Italian lesbian reveals years of corrective rape by father

Lydia Smith March 8, 2019
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A 23-year-old Italian woman has spoken out about the years of sexual assault she suffered at the hands of her father, who attempted to “correct” her sexuality.

Francesca, who is a lesbian, told the newspaper La Repubblica the abuse began when she was 15.

Her sister had read a series of text messages between Francesca and her friends, in which she had discussed her  feelings about other girls. The sister then showed the messages to their father.

The family later picked Francesca up from school and attacked her on the way home.

“And while we were in the car, they beat me in the head, in the legs, they beat me everywhere,” she said.

She recalled being locked in her room with her father, who began to undress, saying: “You must look at these things, not the women” before raping her as a punishment.

“I was now at a crossroads, life or death. And I chose to live and denounce my parents.”

— Francesca

Francesca suffered years of “corrective rape” and beatings, with her mother once telling her: “Better a dead daughter than a lesbian.”

“I attempted suicide three times, but after yet another sexual abuse I escaped,” she said.

“I was now at a crossroads, life or death. And I chose to live and denounce my parents.”

“It was not easy, but I had many beautiful people beside me who helped me overcome difficult times.”

The woman has now started a civil action against her parents, who deny the allegations.

Italian LGBT+ organisation received 54 reports of homophobia and transphobia a day

Italy has seen a rise in homophobia and violence against the LGBT community in recent years.

In 2018, the Italian government blocked the distribution of a survey aimed at researching homophobia, racism and sexism among young people after it was criticised for “promoting sexual fluidity.”

The survey, by the University of Perugia, was meant to poll teenagers studying in the region of Umbria on a range of topics pertaining to gay rights, although it made no mention of transgender issues.

Earlier this year, a man in Turin was beaten by 12 attackers who told him: “You “f**king faggot, we’ll kill you.”

Leonardo Ranieri, 53, was admitted to the local Molinette hospital with multiple lesions, bruises and a fractured septum after the attack in January.

This photo taken on May 12, 2016 in Rome shows an Italian police van stationed outside of the Colosseum
Authorities in Rome freed a 17-year-old Italian girl who had been locked up by her family after coming out as a lesbian. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)

In October, authorities in Rome freed a 17-year-old girl who had been locked up by her family after coming out as a lesbian.

Italy’s LGBT+ umbrella organisation Gay Center, based in Rome, says it receives around 20,000 reports of homophobia and transphobia to its hotline every year, an average of 54 a day.

Minors needing to report instances of homophobia and transphobia can contact their local LGBT+ organisations, and Gay Center also offers an app and the helpline (800713713).

More: Assault, Europe, Italy, Italy, rape

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