campaign. From November 25 to December 2, it is possible to participate in the campaign by ordering Margherita pizza, which will be delivered by Call4Margherita riders.
The pizza was delivered in a red box specially made for the campaign. The inscription on the box read, “Margherita, 35, pretended to order this pizza to save herself from her abusive partner. And like her, many other women. But while the anti-violence center continues to risk closure due to lack of funds and social services, law enforcement, courts and hospitals do not have trained staff to respond to requests for help, there could be no better tool to fight violence. ”
Participating pizzerias will display posters and information about a campaign that serves two purposes. First, it aims to raise awareness about the urgent need for more effective tools to fight violence. Elisa Visconti, program manager for ActionAid, underlined the failures in Italy: “If still today a woman has to find the trick of pretending to order pizza to save herself from violence, it means the current system doesn’t work.”
Second, the campaign will support non-violent centers with a donation of € 1 for each pizza ordered. The donation will support the # closed4women emergency fund, which ActionAid activated during the spring close, to enable the anti-violence center to meet unexpected expenses and continue to support women during and after the pandemic.
A list of affiliated pizza restaurants can be found at ActionAid site. Donations can also be made directly on the website.