Is there a future for fighting femicide? Interview with the lawyer Antonio Lascala (Gens Nova)

(To Maria Grazia Labellarte)

“In this case it is clear that on a psychological level the victim suffers a situation of instability, by suffering he is afraid and this makes it easier for the executioner who, by virtue of this state of awe and fear, has a greater hold on the victim and is able to easily convince him that he is he is sorry."

These, in summary, are part of the psychological consequences of persecutory acts, we talk about it with the national president of Gens Nova,lawyer Antonio Maria Lascala.

The “Gens Nova” Cultural Association was established in Puglia on 17 February 2004, in 2016 it became a non-profit organization and, from January 2020, in compliance with the Third Sector reform legislation, it changed the acronym from non-profit organization to OdV (Organisation of Volunteering). Since 2018 it has been active in Abruzzo and Veneto, since 2019 in Campania, Marche and Sicily, since October 2020 in Lazio and since March 2021 in Emilia Romagna.

Among the statutory objectives and activities of the Association are the protection of victims of violence (family mistreatment of women and minors, stalking, revenge porn, online solicitation, forms of bullying/cyberbullying), as well as 360° dissemination from culture to legality; It also represents an impulse for the Legislator to legislate in a correct, timely and precise manner with respect to these issues.

From 2016 to today, Gens Nova OdV has been a civil party in numerous trials to protect victims of violence throughout the national territory. In recent years the Association has achieved numerous objectives on the regulatory front, assuming a decisive role, through a series of events, initiatives and proposed requests, in the approval of the cyberbullying law (law no. 71 of 29 May 2017), in law no. 4 of 11 January 2018, the so-called law on femicide, in law on unaccompanied foreign minors (law no. 47 of 07 April 2017 – also known as reads Zampa).

President, can persecutory acts be equated with femicide?

Certainly gender violence and therefore "feminicides" (the worst expression of gender violence, because unfortunately it involves the death of the victim) are certainly not dependent on but connected to the phenomenon of stalking, known in Italy as the crime of persecutory acts, foreseen in article 612 bis of the Criminal Code.

Usually the murderer precedes, before the execution of the murder, a series of persecutory acts and conduct which have occurred over time, violence, threats, insults, defamations which produce in the victim a state of fear with consequent change in life habits or a state of anxiety, and depressive. In this case it is clear that the victim, on a psychological level, suffers a situation of instability, suffering the fear that facilitates the executioner: by virtue of this state of awe and fear, he has a greater hold on the victim and is able to easily convince him that he has repentant, he wants to get back together and have the famous last clarifying meeting, the one in which unfortunately tragedy can happen.

In order for us to talk about stalking, there must be at least two events. But is it always like this? Or are there exceptions that the jurisprudence has clearly distinguished?

Article 612 is very clear and the jurisprudence does nothing but give a correct interpretation.

First of all, as we anticipated, the crime is called "persecutory acts" and is a plurality of conduct such as defamation, threats, reprehensible conduct, over a period of time that does not necessarily have to be very long, even a few weeks, what is prerequisite is continuity, assumption already seen previously.

Bullying is also stalking. Today the Court of Cassation tells us that it is stalking in all respects: the victim begins not to want to go out, he no longer wants to go to school or the gym. The same goes for women: they too start not wanting to leave the house anymore, they don't want to frequent that type of environment, etc. Stalking is certainly a habitual crime because it presupposes habitual conduct.

Persecutory acts, however, can be perpetrated in any context, work, passion, at home and there has even recently been talk of "condominium and judicial stalking". Condominium stalking are those behaviors that the condominium owner carries out against another condominium owner, invasions of the field, arguments in the parking lots of condominiums, dust on the balcony, repetitions of conduct here too. There is also talk of judicial stalking, numerous complaints, summonses, specious arguments aimed at disturbing the person's life.

What are your thoughts on the latest brutal case involving two very young boys in their prime?

The idea I have had is the same idea I have had for 15 years since I have assiduously followed these feminicides with Gens Nova, being a civil party in numerous feminicides, various mistreatments, continuous violence, unfortunately it is a constantly expanding phenomenon which does not it can be contained, because among the various components there is the component "of the unpredictability" of the fact and not so much of the conduct. It is clear that we cannot predict when it will happen or if it will happen. The vast majority of the perpetrators of these feminicides have no criminal record but it was revealed during the trials that they are all very good people, very affectionate, very correct even at work and the "so-called above suspicion" therefore the only possible weapon is that of prevention.

The poor girl probably tried to get away from this man but she probably would have made the mistake of meeting him again (I use the conditional because I don't know the documents of the trial). This is the advice I give to everyone, avoid the famous definitive meeting, final, clarifying meeting.

Murdered in a brutal way, consequently we are faced with the absurdity of the phenomenon but we are not faced with a new phenomenon, on the contrary unfortunately it is getting worse, in fact there are more than 105 cases this year alone.

Is there a successful future for combating femicide?

I don't see a successful future in the short term, I see it further away if we begin to intensify the prevention activity in training and information in a more pressing manner, starting from the fourth to fifth grade elementary schools, an educational and legal prevention activity . Make people understand what the civil administrative criminal consequences of conduct are, the consequence of ending up in prison, of destroying the family, the loss of everything that parents have built by working with sacrifice for years. Causes that prevent us from participating in competitions, providing comprehensive information and incessant training, we must go through this path. Otherwise there is no future.

Image: OpenAI