Gender Violence: Murder of Teenager Highlights Italian Crisis

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Gender Violence: Murder of Teenager Highlights Italian Crisis
Roberta Siragusa, 17, was brutally murdered in Sicily allegedly by her boyfriend - Image Source: Twitter

THE BRUTAL murder of a teenager in Sicily has renewed calls from lawmakers and the public to bring an end to the Italian gender violence crisis.

The recent murder of a 17-year-old girl near Palermo, allegedly by her boyfriend, has reignited the Italian “Red Bench” movement calling for an end to the country’s gender violence crisis.

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Prosecutors in the Sicilian town of Caccamo said that Roberta Siragusa was “torn apart” in a brutal murder for which her boyfriend has been arrested. Her tragic death has made national headlines across Italy, as did the vandalism of her “Red Bench” – which are erected in parks to commemorate victims of gender violence across the country.

Cinzia Leone, a local MP in the region, has spoken out against the rate of violence against women in Sicily which she claims is exacerbated by an “omerta” culture of silence and machismo promoted by the region’s powerful mafia. She has called on Rome to focus on prevention schemes to the crisis, including educational programmes. Leone also slammed some sectors of the Italian press, who often lay a portion of the blame on the victim of gender violence murders.

In another recent case Sicily gender violence case, 37-year-old Palermo resident Piera Napoli was stabbed to death by her husband after she told him she no longer loved him. Prosecutors said the killer had acted out of “mere jealousy and with cruelty”.



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