A new report from GREVIO, the Council of Europe’s expert group on violence against women, has urged the Italian authorities to enact more measures to protect women from violence. While welcoming some innovative new laws, notably regarding stalking, providing paid leave for victims of violence and support for orphans of victims, the report says more work still needs to be done.
The report assesses Italy’s implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, widely known as the “Istanbul Convention”.
While acknowledging that some progress to promote women’s rights has been achieved, the report regrets that efforts to improve gender equality are facing resistance in Italy, with increasing signs of a tendency to reinterpret and refocus gender-equality in terms of family and motherhood policies.
In the area of victim protection and support, the report considers that as a matter of priority, the national authorities need to develop appropriate funding and a co-ordinated multi-agency approach to violence, involving local authorities and all the relevant stakeholders, especially women’s NGOs providing shelters for victims. Further measures are also urgently needed to extend and improve provision of specialist support services for victims of sexual violence, in the form of rape crisis and/or sexual violence referral centres.