The crime of private violence is set forth by Italian law in order to protect all those individuals who suffer physical or mental violence by way of abuse of their moral and physical freedom.

In particular, according to the Italian Criminal Code, private violence takes place when someone, by violence or threat, forces others to do, tolerate or omit something. In this case, the offender may be punished with imprisonment for up to 4 years.           

Private violence is a “subsidiary” crime, because it exists only when there is no other type of offence identified for that particular factual context. And it is also an “instantaneous” crime, because it does not require to necessarily have continuous effects over time, to be punished.

In detail, the crime consists of committing violence or threatening someone. In the case of violence, this may be expressed in both direct and indirect (e.g. on the relatives of the offended person) active behaviour, which produces effects that are likely to affect the moral or physical freedom of the victim. This crime does not feature the omissive behaviour. In the case of a threat, this may consist a behaviour, even if not explicit, which is likely to cause the fear of real harm.

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