Content Warning: Contains descriptions of homophobia and bullying.
In the town of Treviso, Italy, a trial has begun against the parents of a lesbian teenager who claimed she was bullied and mistreated for years. Her 48 year-old mother and 45 year-old stepfather are charged with persecutory behaviour.
The mistreatment started when the girl was very young and her mother met the man who then became her stepfather. However, the young woman described how she was bullied even worse when her parents learned that she was a lesbian and in a relationship with another girl.
The teenager was subjected to homophobic insults, humiliation in front of other people and sometimes even physical abuse. Moreover, after discovering her relationship, the two did everything in their power to undermine it, even resorting to stealing the girl’s shoes and phone to prevent her from leaving the house.
Questa è la risposta delle piazze dopo l'affossamento del ddl Zan al senato a chi si domanda: ma a chi interessa una legge contro l'Omotransfobia??? pic.twitter.com/NucPyMmcZK
— Marco (@P_M_1960) October 31, 2021
Helped by her girlfriend, the girl finally decided to flee home and to report her parents’ behaviour to the police in 2019. She is currently living with a relative.
The trial against the parents started on March 22 and another hearing is set for October this year.
The protection of LGBTQ+ people from homophobic and transphobic attacks in Italy is made very difficult by the lack of adequate legislation. Italy currently has no laws in place to protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination and violence, which means that if the parents in question were found guilty, no discriminatory element would be recognised in their charges.
Last year, the Italian Senate voted against a bill to tackle homophobic and transphobic discrimination and violence that would also have protected women and people with disabilities. The bill was opposed mostly due to religious conservatism and the claim that such laws were incompatible with Italian ‘traditional values’. The decision sparked outrage and protests all over the country.
If you have been affected by this story or are looking to reach out to someone for support or advice or just to talk, there are numerous services available for LGBTQ+ people, listed below, and many offer instant messaging support.
Mental Health Ireland
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