The journalist Andrea Giambruno, romantic partner of the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, has sparked controversy in Italy by ensuring that “if you avoid getting drunk” you also avoid “the wolf.” Giambruno made these statements during a television program to refer to the cases of sexual violence that have shocked the country in recent days.
This week it became known that last July six teenagers, who have already been arrested, raped two 13-year-old cousins in Caivano (Naples), while seven other young people raped a woman in Palermo. The Italian Prime Minister will travel to Caivano this Thursday following the invitation of the town’s parish priest, reports the EFE agency.
“If you are going to dance, you have every right to get drunk – there should not be any kind of misunderstanding – but if you avoid getting drunk and passing out, perhaps you will also avoid incurring certain problems” because “otherwise the wolf runs the risk of finding you” said Giamburo, who works as a journalist for Mediaset. His words, spoken during a program in which two recent cases of gang rapes were discussed on the Rete 4 channel, have sparked a cascade of criticism.
Virtually all political parties have condemned the statements, in particular the progressive Democratic Party (PD), the largest opposition party, which called them “disgusting and offensive”, and the populist 5 Star Movement (M5S), which called them considered “unacceptable and shameful.”
“Blaming the victims is a barbaric and perverse practice”
“They can’t help but blame the women. Violence is always your fault. Now Giambruno is also explaining it to us”, assured Cecilia D'Elia, vice-president of the commission of investigation on femicide, while the deputy Alessandro Zan has asked Meloni to explain to his partner that “blaming the victims, especially everything live on television, is a barbaric and perverse practice”.
The M5S, for its part, has indicated in a statement that Giambruno’s words are a “plastic representation of a macho and retrograde culture that constitutes the breeding ground for violent behavior, for the abuses that so many women suffer every day.” The vice president of M5S in the Chamber of Deputies, Vittoria Baldino, has requested that “Mediaset management immediately distance itself from this disturbing statement.”
“President Meloni’s companion should study a little before speaking, given his role and his job,” said Luana Zanella, of the Green-Left Alliance, while for the centrist Raffaella Paita, national coordinator of Italia Viva, he stated that these are “very serious” words because “a certain superficiality contributes to making the victim guilty”.
Giambruno has been very upset by these reactions, which he has described as “surreal” when remembering that he himself had referred to the perpetrators of the sexual abuse as “beasts” and had defined the events as “abominable.”
During a television broadcast, the journalist said that his words “have been used in an instrumental and deceptive manner, distorting reality”, due to “bad faith or because they have serious comprehension problems” and asked to end a “ridiculous” controversy because “the Politics has much more important things to do.”