The “Codice Rosso”: New Measures against Gender-Based and Domestic Violence in Italy
The phenomenon of domestic and gender-based violence against women is widespread and affects all social classes and all countries. Indeed, 31.5% (6,788,000) of Italian women between the ages of 16 and 70 have been victims of physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives. Almost half of these violent experiences were caused by a (former) partner. The discussion surrounding the issue of violence against women, which has been the subject of public debate for some time, has been further energized since the “me too” movement began in 2017. The so-called Codice Rosso, enacted in 2019, returns to this issue. The media chose this name because, among other things, the new law stipulates priority and accelerated treatment for cases of domestic and gender-based violence. This is seen as analogous to the “code red” assigned to the most serious cases in triage situations in hospital emergency units.
In a first step, the project addresses the specifics of the Italian criminal justice system, which has long maintained its outdated misogynistic rules. In a second step, it examines the current legal situation. Not least because of the international requirements with regard to violence against women (the Istanbul Convention, in particular), the Italian legislature has enacted four legislative packages in an attempt to address this problem. The packages focus not only on the criminal law but on other areas as well. These reforms are presented in a kind of stocktaking, with the last of them, the Codice Rosso, subject to an in-depth, critical analysis.