Woman dies after being set on fire by partner

A 48-year-old woman died from her injuries at a Palermo burns unit on Monday after being doused with flammable liquid and set on fire by her partner during the night between Friday and Saturday.

When Anna Elisa Fontana, from the Sicilian island of Pantelleria, was admitted to hospital with 70% burns on Saturday doctors said her condition was “desperate”.

Her partner Onofrio Bronzolino, aged 52, also suffered burns in the incident and is receiving hospital treatment under police surveillance.

Italy has been grappling with a long string of femicides and other acts of gender-based violence with much soul-searching about what needs to be done.

On Friday the Council of Europe said it was worried about Italy’s figures regarding violence against women.
The human rights body’s Committee of Ministers said that it “notes with concern” that the data provided by Rome “show a persistently high percentage of domestic and sexual violence proceedings shelved at the preliminary investigation stage, the limited use of protection orders and a significant rate of violations of them”.

It committee expressed its disquiet after reviewing the measures taken by Italy to resolve the problems that led the European Court of Human Rights to condemn it several times due to its “ineffective response” to complaints made by women victims of violence.