Differenza Donna’s legal office is specialized in gender-based violence and the defense of women’s and children’s rights. It includes 18 qualified lawyers, covering both civil and criminal law. The Head of our legal office is criminal lawyer Teresa Manente, while Simona Napolitani is in charge of the civil law sector.
Our lawyers give legal advice to our supported or sheltered women each week at Differenza Donna’s headquarter, located in Via Tacito 90.
Besides the two managers, are also part of Differenza Donna’s legal team, the criminal lawyers: Rita Mone, Ilaria Boiano, Cristina Cerrato, Geraldine Pagano, Francesca Venditti, Rossella Benedetti, Marilia Tiso, Simona Simeone. Elisa Mattogno, Giusi Finanze, Maria Alessio, Barbara Felici, Maria Paola Giorgi, Isabella Lucati.
In addition to the two heads of department, the following lawyers are part of our legal office:
For criminal law: Rita Mone, Ilaria Boiano, Cristina Cerrato, Geraldine Pagano, Francesca Venditti, Rossella Benedetti, Marilia Tiso, Simona Simeone
For civil law, there are: Rina Sarto, Elisa Mattogno, Giusi Finanze, Maria Alessio, Barbara Felici, Maria Paola Giorgi.
Harassment and Job: Vittoria Mezzina.
Women who wish to proceed with Differenza Donna may then receive full legal aid throughout the whole trial until the final judgment is issued.
The Differenza Donna legal office especially stands out for the effort and commitment displayed for over 20 years in expertly indicating ways to combat the prejudices, discriminations, and blame that laws still cast on women who have experienced violence and are seeking justice.
Our legal office’s goals are:
– To innovate Italian judiciary culture through the study of the legal sources provided by the EU and other international organizations in the field of gender-based violence.
– To elaborate defensive strategies and judiciary practices in favor of women and minors who have experienced violence.
– To search for the most innovative international, civil, and criminal court’s decisions.
In providing legal advice and aid, our legal office aims at carrying out an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional intervention, working in tight connection with our psychologists, social workers, center operators, and all other Differenza Donna’s professionals, to ensure each woman receives a customized service.
Our Legal Office’s Ethical Code:
Lawyers belonging to Differenza Donna legal office subscribe to the Association’s political program. Their goal is to modify the juridical and judiciary culture starting from gendered language; to expose sexist biases and stereotypes; to assert feminist culture within law courts.
• Do not defend violent men in either civil or criminal courts.
• Assess case by case, also discussing with colleagues, how to better defend women charged with abuse on their children, being well aware of the complexity and the problems that arise in such circumstances;
• Do not promote actions aimed at the limitation or termination of parental responsibility of women.
• Deny the existence of the so-called Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS);
• Reject the notion of alienating behavior discriminatorily used against women;
• Are committed to work so that Differenza Donna is allowed to bring a civil action in the most serious cases of gender-based violence;
• Are committed to taking part in the project for exiting violence that each woman develops in collaboration with the Centers’ professionals;
• Are committed to participate in the Association’s political actions;
• The unwarranted absence of our lawyers from the Association’s activities causes the exclusion from their duties as legal advisers from the Differenza Donna’s legal office.
Legal Department’s events:
Conference in collaboration with the Superior Law School on the rights of the injured party in the criminal trial, in the light of the European directive and the rules introduced by the legislative decree 212/2015.
Changes to the text of the decree implementing measures in favor of parents in difficulty under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice.
Recommendations for the transposition of the Directive 29/2012 / EU.
Recommendations for setting up the fund for victims of violent crimes.
November 2014- November 2015
G.A.P.S.- Gendering the Asylum Protection System research, funded by the Feminist Review Trust, http://www.feminist-review-trust.com/recent.htm.
From July 2013 to January 2015
Legal research for the GendeRIS- The Gender dimension in anti-trafficking policies project in Romania, Italy and Spain, Differenza Donna NGO, Fondazioni Brodolini, UNAR, Surt, Center for Partnership and Equality (CPE), co-funded by the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Program of the European Union, website: www.genderis.org.
