A red mini-bench to say “no” to violence 365 days a year. Two copies delivered to Quirinale and the Vatican

ROMA – A new symbol to say “no” to violence against women: the red mini-bench (in the pic above), within the home walls or on the desks of offices open to the public, to remember every single day, and not just on November 25th, that women must be respected. A signal launched by Angela Maria Fruzzetti, an Italian journalist, writer and activist who has been carrying out initiatives to combat violence against women for years. 

“The red bench is the symbol of the place occupied by a woman who no longer exists, taken away by male violence – comments Fruzzetti -. Many red benches continue to be installed everywhere in our country, Italy, especially around the dates of November 25th, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and March 8th, International Women’s Rights Day, but we must think of a strong daily message, 365 days a year. For this reason – she says – we created a red mini-bench to place anywhere. The red bench, a civil monument of immediate significance, has the great virtue of involving even the youngest. It denounces feminicide and forces us to reflect on the cultural change necessary to stem this absurd phenomenon. Let’s bring it into the living room of the house, as a ‘domestic’ ornament against domestic violence. Let’s place it above all on the desks of the public offices, in every school classroom, in churches, in courtrooms, in hospitals, in doctors’ surgeries, in restaurants, in every place open to the public so that the little red bench stay still there, watching us, making us reflect continuously to raise awareness of the social scourge of gender, domestic, psychological, sexual violence, stalking and feminicide. To constantly remind us that the fight must be fought every day and that the phenomenon involves us all”.

Angela Maria Fruzzetti’s invitation is to equip yourself with a red mini-bench and also place it under the Christmas tree, as a strong signal to remember that violence exists and everyone is called to act to combat it. And to give more relevance to the initiative, she went to Rome, to Quirinale and the Vatican, to deliver two red mini-benches to the secretaries of the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, and Pope Francis.

Angela Maria Fruzzetti and her red mini-bench in Vatican City with guards of honor Monica Briglia, Giorgio Bruzzi and Filippo Bruzzi (photo: Sara Chiara Strenta)

The “Red Bench No To Violence” project was born in 2021 by the associations Insieme, Eventi sul Frigido and Rete Antiviolenza Massa of which Fruzzetti – originally from the province of Massa Carrara, in Tuscany – is part. As many as 15 “civil monuments” have been installed in the Massa area, including red benches and plaques and then, this year, also the mini-bench: “The normal benches are in the parks or in the small squares of the towns – Fruzzetti comments – while the mini bench, a 10/15 centimeter ornament, can be placed anywhere, especially within the home where a new culture and education of mutual respect must be born”. And she concludes: “I have to thank two men who are sensitive to the topic: Daniele Tarantino, city councilor in the Town of Massa, who supports me in the project and Luciano Alberti, craftsman, who dedicates some of his time to listening to me and translating these ideas of mine into objects”.

The 15th bench was recently inaugurated in a village close to writer’s town, Forno: “It was a particularly heartfelt moment” she observes, “because I wanted to remember the femicide of my great-aunt Irena in 1923. A fact that no one has any memory of, anymore, but capable of reminding us that, despite a century having passed, little has changed, if not worsened, in the minds of some violent males, incapable of accepting and managing a simple ‘no’…”.

To get more informations about mini red bench: e-mail taracomunicazione@libero.it or phone number +39 320 8334417 (Angela Maria Fruzzetti): purchase upon free offer (not sale).

Angela Maria Fruzzetti is an Italian journalist, writer and activist