Despite Legal Reforms, Old Ideas about Rape Persist in Italy
Italy's modern rape laws were written in the 1930's during the fascist rule of Benito Mussolini when rape was considered a crime against a woman's honor. The laws were changed in 1996 after a strong push from the Italian women's movement.
Rape became classified as a crime against a person, not a crime against public morals. Sentencing was increased from a three-year minimum to five. And the law no longer distinguished between crimes that included intercourse and crimes of acts of lust, which had carried a lighter sentence.
Rachel Van Cleave is Professor of Law at Golden Gate University. Worldview producer Alexandra Salomon spoke with her about how the Italian justice system treats cases of rape.