Violence against women: 9 a day ask for help in Emilia-Romagna

Logo for 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

Logo for 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

1,481 cases of violence against children were registered from January to October this year. Twelve feminicides were recorded in 2016 so the regional government has allocated almost four million euros to counteract the phenomenon: 2,900,000 from state funds and one million from regional appropriation schemes.

There were 3,139 women who were victims of violence and have turned to centres in Emilia-Romagna for the period from January 1 to October 31 this year – nine a day. The numbers come from the regional anti-violence centre. 2,360 new contacts were admitted into the system, and 2,381 women were welcomed (1,497 Italian and 821 foreigners), out of a total of 3,506 currently hosted in Emilia-Romagna. Women with children totalled 1,644, and in the first ten months of the year there were 1,481 cases of violence against minors. Twelve cases of feminicide occurred in the region in 2016, one more over the previous year.

Regional funds

Two recent public tenders were issued by the Viale Aldo Moro HQ to strengthen the network of anti-violence and shelter centres (from 423,540 euros) and for contributions to the payment of rent and condominium expenses up to twelve months for contracts of light and gas connections, contributions for the purchase of household appliances for women victims of domestic violence (from 640,000 euros). “We must allow women to leave the violence circuit and become autonomous,” says Regional Advisor to Equal Opportunities, Emma Petitti. “We need to respond to the task and ensure that they are autonomous from the employment point of view.” There is always a very relevant issue,” says the president of the Regional Coordination of the Anti-Violence Centers Samuela Frigieri, “for there are 4.9% of women in Italy are turning to anti-violence centres. We know there are associations of women in the area who are willing to listen.”

violence against womenA woman killed every three days, not forgetting the ‘secondary victims’: children who remain orphans

From January to the present day, 84 women lost their lives, compared to 88 in November 2016 and 87 in September 2015. Of these 84, two were pregnant and their five-month and 6-month foetuses died with their mothers. This is the tragic picture that emerges from SOS Stalking’s data.

In 2016, 115 women were killed in Italy, predominantly at the hands of their husbands or partner. In 2015 there were 120 victims, 117 women in 2014 and 138 in 2013.

Lombardia region confirms the highest number of murdered women, 11, followed by Veneto, Emilia – Romagna and Campania with 8 women, Sardegna with 7 feminicides, followed by Tuscany, Piedmont and Sicily 6, Lazio and Puglia 5, Abruzzo 4, Liguria 3, Trentino, Friuli and Calabria with 2 and finally Marche with 1 murder.

“We talk of one woman killed every three days, an emergency that politicians continue to ignore,” says lawyer Lorenzo Puglisi, president and founder of SOS Stalking, who emphasizes that, compared to previous years, there has been no progress. “Feminicide numbers remain on average with the previous three years, with no apparent downturn, and this is also due to lack of countermeasures such as the electronic bracelet that still does not seem to be a priority for our executive.”

20% of feminicides were preceded with a cautionary measure which had a prohibition approach, an insufficient idea with dissuasive powers as it remains solely on paper and therefore does not provide any real guarantee for potential victims. This is a problem that could be greatly reshaped by enhancing the tools used by the judiciary such as electronic bracelets that are still awaiting new tenders for supply.

Puglisi also urges us not to forget the so-called ‘secondary victims’, the children or teenagers who after the crime remain orphans or, in the case of suicide without parents. “There’s a long list of 60, aged between 5 and 14 years old, who will face the often irreparable consequences of such crimes: shock traumas, and in some cases direct evidence of homicide, both for mourning, wantonness, lack of proper education and for guidance at a very delicate age for their own growth.”

Added to this problem is another aspect that has been discussed for some days and has created controversy and fierce criticism, once again with regard to the work of the political forces: the compensation of damages for victims of stalking and violence, whose numbers have been defined by the associations to protect the victims from ‘an offense, an inadequate and mortifying insult like a hand-out.’

An inter-ministerial decree has just been approved Law 122 of 2016 by the Government of Gentiloni, introduced compensation for victims of violent crimes such as rape or murder. Amounts allocated vary from € 3,000 for sexual violence to € 8,200 for a feminicide, sums that can only be liquidated after proof has been given that they have been processed (foreclosures, seizures, etc.) against the convicted party. “Such a prediction, in addition to being offensive to those who are experiencing an indelible trauma for the rest of their lives, cannot even be considered to be partially offset by the expenses the victims are expected to face. Suffice to think that most of the orphans that are between 6 and 14 years old is at a stage of their lives that should be much higher than these figures,” concludes Puglisi.


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