Sabato, 20 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Italy moves to combat Femicide

English
© ANSA

(By Sandra Cordon)
Rome, August 8 - Punishment, prevention and
protection of women from violence is the goal of a bill the
Italian government passed Thursday to try to stem a growing
national problem.
The dozen measures in the new decree target such crimes as
stalking of women, domestic violence, and provide protection of
immigrant women fleeing violence in their homeland.
The measures will provide a "radical" new approach to the
issue of femicide, said Premier Enrico Letta.
"At the heart of this decree, we want to send a strong
signal of radical change on the subject".
The new measures come at a time of rising violence against
women, and an increased outcry in society.
Recent statistics found that 81 women were killed in Italy
in the first half of this year - fully 75% of whom were slain by
family members or intimates.
The joint report by the Italian social economic research
group EURES and ANSA also found that between 2000 and 2012,
2,200 women were murdered in Italy, an average of 171 per year -
about one every other day.
The new bill aims to prevent instances of crime and punish
perpetrators while protecting women from violence, said Deputy
Premier Angelino Alfano.
"We have today approved a series of rules with three
objectives: to prevent gender-based violence, punish...and
protect the victims," said Alfano, who is also interior
minister.
That includes mandatory arrest for stalking and family
abuse, with the abusive spouse subject to immediate removal from
the home where there is any risk of violence.
A residence permit will also be granted to foreign women
fleeing violence at home, added Alfano.
Penalties increase in cases of violence against a pregnant
woman, or in the presence of underaged youth and children, he
said.
And women are to be kept informed during justice processes
that involve their abuser, while women will be offered free
legal aid when they are victims of crime.
Too often, women felt they had to endure violence to remain
in their homes with their children, but this bill aims to change
that, said Justice Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri.
Italians have been shocked by some instances in which
public figures appeared to blame the victim for some crimes
against women.
Last Christmas, an Italian priest sparked controversy when
he said women were partly to blame for the violence they face.
Father Piero Corsi saw his duties suspended for several
weeks as the parish priest of San Terenzo di Lerici in the
region of La Spezia in northwestern Italy after he posted a
pre-Christmas flyer on the church bulletin board, suggesting
that women provoked violence against them.
His leaflet, entitled "Women and Femicide - Healthy
self-criticism. How often do they provoke?" caused an uproar.
As part of the government's effort to fight violence
against women, the Italian Senate unanimously approved the 2011
Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against
women and domestic violence earlier this summer.
The Istanbul Convention gained political momentum in Italy
after House Speaker Laura Boldrini revealed that since she had
been elected to lead the Chamber earlier this year, she had
become the target of widespread threats and grotesque
photomontages on the Internet.
The Istanbul Convention describes violence against women as
a form of discrimination and as a violation of human rights.
It also defines crimes against women that are punishable,
including psychological violence, stalking, physical violence,
sexual violence and rape, forced marriage, female genital
mutilation, forced abortion, forced sterilization and sexual
harassment.

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