From the beginning of the year until November 21, 104 women were killed, nearly 10 per month; from 2012 to 2022, homicides in Italy have decreased overall, but femicides did so less than the overall average. The data comes from the “Prejudice and Violence Against Women” inter-agency report presented on Tuesday in Rome, in collaboration with La Sapienza University.
Over the decade 2012-22, the sharp decline in murders of 44% came with a decrease of only 28% in murders with female victims. In 2012, among the victims of homicide, 69% were male and 31% female; in 2021, the relative incidences were similar, at 61% and 39% respectively.
During the period of January-September 2022, 221 homicides were recorded, with 82 female victims (down 9% from 2021), 71 of them killed in a family/couple environment (down 8% from 2021). Of these, 42 were killed at the hands of their partner or ex-partner (down 19% from 2021). In the past nine months, the percentage of partners or ex-partners who committed murder has dropped from about 70% of cases to 59%, while murders committed by parents or children (31%) or other relatives (10%) have increased their share.
In the period 2021-2022, in willful homicides of women in a family/relationship context, the use of improvised or bladed weapons is most prominent (31 cases in 2022, 43 in 2021). Firearms were used in 19 cases in 2022 (16 in 2021).
Asphyxiation/suffocation/strangulation came next (10 homicides in both periods); then, there were 10 homicides by injury or battery, compared with eight in 2021. There was only one case of poisoning.
Most of the perpetrators of femicide are aged 31-44 (29% in 2021 and 28% in 2022). This is followed by those aged 45-54 with 23%, while those over 65 and the 18-30 age group reach 19%. There is a clear prevalence of ethnic Italians (75% in both years).
In the last nine months, however, the highest incidence of victims (29%) has been in the 65 and over age group. This is followed by the 31-44 age group (24%) and the 45-54 age group (21%). Again, Italians predominate (81% in 2021 and 79% in 2022). The year 2022 marks a decline in the crimes introduced in 2019 by the “Red Code.” For the crime of “disfiguration by permanent injury to the face,” the first nine months of this year showed an increase of 17% compared to 2021, because the newly-defined crime has incorporated crimes that were previously classified otherwise: out of 246 crimes, the incidence of male victims is 76%, with 24% female victims. Of the latter, 87% are over 18 and 60% are of Italian nationality. 91% of the perpetrators are men.
In the three years analyzed, the highest number of violations of the new provisions concerns orders of removal from the family home and restraining orders against approaching places frequented by the victim: from August 2019 to September 30, 2022, 6,499 such crimes were committed (285 of them in 2022); the victims are women in 82% of cases. As for revenge porn, there has been a 20% reduction from 2021, with a total of 3,496 offenses since the introduction of the law. Looking at the incidence in relation to the population, the regions where this crime is most prevalent are Molise, Sicily, and Sardinia; 72% of the victims are women (83% over 18 and 87% of Italian nationality).
In the first nine months of the year, acts of persecution, the so-called “stalking,” a crime that affects women in 75% of cases, decreased by 17%; mistreatment against family members and cohabitants, which affects women in 81% of cases, decreased by 8%; but sexual violence increased by 9% (4,416 in 2022), with 92% of cases having women as victims, 27% of them minors. Administrative warnings for domestic violence increased by 40% and warnings for stalking by 6%.
Another offense introduced by the Red Code is coercion or inducement to marry: out of 48 incidents recorded in total, with nine cases in 2022 compared to 10 in 2021, 87% of victims were women, 65% of them foreigners. “It’s very important to reflect on the relationship between violence and religious affiliation, especially with reference to immigrant women,” commented Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
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