School ends, forced withdrawals of children begin again

Despite a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Cassation defining the forced removal of minors as 'outside the rule of law', this morning in the province of Lodi an 11-year-old boy was snatched from his mother, who was forcibly and deceptively detained while her son was taken. Here is how the events unfolded in the account of a witness
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This morning in the province of Lodi, in Casalmaiocco, an 11-year-old boy, Gioele, was forcibly snatched and suddenly and traumatically removed from his mother with whom he lived.

Here is the facts as told by a MaternaMente activist present at the time:

"Deborah and her son were summoned for a meeting by social services this morning. The meeting took place online and the SS used reassuring tones. The mother then went to the municipality to return the keys to the council house occupied by her recently deceased mother, who had been urged by the mayor to make the return on the same day. Once inside she was violently restrained by eleven people in a room. The child was in the square near the town hall, with an activist from MaternaMente also a member of MovimentiAMOci Vicenza. Suddenly she was accosted by a man, tried to take the child away and then to prevent her from being picked up. She was held hand and foot by five people and the child was taken away screaming. She was subsequently prevented from filming and filming by the constant control of the police force. An ambulance was positioned in front of the municipality to make it appear that the little boy was still inside. In fact, an eyewitness later reported seeing a social services car leaving the back of the municipality before the ambulance had even arrived. Our activist will file a complaint for the violence and brutality of the abduction'.

Finiscono le scuole, ricominciano i prelievi coatti dei bambini
The bruises and abrasions on Deborah's arms, forcibly held by 11 people

Here Deborah's account in a Facebook Live.

Here the dramatic moment when Deborah is literally kidnapped: as you can see, Deborah is perfectly lucid and in her right mind, despite the unjustifiable violence she is suffering.

All this when a recent Supreme Court ruling, concerning the case of Laura Massaro, ruled out that children can be forcibly takendefining these withdrawals outside the rule of law.

For years groups of mothers and women throughout Italy protest vigorously against institutional violence. Women who have daughters and sons from ex-husbands and violent ex-companions which are forced de facto by the law on shared custody (law 54/2006) to share parenting with the ex-partner, on pain of forfeiture of parental responsibility or removal - often permanent - from the children.

There have been no reverse cases to date, where a child placed by the father was later forced, with police intervention, to reunite with the mother in order to guarantee law 54/2006. Mothers and fathers, women and men, even in these situations, behave differently. Yet we persist, on the right and on the left, in proclaiming a false equality that leads to grotesque and inhuman results such as the removal of minor children from protective mothers who have denounced marital violence.

Last summer, other serious cases occurred, following which with other women's associations we have written to Interior Minister Lamorgese to put an end to the practice of forced withdrawalscontrary to all public health standards.

La Senate Commission on Feminicide analysed dozens of files documenting the severe form of secondary victimisation suffered by women and mothers who are often already suffering from previous situations of domestic violence, judicial stalking and misogynistic societal prejudices.

Despite this, as the school year closed, the son of Casalmaiocco was traumatically and suddenly removed from his mother this morning. Only serious risks and ill-treatment could possibly justify such interventions by the police. Yet the logic of protecting minors is countered by the misinterpretation of the principle of bigenitoriality inherent in law 54/2006 - which imposes equality on paper even in complex situations or situations of previous violence and ensures that all too often, in our country as in the entire western world, a mother is deemed inadequate if she cannot guarantee a relationship with her father, even when the latter has proved violent, abusive or grossly inadequate.

Thus, through a misuse of justice and institutions, the strength of patriarchy is asserted without the victim being able to raise her voice equally, weakened and deemed untrustworthy. 

Veronica Tamborini

To follow the text to be sent by e-mail to the mayor of Casalmaiocco

To the attention of: Dear Mr. Marco Vighi Mayor of Casalmaiocco

And p.c.: Dear Municipal Councillors of the Municipality of Casalamaiocco


Dear Mayor, 

As women and citizens, we are dismayed that you, the Mayor, the highest authority in charge of health protection in your area, should have taken part in a 'cunning set-up' (a phone call asking you to take the keys to the municipal house, entrusted to the mother of Mrs Deborah D., who died a few days ago, by the way) in order to lure Mrs Deborah out of the house so that she would be taken unawares, and the infamous authoritarian and authorised act of forcibly removing her son would be carried out. In the presence of witnesses.

Subtraction that, among other things, goes against the Supreme Court Order No. 9691/2022 and violates Law No. 77/2013 ( Istanbul Convention ).

The mayor, under Legislative Decree 299/99, is responsible for the health status of the population in his area

in terms of exercising control functions over the work of the territorial ASLs; Article 6 of Decree-Law 92/2008,

by amending Article 54 of Legislative Decree 267/2000 (TUEL - Testo Unico delle leggi sull'ordinamento degli Enti Locali)

also extended the powers of the mayor in functions of state competence in relation to ensuring

of public security. The Decree of the Minister of the Interior of 5 August 2008, finally regulated the tasks of the

mayor and his powers of intervention, as a government official, in matters of safety and security

public. According to the Decree, for the purposes of Article 54 of the TUEL, public safety also means

the physical integrity of the population residing on the municipal territory.

These responsibilities remain, despite the delegation to the provincial administration on the

management of Social Services and related operations, and are also partly shared with the entire City Council.

Public administration is at the service of the individual, the citizen, the family and the community;

promotes social solidarity and cohesion, protecting the fundamental rights of the individual as identified

by the Italian Constitution, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Declaration

Universal Human Rights. 

By virtue of the powers and duties assigned to it by the law and in deference to international law, we therefore urge you to take a broad and rigorous view of the concept of public health and safety: snatching a child by forcibly and against its express will from its mother, causing it anguish and extreme suffering, is an action that undermines the child's psychophysical integrity and objectively puts its health at risk.

There can be no valid reason, in the absence of conduct objectively undermining the rights, health and safety of the child, to remove him or her from their family unit, from their fundamental ties, from the mother who brought them into the world loved and protected them.

No amount of protest or belated legislative change can heal the damage inflicted on these children and women. The state shows that it does not know how to help single mothers engaged in the effort to live a life protected and sheltered from violence. The speeches of recent months on denatality are extraneous and completely dissonant with the continuing denigration of the maternal function. 

Recovering the connection with one's own humanity, fragility and with the truth of our lives from birth and care can also be the first step to ending this violence.


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