In opening the homepage of one newspaper, I found an informative article on The 1 Billion Rising Project. I had already read about it but given the importance of the event, it was nice to be reminded about its existence. It’s not lost on me why it’s fundamental to dance and shout against violence. It’s not lost on me why public awareness is central to solve the problem. It’s also not lost on me that many people consider the event just a bit of theatre in order to create a nice youtube video and congratulate each other for the nice attendance.
It’s not lost on me because, today, for a second, I was one of them.
You see, right next to the 1 Billion Rising article, there was one about a disgusting crime that happened 10 years ago. A man, 36 years old, stabbed his girlfriend, 26, 22 times. Today, 10 years after, this man is free. Behind this story there is the Italian Judiciary system. There are the 30 years that become 16 in appeal and then the pardoned years for prison overpopulation and the good behaviour that trims over a month for each year served. There are the skilled lawyers of the killer, which came from wealth. Most of all, there is a sense of futility of most efforts.
Why all the campaigns to convince women to come forward if a brutal homicide can mean only 10 years in prison? How can an abused/raped/harrassed woman believe that the law will intervene for her if this is what happens? How much dancing does it take to give women an incentive to speak up? How many people have to rise to obtain justice for the victims?
Alenya, that was her name, would have been 36 this year. And there is one detail that truly upset me about her. I didn’t know her, and there are many other Jane Does like her whose name I will never come across. But she used to live not far from me. It could be me, tomorrow or the day after, meeting this man or a man like him. I know that this one case cannot shake me forever. Fear and Anger are drivers of change but do not make for an happy life. But Fear and Anger today remind me that 1 legislator means more than most victims. That every time that someone tells me that it’s not fundamental for women to be in Parliament, it’s ok to get furious. For Alenya and for all the women in the world.
Let’s keep dancing and rising and shouting and manifesting! Let’s never forget that it’s not enough!