Italian Policy on Domestic Violence
The number of robbery offences reported over the last 3 years (2011-2013) has increased, on average, by 19%.
Law No. 154 of 4 April 2001 concerning measures against violence in family relationships has introduced new instruments to protect victims: removal from the family home (Art. 282-bis of the Italian Criminal Code) and protection orders against family abuse (Art. 343-bis of the Italian Civil Code).
Law No. 38 of 23 April 2009 has introduced the new offence of persecutory acts (stalking) under Art. 612-bis of the Italian Criminal Code, the precautionary measure of the order to stay away from the places frequented by the victim (Art. 282-ter of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure) and the administrative measure of the formal warning given by the Questore (local police chief).
Law No. 77 of 27 June 2013 ratifying and implementing the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women, including domestic violence, done in Istanbul on 11 May 2011.
Law No. 119 of 15 October 2013 has enhanced procedural instruments to combat such offences as maltreatment in the family and persecutory acts (mandatory arrest flagrante delicto, interception of communications, irrevocability of stalking complaints which can only be withdrawn in court proceedings) and introduced new measures including the urgent removal of the offender from the family home (Art. 384-bis of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure), the residence permit for foreign victims of domestic violence, the Questores formal warning for domestic violence incidents, the requirement to inform offenders about available treatment and rehabilitation centres, the establishment of a National Anti-Violence Plan for the planning and coordination of multidisciplinary actions.
Violence against women and the wider issue of gender violence have long been addressed by the Italian National Police through a number of initiatives both on the criminal justice level (which is the responsibility of the judicial authority) and the prevention level, where collaboration with external bodies and private organisations offering the required logistical, legal and psychological support in conjunction with police forces is of key importance.
Such collaboration, enhanced by recent legislation, has proved even more effective when supported by joint training initiatives also formalised through Memoranda of Understanding with the various public and private institutions dealing with the specific issue at local level.
The instrument of the MoU, a long-standing practice in several Italian provinces, appears to be the most flexible way to update inter-institutional cooperation mechanisms. A directive of the Italian Chief of Police of July 2013 further invites the Questure (police headquarters in the provinces) to conclude MoUs or update existing ones with a view to supporting police actions.
Several initiatives have been carried out to expand police staff training also within the frame of annual professional development programmes.
In addition, specialist seminars have been held for National Police senior officers: the most recent of these was launched at the end of 2013 for Mobile Squads (CID units) and Anti-Crime Divisions of the Questure and is still ongoing at the Police Academy.
Over the years, further training initiatives have been implemented with a European dimension, especially under the EU Programme DAPHNE.
Dedicated webpages on this issue can be found at:
Servizio per la Cooperazione Internazionale di Polizia
Via Torre di Mezzavia nr. 9/121 00173 - Roma
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