Law n. 38/2009, modified the Italian Criminal Law (art. 612bis), through:
- the introduction of the crime of stalking: until this provision, there was no appropriate sanction in Italian law for the stalking that often precedes acts of violence. Perpetrators are punished by 6 months to 4 years of imprisonement.
- an increase of jail sentences for rape - with no possibility of house arrest for perpetrators and the provision of a life sentence if and when such crimes lead to the death of the victim. Moreover it provide for free legal counsel to victims of sexual violence. The decree also reserves 3 million euro to support non-governmental organizations working in support of victims of violence (such as antiviolence centres, women centres, shelters).
Law n. 38/2009 provides free legal counsel to victims of sexual violence.
Funding allocated: Law n. 38/2009 assigns an additional "3 million for the year 2009, to support projects to assist victims of sexual and gender violence" (Article 6 - paragraph 2) through the National Fund against sexual violence and gender, as well as a further 1,000,000 euros to the "national hotline for victims of persecution", which is active twenty-four hours a day, with the aim to provide a first psychological and legal assistance from staff with appropriate skills and to contact the police promptly in cases of urgency" (Art. 12 and 13).
Source of Information
Response of the Government of Italy to the questionnaire on violence against women, June 2009