edited by: Donata Pagetti Vivanti, Silvia Cutrera, Luisa Bosisio Fazzi (Italian Forum on Disability)

Limplementation of National strategic plan on male violence against women 2021-2023 (1) is entrusted to the regional level of governance. Although all Italian regions have adopted legislation to combat gender-based violence, few have adopted complete regional plans, some have approved only guidelines, others have regulated only some issues, such as the Regional Observatory, few of the plans or regional guidelines approved mention the intersectional discrimination of women with disabilities. We point out thephysical, approach and communication environmental inaccessibility support and assistance structures and awareness and prevention campaigns for women and girls with disabilities. The mapping of anti-violence centers and shelters does not contemplate theiraccessibility: Victims of violence with disabilities do not have adequate access to services. The Decree (2) relating to the criteria for allocating national funds to the Regions, does not envisage specific actions in favor of women and girls with disabilities(3). In the two National Observatories on gender-based violence (4) and on gender equality (5), there is no Association that represents people (women) with disabilities , as well as in decision-making bodies at the regional level.

The lack of specific statistical data on girls and women with disabilities makes male violence against them invisible and prevents the planning of targeted activities and services. Policies and legislation to combat gender-based violence travel on a parallel track to policies and legislation on disability, failing so to intercept the specific needs of women with disabilities, Intersectional Discrimination (6) affecting women with disabilities is not recognized in laws and language. 

Awareness and prevention campaigns they are not aimed at girls and women with disabilities or within their reach, because they are not supported by adequate languages ​​and tools (easy-to-read format, sign language, subtitles, audio descriptions, braille format, etc.). The media, both public and private, still pay no attention to the phenomenon of violence against girls and women with disabilities. The National Communications Authority (AGCOM) does not make any specific reference to girls and women with disabilities in its regulation, analysis and monitoring action”. The risk of being victims of hateful actions and words is also greater in the digital world, as already confirmed by the seventh map of intolerance di VOX – Italian Observatory on Rights. Despite some positive examples (7), as ADV (Against Domestic Violence) of the University of Milan-Bicocca, the situation of training on the nature of violence against women with disabilities e about its consequences, especially of law enforcement officers and the judicial system, is largely insufficient.

The right to be equal before the law (8) is not fully guaranteed to women with disabilities, in particular intellectual and/or psychosocial: to date the juridical institutions of interdiction and disqualification are still in force, as well as the current juridical institution ofsupport administration lends itself to the arbitrary suppression of the rights of persons with disabilities. In the case of women with disabilities who have reported the violence suffered, yes finds further discrimination during the child custody process: women with disabilities are often subjected to assessments of their parenting skills using standard parameters, without considering the condition of disability. Nonetheless, in the recent report (9) of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into feminicide and all other gender-based violence of May 2022, women with disabilities appear completely and severely ignored.

Due to myths, stereotypes and lack of awareness of disability, women with disabilities suffer discriminatory treatment and abuse particularly in the areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights, such as forced sterilization, forced contraception and forced abortion. women and girls with high support needs, and those living in institutional settings are particularly vulnerable to such abuses.

Notes and references: 

1_https://www.pariopportunita.gov.it/it/politiche-e-attivita/violenza-di-genere/piano-strategico-nazionale-sulla-violenza-maschile-against-le-donne-2021-20232_Decree of 22 September 2022 of the Presidency of the Council, Department for Equal Opportunities
3_ https://www.fiscoetasse.com/normativa-prassi/13197-riparto-fondi-centri-antiviolenza-2022.html
Intersectional discrimination occurs when discrimination is based on several factors interacting with each other in such a way that they can no longer be distinguished and separated. The resulting consequences are inseparable and can only be evaluated because they form a new discrimination, which is no longer just the sum of the effects deriving from the single factors involved.
ADV (Against Domestic Violence). is a departmental research center (Department of Sociology and Social Research) of the University of Milano-Bicocca which offers training on gender-based violence to students, operators and professionals working in the field of combating violence against women; exchanges information and good practices between Italy and other countries, organizes seminars and specialization courses to "Train operators in the fight against gender-based violence" for students of the degree courses of the Departments of Sociology and Social Research, Medicine and Surgery, Psychology , Human Sciences for Education and the School of Economics and Statistics. The issues relating to women with disabilities are also developed within these courses
Pursuant to art. 12 of the UN CRPD; of the General Comment n. 1 and General Comment No. 3 of the CRPD. 12;
Parliamentary commission of inquiry into femicide and all other gender-based violence: "Secondary victimization of women who suffer violence and their children in proceedings that regulate "custody and parental responsibility", May 2022.