ADIR - L'altro diritto

ISSN 1827-0565

Actions against domestic violence
Legal and sociological aspects

Claudia Kolb, 2002


The first chapter of this research surveys rights and duties of the family members, taking into account not only the Italian legislation but also the United Nations principles on the protection of the human being, and in particular of the weakest family members: women and children. The first chapter proceeds discussing domestic violence from a sociological perspective, analysing its different forms (physical, psychological, sexual, economical, etc.) and the statistical data on the phenomenon, discussing the features of the different behaviours, their seriousness and, when possible, their motivations.

The second chapter illustrates some of the crimes that could take place within the family. Domestic violence indeed, from a merely sociological phenomenon, could easily turn into criminal offences.

The third chapter discusses the civil and criminal remedies to prevent or stop domestic violence. A particular attention has been paid to the 2001 law n. 149, that rules the 'protection orders', the possibility to drive away the violent parent, thus increasing the powers of the Juvenile Court. The chapter discusses also the 2001 law n. 154, that provides for two new measures that are meant to protect any victim of domestic violence, and not only minors as in the 149 law.

The fourth chapter describes similar measures existing in other countries, and indeed the 'protection orders' themselves are not a creation of the Italian lawmakers, but are part of the legislation in many other states. The presence of similar measures in Austria, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Finland and in the U.S.A. confirm the diffusion and the seriousness of domestic violence.