Murder, rape, and harassment of women on the rise

Italian women holding red coloured protest signs, aligning with the institution of Code Red laws.

ROME – Violence against women is on the rise this year in Italy, with 95 women killed between January and November of 2022, half of which were murdered by their partners, police said. The department of criminal police published a report detailing the femicides that happened this year. It was announced by one of the officials at the office that, “So far, the strategy put in place against violence against women, Code Red, has yielded important results. The regulatory framework can still be improved by strengthening preventive measures, for example by expanding the scope of the quaestor's warning."

 The Code Red law, which came into effect in August 2019, introduced a sector of police and detection that dealt specifically with violence against women, in the interest of persecuting more criminals and imposing more laws. The most common crimes that the police saw in violation with the Code Red laws were harassment/ violating restraining orders, in which there were 6,499 cases since the beginning of Code Red, revenge porn, and sexual assault, with 1,824 and 4,416 cases respectively.

 Of these crimes recorded since August 2019, harassment and sexual assault are on the rise in Italy, while revenge porn has seen a 20 percent drop in incidence in the last year. Another offence on the rise in Italy is coercion into or forced marriage. Of the victims of this crime, 65 percent were foreigners. Minister Matteo Piantedosi said on Tuesday, “There is consistent attention being placed on this serious phenomenon that must arouse synergies between preventive institutions to prevent and combat [these crimes].”

 Piantedosi emphasised that the “number of homicides at the hands of a partner is the physical representation of the misogynist and overpowering attitudes within emotional relationships.” The minister then made it clear that the purpose and goal of the Code Red laws were to cultivate an understanding environment within the police, where women would feel safe reporting the crimes against them.