Persecuted, mistreated, humiliated, violated, attacked: this is the reality that many women – unfortunately – are still forced to deal with today. There gender equality, the protections of the law, are often only principles enshrined in black and white: achievements yes, but which require efforts, struggles and complaints to be put into practice.
Perhaps for this reason, while the anti-violence centers are asking for more support (with the introduction of stricter penalties for the aggressors, greater protection for the victims and more funds for associations), the decision taken by the United Sections of the Supreme Court with which has been declared that the crime of stalking will no longer be considered an aggravating circumstance in the event of femicide.
After being an aggravating circumstance for more than 10 years (it was introduced into the Criminal Code in 2009), lo stalking it is integrated in an “all inclusive” package. This is perhaps not the most exact legal definition to define the case and the case in point, but this is how many have interpreted it. But let’s try to clarify.
Whoever stains himself with femicide, it has been decided, commits a “complex crime“, Deriving from the normative unification of two crimes in an aggravated form of only one of them, which means that within it it” absorbs “all aggravating circumstances, including persecutory acts and any previous violence (ie stalking).
As explained on the specialized site Sistemapenale.it, “it is observed that the murder committed by the stalker against his victim (…) rather than being committed ‘on occasion’ or ‘contextually’ to the persecutory acts is usually preceded and ‘prepared’ by the latter, according to one progression logic: and in this lies the particular connection between the facts of the crime in question, which, even if separated on a chronological level, constitute an expression of same persecutory will, which, according to the political-criminal assessment of the legislator based on criminological foundations, pushes the perpetrator of the crime first to commit repeated threats or harassment and then, finally, to homicidal conduct “.
The absence of the aggravating circumstance, however, cannot be translated – at a legal and jurisprudential level – into a penalty discount.
In this specific case where the United Sections of the Cassation have been called upon to have their say, in reality the accused person (which among other things is another woman, accused of murder and of intimidating and persecutory acts against a colleague) he comes sentenced to life imprisonment, while in the event of a crime he would have been 30 years old.
So yes, they have “absorbed” the crime of stalking, but worth it for the “complex” crime is actually higher.
It is a much more complicated question than it may seem, both because the legal matter is often not easy to understand, and because those who have the task of informing and explaining often do not get to the bottom of the matter. The fact remains that this decision can equally cause discussion, as the daughter of a system that is far from being faultless.
It is no coincidence that, according to the latest Report on gender-based and domestic violence in the judicial reality, an analysis presented on 17 June 2021 to the Senate Commission of Inquiry, “the managers of the organization of the judicial offices have not yet reached an adequate awareness of the particular complexity that the discussion of the subject of gender and domestic violence requires “.
“This data – it was explained – appears relevant, as failure to recognize the complexity of the subject could contribute to the triggering of vicious circles: non-adequacy and efficiency of the judicial response, non-timeliness of the intervention, aggravation and imbalance in the workload to the disadvantage of specialized magistrates, with the concrete risk of disaffection with the matter and a disincentive to deal with it “.
To reach the minimum efficiency standards, they are few powers of attorney, which has consequences on investigations, trials and even on the penalties of the guilty. If we add to this the confusion linked to interpretation and practice, then how much still is the way to go becomes clearer.
Isn’t it time to rethink the whole system starting from information?