[Rome, 20 February 2018. article by Siusi Cassacia, EWL Observatory Expert from Italy] The European Women’s Lobby Coordination in Italy, LEF-Italia, highly welcomes the adoption of the law protecting orphans as a consequence of femicide and domestic violence.
The Law (11/01/2018) entered into force on 16th February and includes provisions to protect femicide victims’ children by modifying civil and penal code articles, and setting up autonomous provisions.
The law also removes the murderer’s rights to inherit from the femicide victim and also the right to receive the victims’ pension. These rights remain suspended until there is a final sentence.
During the criminal proceedings, there is the possibility to block the murderer’s access to their goods so as to guarantee compensation as damages for the children of the victim(s).
The law also establishes legal aid, free psychological assistance from health services, study grants and professional training for the victims’ children. The children also have the right to keep living in the family home.
In the case of minors, the priority established by this law is to give the guardianship to relatives to maintain the family relationship.
There is also the possibility, for children who wish to do so, to change their surname if it is the same as that of the perpetrator.
The law has been adopted after several years of public debate and lobbying action from civil society organisations in Italy to ensure reparation to orphans who bear double victimisation due to their fathers’ violence and who additionally have to bear with the economic and psychological consequences of the murder.