Italy implements the GREVIO recommendations on violence and custody of children

Italian courts do not always recognize male violence against women as a serious violation of human rights. In the sentences violence is narrated in a mitigated or distorted way, often confused with conflict or as a human reaction to a provocation by the victim who is held responsible for the violence.

To say it is the GREVIO, Council of Europe Group of Experts on Violence, and recently also the Committee of the Council of Ministers of Europe which, in the verification procedure on the Italian anti-violence system, following the conviction of the Court of Strasbourg in the Talpis case, judged Italy in default and unable to guarantee access to justice for the victims of femicide.

With a new video the campaign is available on social networks Violence against women. What state are we in?  di D.i.Re – Donne in rete contro la violenza highlights how the violence suffered by women is not recognized - not even in the face of the criminal conviction of perpetrators - and where against them, concepts related to "parental alienation" continue to be used in the technical consultations (CTU) ordered by the judges (PAS, parental alienation syndrome in the English acronym) when the children refuse to continue to meet the abusive father.

"Violence does not distinguish between civil and criminal courts. Violence is violence, always, even when women simply choose to separate from the perpetrator to take back their lives, ”she says Antonella Veltri, President of D.i.ReThe advocates of the anti-violence centers D.i.Re continue to assist women who have been subjected to violence and what now they fight in civil law to have their rights as mothers recognized, opposing reports from expert witnesses who devalue their parental capacity and accuse them of manipulating the children against the father. GREVIO - in its Report published last January - made precise recommendations regarding the institutions of civil justice, in particular:

  • duly investigate any allegations of violenceby improving cooperation with the criminal courts and any relevant bodies, including law enforcement, health and education authorities and anti-violence centers;
  • incorporate risk assessment procedures when determining custody and visitation rights to establish the best interests of the child;
  • ensure that the experts called to carry out expert witnesses are aware of the issue of violence against women and the provisions of the Istanbul Convention;
  • prohibit the use of concepts related to "parental alienation" and any other approach or principle that tends to view mothers who appeal to violence as "uncooperative" and "unsuitable" as parents, and to blame them for the bad relationship between the abusive parent and the children;
  • stop imposing the obligation to participate in joint meetings with the perpetrator to women and their children in order to reach an agreement on custody and visitation, which amounts to mandatory mediation, prohibited by the Istanbul Convention.

“The government must strive to implement the GREVIO recommendations and put an end to the continued re-legitimization of women in civil courts, a drama that is there for all to see ”, concludes Veltri. "We must not question the word of the women who denounce".