Violence against women, from the yellow card to the electronic bracelet: the new measures

The Council of Ministers has approved the bill. There is an obligation to respect the minimum approach distance of 500 meters from the victim

Strengthening of precautionary measures, and therefore warning, electronic bracelet normally applied, obligation to respect the minimum distance of 500 meters from the victim and extension of the types of crime for which precautionary measures can be applied, including revenge porn and acid scarring of the face. These are some of the measures contained in the bill against violence against women approved by the Council of Ministers which among the objectives also has that of speeding up the times for the application of precautionary measures, with stringent deadlines for prosecutors and judges, and to give priority to treatment of trials on gender-based and domestic violence and to make prosecutors specialized by always trying to assign files concerning violence against women to them.

The bill, made up of 15 articles, aims above all at prevention to prevent the so-called ‘spy crimes’ from degenerating into more serious facts. It is a question of imposing the so-called yellow card on the violent man, as defined by the Minister for the Family, Eugenia Roccella. And in fact, the tightening concerns above all those who have already been the recipient of the warning and fall back into the same conduct, the so-called repeat offenders.

Article 1 of the bill provides for ”strengthening the measures in terms of warning and informing victims”. In particular, the penalties for the crimes of beatings, personal injuries, private violence, serious threats, persecution, revenge porn, trespassing and damage have increased ”if the fact is committed, in the context of domestic violence, by a person already warned…even if the offended person is different from the one for whose protection the warning has already been adopted”.

Article 5, which contains the provisions regarding the attributions of the public prosecutor, provides that ”in the case of delegation, the identification always takes place specifically for the management of affairs relating to gender-based and domestic violence” precisely for ”promote specialization in the handling of trials on gender-based violence and domestic violence”.

In the event of homicide or attempted homicide and other crimes ”committed to the detriment of the spouse, even if separated or divorced, of the part of the civil union or of the cohabitant or of a person who is linked or has been linked by an emotional relationship or close relatives ”, according to the provisions of article 6, the prosecutor evaluates, ”without delay and in any case within 30 days of the registration of the person’s name in the register of crime reports, the existence of the conditions for the application of the precautionary measures”. Even the judges will have stringent deadlines for the decision on the precautionary measures.

Article 9 governs deferred flagrante arrest by providing that videos and photos can also be used to trigger deferred flagrante arrest in cases of abuse in the family, a crime governed by article 572 of the penal code, or by the stalking (612a).

”In any case, a person who, on the basis of photographic video documentation or other documentation legitimately obtained from computer or telematic communication devices, from which the fact emerges unequivocally, is considered flagrant – reads article 9 of the bill he is the perpetrator, provided that the arrest is made no later than the time necessary for his identification and, in any case, within forty-eight hours of the fact”.

Article 10 deals with the strengthening of precautionary measures and the use of the electronic bracelet. While before the electronic bracelet was applied only at the request of the magistrate, now it will normally be applied unless the magistrate says that there is no need, and in any case with the consent of the person concerned. In particular, the use of the electronic bracelet is envisaged with the prescription of ”maintaining a certain distance in any case not less than 500 meters from the family home and from other specific places usually frequented by the offended person, unless attendance is necessary for work reasons ”.

In this case the judge ”prescribes the relative modalities and can impose limitations”. Furthermore, ”with the same provision that establishes the prohibition of approaching, the judge provides for the application, even jointly, of a more serious measure if the defendant refuses consent to the adoption” of the electronic bracelet.