This research analyses the characteristics of children who are victims of violence and who have been referred to various services more than one time. The aim is to understand whether the reasons for multiple referral are constituted by the organisation of the network of services, by the characteristics of the children and/or by the seriousness of the victimisation.
The research sample was composed of 55 children (to whom 117 referrals correspond) equal to 11,2% of the total sample of referrals received during 2000 by the Services of the same area (Varese and Province). The results show firstly the ability of the network of services to carry out articulated, effective and protective interventions. However factors such as: the presence of violence perpetrated on other children, the situation of single parenthood and the presence of neglect and/or of risk situation suffered by the child, are initially underestimated, causing in the time which elapses between referrals the worsening of the situation of victimisation. In conclusion the authors underline the necessity -for an effective preventive action- of investigating exactly the characteristics of those apparently less serious or urgent cases which, however, hide chronic and insidious forms of violence.