Young woman divorce lawyer shot and killed by ex-partner

 ROME- Italy was in shock Monday over the brutal murder of a 34-year-old woman divorce lawyer, who was shot and killed by her 61-year-old ex-partner Constantine Bonaiuti, in front of a restaurant where they had been having dinner in the Tuscolano district on the outskirts of the Eternal City. The murder happened after three women were murdered at a cafe in December and is the latest of the rising number of femicides in Italy recently. 

 Police identified the victim as Martina Scialdone, a divorce lawyer, handling family law,  who had handled several cases dealing with domestic or gendered violence and mistreatment. She had been a valued member of the community and a brilliant lawyer according to the mayor of Rome, Roberto Gualtieri, who has been publicly outraged by the murder in a number of tweets following the incident. Despite his remarks the killing fuelled criticism of the mayor over increasing gun crime and insecurity in the Eternal City.

According to witnesses, the staff at the restaurant were well-aware of the man’s violent behaviour after he reportedly chased Scialdone into the bathroom Friday evening where she had locked herself away from him, and proceeded to attempt to knock the door down, whilst shouting abuse. 

The managers of the Brado restaurant, who were condemned for apparently requesting the couple to leave rather than help the young woman, have since denied these claims, claiming they had asked the woman if she had needed help which she had refused. 

 Shortly, after leaving the restaurant Bonaiuti returned to the street he had left her with a 45 caliber gun, and shot her at close range in her chest after which she died shortly after in the arms of her brother, judicial sources said.

 Bonaiuti has since been arrested charged with premeditated murder, and could be facing up to 21 years in prison. As he was licensed to carry firearms for sporting use, and was in possession of at least 4 firearms, carrying one at the time of the incident. Which has led the Mayor of Rome, to call for a debate on gun control saying that there is considereable need to limit the possession of weapons, reducing the number in circulation, to increase the safety of everyone.  

  The incident has also rekindled the debate around the upsurging femicide in Italy, with Scialdone being one of the hundreds of women killed by their partner or ex-partner in Italy since early 2022. And has highlighted the indiscriminate nature of femicide as Scialdone, despite being a trained professional, and highly educated on the subject of gender-violence was not able to protect herself against it.