Decision of the Court of Cassation, Criminal United Sections, No. 10959 of 29 January 2016

The United Sections clarified that the expression “violence to the person” contained in Article 408.3 bis, of the code of criminal procedure (as amended in 2013) must be interpreted as referring to the offenses of persecution and mistreatment (stalking) respectively established in Articles 612 bis and 572 of the criminal code. Such expression, therefore, is not only limited to conducts based on physical violence. This interpretation derives from the international treaties of which Italy is a party and the European law that have strengthened the protection of gender-based violence victims. In this regard, the United Sections pointed out the relevance of the Lanzarote Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, and the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence. In the framework of the EU law, directives adopted to protect the victims of crime are relevant.