An Italian priest, Piero Corsi, posted on his church bulletin board a text from a conservative priest Bruno Volpe. This text was ripped from Volpe’s website which detailed why women experience domestic abuse:
Let’s ask ourselves. Is it possible that men have all gone mad at one stroke? We don’t think so,” said the text, which was reproduced in several newspapers. The core of the problem is in the fact that women are more and more provocative, they yield to arrogance, they believe they can do everything themselves and they end up exacerbating tensions. How often do we see girls and even mature women walking on the streets in provocative and tight clothing? Babies left to themselves, dirty houses, cold meals and fast food at home, soiled clothes. So if a family ends up in a mess and turns into crime (a form of violence which should be condemned and punished firmly) often the responsibility is shared.
Let’s all go ask our Grandmothers who are adept at housekeeping and modestly dressed if domestic abuse was non-existent half a century ago. This sort of victim blaming is poisonous. It forces victims of domestic abuse to be silent for fear they will come under scrutiny. This only serves to protect the abusers and perpetuate the abuse. Also, does the priest actually believe that provocative clothing and dirty houses deserves physical punishment? A Bishop has forced the priest to remove the text but it is still worrying that such mentality continues to exist. We unfortunately still have a long way to go.