Violence against women, Lidia’s accusation: “I escaped death, the State abandons the victims”

In June 2012 her partner tried to kill her with scissors and strangling her. “Humiliated in court. Equality does not exist, for our executioners benefits and reward permits”

He hasn’t slept for years. “As soon as I closed his eyes I found the image of him in front of him while he was trying to kill me. On the street, with every car that passed me, I thought it was him.” Days lived in terror after being escaped death. At the hands of his partner. Of the man who said he loved her. Lidia Vivoli she survived a attempted femicide in June 2012 and feelings of guilt. “At first I couldn’t talk about what had happened to me. I got help”, the former flight attendant from Palermo, now the mother of two splendid twins, tells Adnkronos. Victim of a toxic relationship Lidia, who, with a failed marriage behind her, had trusted him, the man who tried to kill her one night 11 years ago. First with scissors, then by trying to strangle her. “After more than a year from the end of my marriage which I experienced as a mourning – she recalls – I accepted the court of that brilliant and always smiling man. I said to myself ‘try it’. I gave myself another chance, because my dream is always It was having a beautiful family.”

The first five months flew by with surprises and attention. “He looked like Prince Charming, showered me with compliments. She took a lot of care, the romantic boat trips, the dinner ready when I arrived home after work, the meetings at the airport at 4 in the morning just to have a coffee together before boarding. It was wonderful. “The idyll, however, did not last long. When the airline she worked for transferred Lidia to Catania he decided to follow her.” ‘I’m coming with you. Being a barman I will find work more easily there,’ she told me. “With cohabitation the problems began. “I realized that something was wrong. He started checking me out. Once she asked me to give her the phone and, when I refused, she slapped me so hard that I hit my head against the wall. I went to the hospital to get the report and I pushed him away, but he started bombarding me with phone calls. “He apologized to her, promising her that it wouldn’t happen again and Lidia forgave him.” I was subjugated, a sort of emotional dependence difficult to explain.”

The relationship continued for a few more months. At a distance. “She didn’t come back to live with me in Catania”. Until June 24, 2012. “He proposed that we take a trip to the Sanctuary of Tindari, in Messina, and I accepted. We spent a beautiful day. On the way home after leaving my sister who had come with us at home, he asked me to able to stay with me. We had dinner and watched a film, then I fell asleep. At 1.45 he told me he had to go to the bathroom. I stayed in bed, I still remember the sound of his footsteps. He went into the kitchen, took a cast iron grill pan and me he struck violently in the back of the head“. Lidia thought she was the victim of a robber. “A volley of strong blows came to me so quickly that I couldn’t get out of bed immediately. When the handle of the dish broke and I managed to lift myself up, I saw him in front of me. I was shocked. It was devastating.”

Lidia remembers the violence, repeated and ferocious. “He took some scissors and planted them on my back and then again on my thigh, on my trunk, on the back of my neck”. Pressed between the wall and the bed, she tried to defend herself. “She wrapped the lamp cord around my neck and tried to strangle me”. The attack it went on for a long time. More and more brutal. “I managed to wound him and dragged myself to the bed. I could only hear my heartbeat. I thought I was going to die, I started praying. I told him I wasn’t going to report him and he replied ‘I’ll get dressed now, but if you move an inch I’ll kill you’. When he left, I called 118 and my mother. They found him at his house, he said that he had defended himself from an attack on me. It’s a shame, however, that he only had a few scratches while I was dying in hospital.” Lidia’s ordeal continued even afterwards. “After five months in prison, he went under house arrest and continued to persecute me. Then came the threats to my parents to make me change my version of events. I lived in terror“.

It didn’t get any better court when the trial began. “I was humiliated,I immediately shameful questions. We live in a patriarchal society in which prejudice continues to blame women who are victims of violence. There is no equality between the sexesman has a freedom that women are not granted.” When she heard the story of Marisa Leo, the 39-year-old killed in the Trapani area by her ex-partner who then took his own life, she fell back in time. “It happens every time, it’s a wound that doesn’t heal. The state has abandoned me. The women killed have almost always reported their executioners, but there are no funds to protect us. Or perhaps what is really missing is the will. I wonder why i our executioners
the can enjoy benefits and bonus allowances, can exploit a thousand loopholes and the victims, instead, must be taken to a protected home, uprooted from their loved ones, losing their freedom. And be continually judged, for their appearance, for their life choices, for a red lipstick or a low-cut dress.”

Today Lidia tells her story. To other women to “have the courage to report”. In schools to “make people understand that love is freedom” and to tell girls that “no man has the right to dictate to them what to do and how to dress and that violence has no excuses. Never of any kind” and to explain to the boys that “women are not objects of their property”. “I also do it for my children, they know everything and I want them to be proud of me. I teach them to always be free and not to be influenced. To always have the courage of their choices”. (by Rossana Lo Castro)