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Violence against health workers is more common than you think. Recent reports suggest that 75% of almost 25,000 cases of workplace violence take place in healthcare settings. To make things worse, the report also points out that 26% of the emergency department physicians and 30% of nurses take the brunt of these attacks. The number of instances of healthcare violence is so common that most employees don’t feel happy working in this industry. They consider it an obligation to work as a means of making ends meet instead of performing their duties with passion.

Fighting violence against health workers

To appeal against the violence on health workers, celebrities got together and paired with Nursing Up in a fight to stop these attacks. The initial appeals started by Simona Ventura found a voice when more and more actors, such as Massimiliano Vado, Eva Grimaldi, Michela Giraud, and Giorgio Colangeli came together to support her cause. It didn’t take time for Maria Vittoria Cusumano, the ambassador of Komen Italia, to come forward and sport her voice too.

Maria has been actively engaging in a fight against cancer as the ambassador of Komen Italia. In her attempt to speak against violence against health workers, Maria came up with a video and appealed to other celebrities to join the cause. She, being one of the most renowned social media influencers, urged her followers to start a movement called “Enough violence against health workers.”

As more celebrities and common people started appealing, the union asked the Justice and Social Affairs Commissions and Minister Speranza to set up a meeting on this subject. Although there has not been any concrete report of a program or SOS service to prevent this type of violence, the protestors feel they are on the right track, and justice, though late, will arrive sooner than later.

Minister Speranza, the Justice and Social Affairs Commissions, and the union are trying to pass a law that will stop the violence against health workers once and for all.

Maria’s role in voicing the appeal

Maria, who is already actively participating in campaigns to fight against cancer, wanted to participate and sport her opinion against violence on health workers. She supported the union of nurses wholeheartedly, and in her video, she also said that everyone should convey the message of saying no to violence to everyone they know. She also explained in her video how one out of ten nurses suffered violence at their workplace. Maria went on to point further details that revealed how almost 4% of the nurses have to deal with gun threats at work.

In her video, Maria appeals that violence is not just about the physical assaults on healthcare workers. Even public humiliation, mortifying behaviors, and verbal abuse are parts of the violence that everyone should speak up against.

Events leading to the appeal

Although there were many reports of violence on healthcare employees, no one paid a lot of attention to the issue. But 2019 was one of the worst years in the history of the healthcare industry. There was a sudden rise in the violence on healthcare professionals, especially nurses and emergency department physicians. Almost every other hospital was complaining about the rise in the attacks from the patients and patient parties. The rise in violence continued even in 2020 with multiple escalations in episodes.

Two specific events sparked the entire #noviolenzasuglinfermieri movement started by Maria. One, where the ambulance in Naples was seized right on New Year’s Eve, and second, which was more dangerous when three nurses in Rome were threatened with a knife and beaten mercilessly at the San Giovanni Addolorata hospital.

Although Maria is still very young, she has already attended many events to spread awareness against cancer. She uses her social channels to make thousands of people aware of her ongoing projects. Even this time, in her attempt to appeal against the violence on health workers, she used her fan base to good effect. In her heartfelt video, Maria urges her followers to become a part of this protest. Her Instagram stories on this event saw massive responses immediately after the video went viral.

Maria believes there is still a lot she can do for Nursing Up. She even wants health workers to complain as soon as they experience any type of violence in their workplace. Most health workers tend not to speak up or report their cases of violence. But with so many celebrities coming together to protest against these heinous attacks, there is some faith in the Justice and Social Affairs Commissions and Minister Speranza that will look into the matter and provide a fast-track decision.

It is high time that everyone responds to this call from Maria. She, along with other celebrities, has come a long way to ending this violence

LA Weekly