According to Telefono Rosa the national voluntary helpline for crimes against women the number of reported cases of sexual violence to its central telephone line in 2005 tripled compared to figures in 2004.
ISTAT, the national statistics agency confirmed that in the last seven years crimes of a sexual nature that were reported and investigated increased from 3,317 in 1996 to 4,528 in 2003 (36.8 per cent increase) and the reported cases which were then taken to court increased from 2,261 in 1996 to 3,523 in 2003 (56 per cent increase).
However the increase in figures of reported crimes is probably indicative of the fact that women now feel more secure to report crimes of sexual violence than they did in the past.
The number of people convicted for sexual violence in 1996 was 1,227 and the figure in 2003 remained almost the same at 1,339.
ISTAT figures also revealed that in 2003, more than one rape in four was committed by an under 14-year-old double the figure in 1996 and therefore not punishable in a court of law.