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SPEAK UP project- System for Protection and Empowerment of Autistic Child as victim of abuse or Unintentional Perpetrator (2013- 2015)

SPEAK UP intends to address the abuse and maltreatment of children with autism at European level and proposes to develop operational tools of prevention and protection of children as victims or unintentional perpetrators of violence.

The project, completed in 2015, developed the following activities:

  • Research, at a European level, on the incidence of the phenomenon of abuse of children and adolescents with autism;
  • Planning and activation of an experimental training path, for operators;
  • Definition and experimentation of a pilot programme for the prevention of the risk of mistreatment of children with autism, for the most vulnerable families;
  • Realisation of an information campaign for the prevention and protection of children with autism; 
  • Establishment of two experimental intervention protocols containing specific guidelines of action in the case of suspected violence.

SPEAK UP sought to improve the current knowledge and awareness in relation to safeguarding children and young people with autism at a European level, both as victims of abuse, but also in the reduction and prevention of abuse and violence by children with autism to others. This work involves the development of guides relating to the prevention or reduction of violence against, and in, children with autism.

List of partners:

  • Foundation for autism ‘Il Cireneo’ (Project Coordinator), Italy
  • Progetti Sociali s.r.l. Impresa Sociale, Italy
  • Associazione Focolare Maria Regina onlus, Italy
  • Autism-Europe, Belgium
  • Alpha Foundation, Poland
  • Autismo Burgos, Spain
  • National Autistic Society, United Kingdom

SPEAK UP was funded by the European programme DAPHNE III.


Click here to visit the project website

Download the 1st Speak Up guidelines on the prevention of violence against children and young people with autism.

Download the 2nd Speak Up guidelines on the prevention and reduction of violence committed by children and young people with autism.

Download the model of the pilot programme for Speak Up


 About the DAPHNE III Programme

The Daphne III programme aims to contribute to the protection of children, young people and women against all forms of violence and attain a high level of health protection, well-being and social cohesion.

Its specific objective is to contribute to the prevention of, and the fight against all forms of violence occurring in the public or the private domain, including sexual exploitation and trafficking of human beings.

It aims to take preventive measures and provide support and protection for victims and groups at risk.