(Picture by Guido Montalbano)


Scarred. Acid this time, a corrosive substance which could damage a car body.

Whenever we read a newspaper or we turn on the TV there is a new crime story about women who were assaulted. It has become almost a déjà-vu and, it’s horrible to say, but sometimes we even don’t pay attention anymore. Nowadays acid attacks, used to disfigure faces, are more and more frequent.

As soon as I hear the news of violence against a woman I ask myself the same questions:
“Where are the institutions, where is the law when you need it really? Do you have to die to be seriously taken into consideration? Did the girl, before the fact, denounce her stalker? “
Most feminicides could be avoided in several ways.
Women, whose safety is really in danger, proved by irrefutable facts (threats, stalking) should get protection.
I’ve studied in Private law that a threat has always to be taken seriously into consideration, so I wonder: how in the world is it possible that frequently assaulters or stalkers manage to have a lucky escape in spite of any evidence?
Clearly the woman who courageously denounces her stalker, should absolutely interrupt all contacts, never granting him the “last clarifying meeting” or not allowing him to “return home “ in order to pick up belongings, because often these are the times when the victim is subject to the final assault.
But I wonder, if a woman reports … severs every link … every contact with the “monster”, shouldn’t she be protected by the law?
Perhaps some judges should stop to underestimate these facts and finally apply the law, putting into practice severe penalties pursuant to the Criminal Law Codes.

Let’s consider the “Law against stalking”, where stalking is a term that includes, among its meanings: hunt prey (which expresses clearly the fact) governed by Article 612 bis of the Criminal Law Code.

The first paragraph of 612-bis C.P.persecutory acts“, reads:

“Unless the act constitutes a even more serious crime, anybody repeatedly threatening or harassing somebody so as to cause a continuing and serious state of anxiety or fear that could give rise to a well-founded fear for themselves or for a close relative or by forcing the same to alter their living habits, shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to four years.”

This is the first paragraph of the article of the only law in Italy that protects women from stalkers, providing, in fact, imprisonment from six months to four years; unfortunately, for many reasons, most stalkers get away with it, remaining, sometimes for years, a constant danger for women they’ve tortured, but also for those who might be their victims in the future.

We are tired, tired of this hate, tired of this unnatural viciousness that hides behind men often seemingly “innocent” and respectable.
Stalkers belong to every social category, and certainly it is not enough to be a well-known professional to be allowed to beat the mother of their children, nothing gives you the right to harass a colleague in the office: the only thing that counts is who you really are, not the mask you’re wearing, and there are plenty of monsters wearing a well-made mask, unfortunately; is is indeed very difficult to recognize them; at least, however, let’s consider reality when we meet one, and let’s report them right away.
And please, dear magistrates (of course I’m not referring to all of them ..) have the courage to put these half-men in jail and let them rot there, but please do not sentence them for three months only, thus giving them the opportunity to return home, to their totally unprotected preys.
Don’t you realize that leaving them unpunished, unconsciously will push future predators and stalkers to go wild? In this way you become accomplices of other potential attacks and, even worse, murder.

Because sometimes those leaving prison are committed to complete their unfinished job, full of anger against the woman who reported them; indeed , the news section is full of these stories.
A trial where a victim of both physical and psychological violence must find evidence, has to fight under threat, having maybe children to protect, forced to live in the constant fear that something might happen to them or their family, (sometimes women are not even free to park their car in the garage at night and to walk home, stoically resigned to their sad fate.)
The latest victim of this fierce violence, whose beautiful face was forever tainted by the acid, is Gessica Notaro, twenty-eight-years old beauty, full of dreams and hopes, that despite the cruel tragedy, still hopes to be able to continue to “see”, hoping to fully recover the eyesight, since she currently sees with only one eye, consoling friends and family who are devastated by the event.

These are her words from a hospital bed:

“Although I remain disfigured, although he has made me a monster, do I care? I do not care if I will be beautiful again, the important thing is that I will be seeing again. I want to see, to see life in the face.”

We shall never give up, and always continue to demand justice, the way Jessica is doing; she doesn’t care that her appearance has irretrievably changed, that her beauty has been canceled, but she cares about one thing: to continue to see with her own eyes.
The half-man, guilty of this act, has not not achieved his goal: to erase forever the identity, the face, the femininity of the woman he said he loved.