Italy considers harsher sentences for attacks on women

Up to fourteen years for acid attacks, seven for stalking and harassment, and twelve for physical assault on a woman: these are some of the increased maximum prison sentences Italy is considering enacting into law in a bid to create a safer environment for women and children.

Italy considers harsher sentences for attacks on women
A march in Rome on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, on November 24, 2018. Tiziana Fabo / AFP

The proposed measures were presented in the Chamber of Deputies on Monday by Five Star Movement Justice Minister Alfonso Bonafede and Justice Commissioner Stefania Ascari as part of a package of proposed amendments to the “Codice Rosso”, or “Code Red” bill, which aims to provide improved legal protections for women in Italy.

The package additionally proposes raising the maximum sentences for group assaults from twelve to fourteen years, and removing the obligation of the victim to press charges in child rape cases, allowing the state to bring its own charges against the perpetrator.

Throwing acid in a person’s face with the intention of harming and disfiguring the victim is not currently a crime in Italy.

The announcement comes days after Italy’s justice system was accused of defending honor killings against women, following the lenient sentences handed down to two men convicted of killing their female partners.

Judge Silvia Carpanini ruled in Genoa last week that Javier Gamboa, who murdered his wife Angela Reyes, should have his prison sentence cut in half due to the humiliation he experienced after she refused to leave her lover.

Towards the beginning of March a judge in a Bologna court reduced convicted killer Michele Castaldo’s prison term from 30 years to 16, ruling that Castaldo’s murder of his girlfriend Olga Matei was in part down to his“unhappy life experiences”.

“The data shows that we have a very serious social emergency,” Bonafede told the press on Monday.

 “Our institutions must issue a firm and clear response, which leaves no room for doubt”.


Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.