'Women should avoid rape by not getting drunk’: Italy PM's partner sparks row | World News - Hindustan Times
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‘Women should avoid rape by not getting drunk’: Comments by Italy PM's partner spark row

Aug 31, 2023 01:25 PM IST

Controversy and accusations of victim blaming surround comments made by Italy PM Meloni's partner, Andrea Giambruno, regarding rape cases.

Italy Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's partner and journalist Andrea Giambruno's comments in view of surging rape cases in the country have stirred a controversy and accusations of victim blaming.

Andrea Giambruno has a seven-year-old daughter with Meloni.(ALAMY/Independent Photo Agency Srl via The Telegraph)
Andrea Giambruno has a seven-year-old daughter with Meloni.(ALAMY/Independent Photo Agency Srl via The Telegraph)

What did Andrea Giambruno say?

On Monday evening, during his talk show the "Diario del giorno" (Daily diary) on the Rete 4 commercial station, Giambruno said “If you go dancing, you have every right to get drunk - there shouldn't be any kind of misunderstanding and any kind of problem - but if you avoid getting drunk and losing your senses, you might also avoid running into certain problems and coming across a wolf,” reported Reuters.

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As per a report in The Guardian, Giambruno also agreed during the show with the editor of the rightwing Libero newspaper, Pietro Senaldi, who said, “If you want to avoid rape, above all don’t lose consciousness, keep your wits about you.”

During the television programme, both men condemned the rapists, who they referred to as “wolves.” But, as the comments went viral, posters accusing Giambruno of victim blaming emerged on social media.

Giambruno has a seven-year-old daughter with prime minister Meloni. She has not yet commented on the issue.

Opposition asks Meloni to distance herself from comments

Opposition leaders of the country attacked Giambruno and called his remarks as “unacceptable and shameful.” Cecilia D’Elia, a senator for the center-left opposition Democratic party (PD), said: “They just can’t help but blame women. Don’t go out alone, don’t go where it’s dark, don’t dress provocatively. All this is no longer acceptable.”

“If a girl drinks too much, she can expect a headache, not a rape,” she added, and called on Meloni to distance herself from her partner’s comments.

Giambruno's defense

Refuting the allegations and alleging opposition leaders for creating a "surreal" controversy, Giambruno replied he “never said that men are entitled to rape drunk women.”

“If I had said something wrong, I would have apologised, but that’s not the case and there will never be a day when a politician tells me what to say," he said.

“I said rape is an abominable act. I took the liberty of telling young people not to go out on purpose to get drunk and do drugs. I advised them to be careful because, unfortunately, the bad guys are always out there. I never said that men are entitled to rape drunk women.”

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