As I promised last time, today, I’m going to talk about the Italian law against femicide.
The decree against femicide was approved on the 8th of August 2013 by the Council of Mnisters.
On the 25th of Semptember 2013, it began the discussion of the decree at the Justice and the Constitutional Affairs Committees of the Chamber of Deputies. The bureau of the two committees, unanimously, decided to request the postponement of the discussion in the assembly hall on the 2nd of October 2013.
So, there have been some delays that could have put at risk the conversion of the decree; this because after any approval of the Chamber, few days would have been remained at the Senate to approve it. The conversion into law was scheduled by the 15th of October 2013.
On the 11th of October 2013, the decree on femicide was approved with 143 votes by the Senate.
“Preventing gender violence. Protect victims. Severely punish the perpetrators.” These are the three purposes of the decree against femicide.
The Minister for Relations with Parliament Dario Franceschini stated: “It’s the first step to combat a phenomenon hateful and intolerable. From today, our system is enhanced by a measure that will provide greater protection to women.”.
By the way, let’s see the most important rules contained in the decree.
- More severe punishment
The decree provides the increase of one third of the sentence if a child assists at the violence, or if the victim is pregnant, or if the violence is committed by the spouse (even if separate) or by the partner (although they don’t live together).
- Mandatory arrest in flagrante delicto
It is obligatory the arrest in the case of flagrant offenses of abuse and stalking. This means that the police will be forced to catch the one who is making an act of domestic violence or stalking in that moment.
- Removal of the violent spouse from home
The police can throw out of the house the violent partner if there is any physical risk for the woman. So, the violent person can’t get closer to the home sites. The receiver of this measure could be controlled through the electronic tagging.
- Irrevocable lawsuit
Once the request of prosecution for violence and abuse is deposited at the court, the lawsuit will be irrevocable. So, it subtracts the victim to the risk of a new intimidation tending to make her withdraw the action.
- Legal aid
For anyone who is a victim of stalking or harassment and can’t afford a lawyer, it is provided a free legal aid.
- Residence permit to foreign victims
It is granted the residence permit for human reasons to foreigners who are victims of violence.
- Victims informed on the judicial process
The victim of violence or abuse will be constantly informed on the status of the judicial condition of the guilty (if he is in prison or in freedom, if he was sentenced, etc…). “We try to fix aur regulatory system”, said the Minister Angelino Alfano. “Often, the victim didn’t know what happened during the trial against the author of the violence. Now the victim will be informed, for example, of the release from prison of the condemned.”.
As the Italian criminal lawyer Giulia Bongiorno said, “the decree has been set from a repressive point of view, with the increase of the punishments, and give the possibility to the removal of the violent spouse from home. But at the same time, the new measures adopted have some lacks and don’t solve some important problem related to violence on women.”. To increase punishments is not very useful if we don’t intervene changing the penal procedural code. The trial for these kind of offenses last 7 years before it becomes res judicata. This is too much and only with a procedural reform we can overpass this problem. Furthermore, these measures don’t intervene on the reason of the violence. In my opinion, the violence itself has to be prevented.
For now that’s all folks!
I’ll come back soon with a new topic very interesting: Women as Avengers…