Violence against women. The pathology of affective relationships in law and in judicial practice.


Massimo Fagioli theorised the equality of human beings at birth, recognizing that the infant possesses an unconscious capacity to feel affection. In Massimo Fagioli’s opinion the relationship between infant and mother in the first year of life is crucial and, if it is developed with affectivity, it will lead to a simple and independent weaning/separation, without trauma: then, each one will develop its own and original identity and sexuality, the latter being interpreted as the desire to relate with other different and alike humanbeings. A healthy relationship between man and woman represents the fulfilment of everyone’s human identity, without differences in terms of superiority/inferiority. Gender-based violence originate from a patriarchal and catholic culture mostly founded on the rational stigma of woman’s inferiority and on the negation of woman’s identity and freedom ofthought. For Massimo Fagioli the root cause of this objective fact is to be found in the denial of female imageas a consequence of an un-affective first year of life and weaning, that are often focused only on the physiological nourishment and on a rational upbringing to a socially acceptable behaviour. The way of thinking of a violent man is rational and clear-headed: he does not accept woman’sfreedom as a manifestation of identity. In fact, violence explodes exactly when the man does not accept the separation from a woman that decides to move towards a different and new realisation of herself. Hence the necessity, even for law and judicial practice, to identify what at first may seem a harmless behaviour as real violence.

From this revolutionary perspective, in judicial cases of violence against women, it can and must beassessed a pathology of affective relationships and of the unconscious thinking in terms of mental illness, understood as a disorder of the unconscious acted out within an un-affective interhuman relationship. Statistics confirm Fagioli’s assumption that the pathology is to be found in the interhuman relationship, more precisely when there is a more or less deep connection between the perpetrator and the victim. And it is confirmed that violence disregard ethnicity.

Fagioli has brought to light fundamental human and social needs which have led to give autonomous relevance to psychic violence in judicial practice (under valuation, control, manipulation: stalking, art.612bis c.p.; misuse of the female image, art. 612ter c.p. etc). In Fagioli’s view the physical violence perpetrated on the woman and directed to her corporeal elimination is firstly the outcome of a psychic violence aimed at denying and depriving the woman of her inner reality and vitality (disfiguring of the face, art. 583quinquies c.p.; sexual violence, artt.609bis and following c.p.; feminicide). Hence, the following objects of research:

– Can the so-called passional raptus (impulse) always be excluded? And can the negation of thewoman identity stand as a cause?
– Can the un-affective indifference to particular needs of the woman (invisible violence) be ofimportance in the examination of the crime?
– What woman image has induced the legislator to introduce the ex officio prosecution? And can thislatter be enough to protect women?
– Is a policy of protection of the woman really provided in law, even as part of the couple, or womenare still protected only as part of the “family”?
– Currently, what results have achieved the human awareness and the professional formation of whois responsible for the victim’s hospitality in anti-violence centers, in public security authorities andin courthouses?
– To this day, what is the origin of psychiatric consulting both in civil and penal procedures? Andwhat are the most effective rehabilitation and treatment processes for the offender? On the basis of the exposed Fagioli’s theory, the development of legislation and jurisprudence, havingas a common denominator the gender violence, will be examined in the scope of history and practice.


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