When issuing a warning, either for stalking or domestic violence, the Questore informs its recipient about the possibility to participate in prevention schemes set up by local social services. The victim is also informed of the availability of support centres and services.
Police Headquarters have taken steps to ensure that the warned person is taken care of and for this purpose have signed agreements with specialized centres
Thirty-six Police Headquarters have already signed, renewed or are in the process of entering into agreements based on the Zeus Protocol.
Zeus Protocol – Year of activation – In the initial phase
A review of the results obtained by those Police Headquarters that have been running the Protocol for some time has confirmed its effectiveness and provided evidence that taking care of the perpetrators of violence also through preventive actions is not at odds with the support offered to the victims.
In order to spread good practice, the Central Anticrime Directorate of the Polizia di Stato participates as a stakeholder in ENABLE – Early Network-based Action against abusive Behaviours to Leverage victim’s Emporwerment, a European project coordinated by the Milan-based CIPM (Centro Italiano per la Promozione e la Mediazione – Italian Centre for Empowerment and Mediation) which started in January 2021 and will come to a close in January 2023.
In 2018 the Anticrime Division of the Milan Police Headquarters signed the Zeus Protocol with the Italian Centre for Empowerment and Mediation (CIPM). The Protocol is an agreement on fighting Persecutory Acts and Abuse that aims at identifying abusive behaviours. The project is named after the 'first (known) abuser in history', whose domineering and controlling behavior in relationships is a stark reminder of the need to stop a budding Zeus from turning into a despot, and that inappropriate and violent behaviour should be nipped in the bud. Perpetrator programmes aim at improving the management of one’s emotions, in the belief that timely action is needed to prevent violence from spiralling out of control and to stop it before it happens.
The protocol allows for a special synergy between Police Headquarters responders and CIPM operators involved in prevention actions. After giving the warning, the Questore 'formally invites' the warned person to contact CIPM operators in order to access free training courses on how to manage abusive behaviour, and, for instance, on how to control anger.
Other similar agreements, along the lines of the Zeus Protocol, have been signed by other Police Headquarters, including with CAM (Centro di Ascolto Maltrattanti - Listening Centre for Abusers), a charity which also provides free, confidential telephone counselling to help men out of their violent behaviour. Several other centres also offer free therapeutic pathways to help abusers become aware of their violent behaviour and restrain their impulses.