More than 100 women have been murdered in Italy so far this year, with almost half of them killed by their intimate partner or ex-partner, the Italian police said.
Released on Friday to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the report lists the names and details of death of the 95 women killed between the beginning of the year and November 7.
They include 27-year-old Carol, who was killed by her ex-boyfriend who hit her with a hammer and then dumped her dismembered body off a cliff, 40-year-old Elisabetta who died after being “stabbed dozens of times” by her husband and 74-year-old Silvana whose husband beat her to death with a stick.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said Friday that her government was committed to fighting gender-based violence and the “terrible plague of femicide.”
“We owe it to the many victims,” she said in a statement posted on her official Facebook page.
In Italy, 31.5% of women have suffered some of form of physical or sexual violence and 5.4% have been victims of serious forms of sexual violence such as rape, according to the Italian Statistics Institute (ISTAT).
The Italian statistics comes after the world witnessed a domestic abuse crisis during the Covid-19 pandemic. Job losses, government inaction, judicial backlogs and many other factors contributed to what the United Nations has called a “shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls.”
According to a UN report, 45,000 women worldwide were killed by their partners or other family members last year. This means that more than five women or girls were killed every hour by someone in their own family.
Across Europe, cases of violence against women have stoked outrage in recent years.
In Greece, where 17 women were killed in 2021 according to public broadcaster ERT, the government was criticized for rejecting an opposition amendment that would have established institutional recognition of the term femicide.
In November 2021, after a 48-year-old woman was stabbed 23 times by her husband in Thessaloniki, opposition leader Alexis Tsipras posted on Facebook: “There should be no political disputes when we dramatically experience the effects of gender based violence on a daily basis.”
In the United Kingdom, following the kidnap and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard in March 2021 by a serving male police officer, and a heavy-handed police crackdown on a vigil in her memory, activists criticized what they say is a culture of misogyny within policing.
On January 1 of this year, three women were killed in France, each allegedly by a partner or ex-partner, in what feminist campaigners described as an “unbearable” start to another year’s tally of violence. In 2021, 113 women were murdered in France by their current or former partners, according to French advocacy group Féminicides par compagnons ou ex (Femicides by partners or exes).
The number of women killed in gender-based violence in Spain in 2021 reached 48, according to official data from the Spanish government.