Proposal for implementing provisions of the European directive 2012/29 / EU.
September 2015- present
Participation in the support network for migrants and asylum seekers.
February 10, 2015
Hearing in the context of the fact-finding investigation on child prostitution, the Bicameral Commission for children and adolescents.
Proposed amendments to the legislative decree draft on acquittal due to tenuity of the fact.
Contribution to the drafting of a parliamentary interpellation on the right to legal aid for victims of gender-based violence. Interpellation proposed on 28 January 2015, Justice Commission, Chamber of Deputies.
Differenza Donna, Study Seminar on the Application of Law 119/2013, Chamber of Deputies, Rome.
Data collection and application practices on the implementation of law nº 119/2013, for the Differenza Donna’s legal department.
Drafting and proposal of amendments to law nº 119 / 2013 on measures against gender violence, for Differenza Donna’s legal department.
Justice committee’s hearing on the conversion of the legislative decree 93/2013.
Drafting of an informative document for the OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings.
Request to the Institution’s Chamber for an inquiry committee on femicide.
Since 2009, the Legal Department has participated in the work of the civil society platform “CEDAW – Works in Race” for the preparation of the shadow report on the implementation of CEDAW in Italy.
Hearing on femicide before the Senate Human Rights Committee.
In coordination with the Rome Lawyer’s Association, Differenza Donna promoted the conference: “Children exposed to violence: mistreatment in the family”.
Training for operator candidates in DD’s anti-violence centers: “Rights of the offended person in the criminal trial, for crimes of mistreatment, sexual violence, enslavement, and persecutory acts”.
Training: “Rights of the offended person in the criminal trial for mistreatment, sexual violence, persecutory acts, enslavement” for operators in the psycho-socio-health area, consultants and ASL, Law Enforcement (Rome, Ancona, Bari , Cagliari, Caserta, Sassari, Udine, Lecco, Naples, Vercelli, Rieti, Varese, Messina, Potenza, Empoli, Frascati, Foggia, Guidonia, Isernia, Sassari, Bracciano, Tivoli, Perugina).
International WAVE Conference: To strengthen commitment and prevent violence against women and their children in Europe and the Mediterranean. 467 participants from all over the world. Hall of the Protomoteca in Campidoglio. Rome.
Shadow Report “work in progress: 30 years of CEDAW “regarding the state of implementation by Italy of the UN Convention for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) in reference to the VI report presented by the Italian Government in 2009.
Direct training courses for the ASL present in the territory of Rome and its province “violence against women and helping professions: networking and intervention in different professional areas”, on behalf of the “Ass. Solidea female institution and solidarity of the Province of Rome”.
“The law, the Courts: a gender perspective to make justice fairer”: study conference by the Lazio Region, Presidency of the Council of Ministers – Department for Rights and Equal Opportunities.
“So that violence no longer has a home” Seminar by Differenza Donna Association and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers-Department for Rights and Equal Opportunities in Rome.
Training: “Effective anti-violence tools”, “WITCH” project of the Department for Rights and Equal Opportunities – training for law enforcement workers – Ass. Differenza Donna NGO.
“Justice, psyche and social perception of mistreatment and homicide in the family” by the Central Anti-Mafia Directorate, Faculty of Psychology in Rome and Differenza Donna Association.
“Healing from Trauma”, sexual violence against children: removal, the desire for justice, ways to get it.
“Shared custody: a law against women?”. Giudjt and Differenza Donna Associations national conference, Rome.
“The crime’s victim”: Study seminar by the National Forensic Association, Cultural Isonomy Association, Differenza Donna Association, and Active Citizenship, on the subject of “European policies to protect women, victims of violence” Rome’s Criminal Court.
Training course “The unknown Trauma, proposals and analyzes of new experiences with Social Services – Consultors – Schools – Courts”: Lombardy Region – Varese ASL. Led by Differenza Donna.