This paper argues that welfare institutions fail to recognise how violence against women is embedded in and tolerated by the social order. By not perceiving violence as a social problem, they consequently fail to prevent it. Due to this, public policy indifference and the slow responses to domestic violence are conceptually argued as «structural violence’ and as the primary problem to address. In order to understand the forms of this type of violence in Italy (in circumstances that have become more critical following the Covid-19 pandemic), the author asserts that a timely response should derive from competences developed through collective work and shared, gender-based methodologies, as in the case of Anti-Violence Centres (AVCs) managed by the D.i.RE Network, whose professionals are trained to recognize the early signs of violence.
Parole chiave: gender-based approach, structural violence, re-victimization, Italy, Covid-19 pandemic