Italy records sharp rise in femicides over the past year

Murders of women in Italy increased by nearly 16 percent over the past year, with the vast majority committed by a partner or ex-partner.

Italy records sharp rise in femicides over the past year
Feminicide is increasing in Italy.(Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

Data from Italy’s interior ministry on Monday showed there were 125 femicides between 1 August 2021 and 31 July 2022, compared with 108 during the same period in the previous year.

Of that number, the vast majority of murders — 108 — were committed within the family sphere or an emotional context, while 68 murders, or 63 percent of the total, were committed by the victim’s partner or ex-partner, data showed.

There were a total of 319 murders in Italy in the period.

The numbers show that, on average, a woman is killed every three days in Italy.

READ ALSO: ANALYSIS: ‘Violence against women conditions every aspect of our lives’

According to a November report by the European Institute for Gender Equality, Italy came in ninth out of 15 EU member states for the number of murders of women by intimate partners, based on 2018 data.

It came in tenth when looking at homicide committed by family members and relatives.

Womens’ rights campaigners say attitudes must change in Italy, where cases of violent crimes committed against women by their partners or ex-partners are often portrayed in the media as tragic stories of love gone sour, with the killers described as “jealous”.

READ ALSO: Almost half of Italian women report suffering sexual harassment

Almost 3.5 million women in Italy have been victims of stalking, according to data from national statistics agency Istat – but only 22 percent of those report the act or seek help.

Around one in three Italian women suffer abuse at some point in their life.

Femicide commonly refers to the killing of a girl or woman by a partner or family member.

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Italian police officers investigated for beatings and torture of suspects

Five police officers in northern Italy have been placed under house arrest pending an inquiry into allegations they beat and tortured detainees, most of them foreign nationals, newspapers reported on Wednesday.

Italian police officers investigated for beatings and torture of suspects

An inspector and four officers in Verona, northeast Italy, are accused of beating and insulting people held in custody, La Stampa daily reported.

A dozen of their colleagues are also under investigation for having allegedly done nothing to stop the abuse, the report added.

La Stampa cited a former prisoner, a Romanian, who said officers had forced him to urinate in a corner of his cell at a police station in Verona, having refused to let him use the toilet.

Afterwards, they beat him up and dragged him over the floor where he had had to urinate, to punish him.

“If these facts are confirmed, it would be enormously serious,” Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said Wednesday.

READ ALSO: ‘Treated like a dog’: Transgender woman sues over Italian police brutality

Such conduct damaged “not just the dignity of the victims but also the honour and the reputation” of thousands of honest police officers, he added.

Late last month, a Brazilian transgender woman sued police officers in Milan for alleged brutality, after they beat her in an incident recorded in a video that went viral online.

It showed three officers using their batons to strike the 41-year-old on the head and in the ribs while spraying her with tear gas as she sat in the street, her hands raised.

Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the incident.