"For women with disabilities, as for all women exposed to multiple discrimination, the Istanbul Convention remains largely unimplemented". Like this Elena Biaggioni, criminal lawyer and contact person for the Advocate Group of D.i.Re, summarizes the conclusions reached by the GREVIO, Group of experts on violence against women of the Council of Europe, In its Report on the application of the Istanbul Convention in Italy published last January.

Right at women with disabilities and multiple discrimination is dedicated on new video of the campaign Violence against women. What state are we in? launched by D.i.Re – Donne in rete contro la violenza, which until March 8 will bring to the attention of public opinion and institutions the recommendations of GREVIO to truly implement the Istanbul Convention in Italy, where it has been in force since 2014.

In its investigation on violence, dating back to 2014, ISTAT found that women who have suffered physical or sexual violence are 11,3 percent of the general female population, while this figure triples, reaching 36,7 per cent, if only women with some form of disability are taken into account.

An investigation by FISH, the Italian Federation for overcoming the handicap, published in 2019 and based on over 500 interviews with women with disabilities, denounces how the perpetrator of the violence is in 80% of cases a person linked to the woman: partners or other family members, service operators, acquaintances.

GREVIO, Group of experts on violence against women of the Council of Europe, in its Report on the application of the Istanbul Convention in Italy, published last January, also reported how enormous difficulties also with respect to the escape from violence:

  • it is difficult for women with disabilities to recognize and report the violence suffered;
  • the risk of being persists stigmatized and not believed due to a general lack of understanding of their exposure to violence;
  • one is missing specific training of operators, particularly in the justice system, law enforcement and social services;
  • missing accessible information and adequate information material on the rights of victims and the support services available.

"Policies to address intersectional discrimination against women with disabilities should draw on research and data that illustrate the prevalence of gender-based violence among these groups of women," explains Elena Biaggioni, "and above all they should take into account the knowledge and experience of women's organizations dealing with violence against women, including women with disabilities ".

To reverse this situation, GREVIO recommended to the Italian government of:

  • develop and improve the accessibility of services protection and support for these groups of women, including related information materials;
  • support research and include specific indicators on multiple and intersectional discrimination in data collection relating to violence against women;
  • ensure the effective application of the obligation of due diligence (due diligence) to prevent, investigate, punish and adequately compensate victims belonging to these groups of women;
  • ensure that particular attention is paid - by all public institutions and services - to needs of women victims of violence who are or may also be exposed to multiple discrimination or who are made vulnerable by particular circumstances, including, but not limited to, women and girls with disabilities.


The campaign is realized thanks to the kind contribution of the Kering Foundation

Kering Foundation