The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, on the occasion of the "International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women" issued the following statement:
"Today's anniversary leads us to reflect on a phenomenon that unfortunately has not ceased to be a public emergency. Accounts of violence against women are, all too often, still a part of our crime news, presenting an image of a society where respect for women is not part of people's daily behaviour, of private and public language, of interpersonal relationships.
Gender-based violence is expressed not only through physical aggression, but also through psychological harassment, economic blackmail, threats, various forms of sexual violence, persecution and may even lead to femicide. All these forms of violence are rooted in the senseless and unacceptable notion that relationships between men and women should not be based upon a mutual recognition of equality.
During these trying times, for our country and for the whole world, women have been particularly affected. The pandemic has increased the risk of violence that often takes place in the home: unfortunately, during the lockdown, there has been a dramatic increase in violence against women which has, at times, sadly involved minors.
Institutions have heeded the cry for help of the self-same women and the associations that have, for decades, been committed to eradicating what is, all too often, a deeply-rooted concept aimed at disavowing women's freedom and their ability to assert themselves. Thus, it is imperative that women who feel threatened turn to those who can offer support and prevent cohabitation from degenerating into violence.
Breaking the chain of violence against women means fighting all forms of oppression, imposition and abuse. In a democratic society, women should no longer be afraid of being subjected to violence, at home, at work, in every place and context wherein they are engaging in self-determination."