Italy ratifies measure to protect women

ROME — Violence against women in Italy has been thrust into the spotlight with a raft of headline-grabbing murders of women by their lovers — a trend the United Nations has flagged as a particular problem in a country where gender stereotypes are ‘‘deeply rooted’’ and where one-third of all women face physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes.

On Tuesday, Italy’s lower chamber of Parliament ratified a European antidomestic violence convention the same day the latest victim was buried: a 15-year-old girl beaten, stabbed 20 times, and burned alive, allegedly by her boyfriend.


The Council of Europe treaty on preventing and combatting violence against women now goes to the Italian Senate, where its passage is expected. The 2011 treaty creates a legal framework to prevent, prosecute, and eliminate violence against women.

The unanimous vote occurred in Rome. In southern Italy, funeral services were held Tuesday for Fabiana Luzzi, who died Friday in the town of Corigliano Calabro. Italian news reports cited prosecutor Maria Vallefuoco as saying her boyfriend, identified as Davide because he is a minor, was in custody and had confessed.

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Details of the crime turned even more gruesome after news reports citing the coroner and prosecutors said Luzzi bled for two hours before her boyfriend returned with a tank of gas. She apparently tried unsuccessfully to fight him off when he doused her with fuel and set her on fire.

The boyfriend’s lawyer, Giovanni Zagarese, has said he would seek a psychiatric evaluation if the judge doesn’t order one, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

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