Senate green lights Code Red bill, jail for ‘revenge porn’

ROME – The Italian senate has given the final go-ahead on the Code Red bill, aimed at protecting victims of domestic and gender violence, and handing out harsher penalties for stalking and revenge porn.

  The bill, which follows an upsurge in ‘femicide’ – deadly violence against women – was Wednesday passed into law by 197 votes to 47, with the centre-left Democratic Party (Pd) and the left-wing Free and Equal (LeU) parties abstaining.

 “The Code Red law represents the maximum that can now be done on a legislative level to combat violence against women,” a note from the Minister of Public Administration Giulia Bongiorno said. “It is a very important change with which we want to protect women from going months or years without receiving help.” 

 Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, pleased with the result took to Twitter, aiming a punch at the left: “More security and protection for female victims of violence: thanks to the #CodeRed, the magistrates will have to listen to them within three days of a complaint! Another promise kept by the League. P.S. The left did not vote in favour, they talk but when they need it they don’t care.”

 “Today with the approval of Code Rode, the State gives a very strong response: it says in a loud voice that women in Italy are not to be touched,” Justice Minister Alfonso Bonafede said following the vote. “Every 72 hours in Italy a woman dies due to femicide, it is real social emergency.”

 According to ISTAT figures, 149 women were murdered in Italy in 2016, of whom 75% were killed by a family member. More than 4,000 women reported sexual violence, and over 13,000 were victims of stalking.

 The bill will become law when it is published in the Official Gazette.