Despite many women and men being engaged in the fight against gender inequality and violence for a long time, dismantling harmful preconceptions can take generations. Even if statistical data shows that the number of female victims of homicide and the gender pay gap are declining, women in Italy still live in the shadow of male chauvinism. Data on gender violence might not be a clear mirror of the actual violence due to several factors. For instance, women do not always report cases of violence for many reasons. When reporting cases of violence, women are often not believed, fear further violence, and lack support. In addition, in order to report a case of violence, a victim has to be able to recognize and call that act a violence. Educational, cultural, or social background might mislead the interpretation of a violence and bring the victim to identify the act as something ordinary: i.e. gender role stereotypes could influence the perception of gender violence.
Psychological violence and discrimination
Gender violence comes in many forms, such as verbal, physical, and psychological. While they are strongly connected to each other, the latter is the most controversial form of violence and the least contextualized. Among some experts, a form of psychological violence is the discrimination of women due to the expectations related to their role in society and in the family. Data taking into account equalities in economic participation, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment place Italy in one of the last positions among EU countries. Women in Italy still have a low participation rate in the economic sector, clearly shown by the low employment figures and the high economic inactivity rates. Although this is a global issue, Italian society views women above all in the role of mother and main housekeeper. For such a large and advanced economy, this view is quite antiquated.
Women are by far more frequently victims of domestic abuse, stalking, and sexual harassment than men. In the last years, there were some 16 thousand reports of stalking in Italy. About 74 percent of these criminal reports were made by women, with the ex-partner being one of the most frequent perpetrators of stalking. Similarly, nine in ten victims of sexual abuse are female. Overall, the number of sexual violence cases reported to the authorities in Italy experienced an increase over the last years. Data on homicides, instead, show that women are more frequently victims of manslaughters and murders committed by their partner or ex-partner. In 2019, about 60 percent of the femicides were committed either by the partner or by the ex-partner of the victim, whereas in 22.5 percent of the cases, the killer was a relative of the victim.
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In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 33 most important statistics relating to "Gender violence in Italy".