Elisa’s cry for help went unheard. All those who heard, who reported, who tried, felt helpless in front of a system that was deaf, trapped within the letter of the law. The child cried for help, and the signs were all there, on her body and in her behaviour, also crying for help. The story of Elisa, who died by the hand of her own mother in a case that was described by the authorities as “the worst case of child abuse [they] had ever seen” became the driving force for ELIZA, the only Non-Profit Society fighting to put an end to child abuse.
How many Elisas are there? How many children look us in the eyes, as we turn away mumbling some excuse? One billion abused children, according to UN estimates. One billion children are abused emotionally, physically and sexually. One billion children grow up traumatized, humiliated, hurt, helpless, and enter their adulthood aged beyond their years.
Our vision is our duty towards these children
Our duty is to listen to them. To protect them. To care for them or to take measures before violence is inflicted upon them and damages them for life.
Our duty is to lobby for the deployment by the state of protective structures that will prevent the degradation of families and stop the cycle of violence.
Our duty is to inform scientists, members of the judiciary, the police authorities, educators, parents, all who care for the dignity of human life, of what they themselves can do to help.
Our duty is to know and to protect all children of the world as though they were our own.
Our duty is to safeguard childhood for as long as it lasts, because it is in childhood that we arm ourselves with the necessary defences to ensure that we can cross over to adulthood free from injury and disability.
Our duty is to join forces declaring “Zero Tolerance for Child Abuse” as an essential prerequisite for a healthy society.
At ELIZA we make this vision our duty and we strive for that which is self-evident: a childhood that is innocent and creative, carefree and dynamic.
At ELIZA we aspire to one day create a Half-Way Shelter for children who are being abused, until they can be safely placed with a family.
At ELIZA we would like this day to arrive soon, and we would like for the day to arrive even sooner when this Shelter closes its doors because there will no longer be any need for it. A utopian dream? Perhaps. But no one can move ahead if their eyes are trained on the ground. And so it is with us. Our feet are firmly set on the ground, but our eyes are looking in the direction of the goal we would like to reach. And we hope that you are all on our side.