Since the 70s, violence against women occupies a place of growing international importance. In Italy, public policies start in the mid-90s, with a considerable delay. The purpose of this article is to understand why. The article will illustrate the main theories that explain when and why policies against violence become a sector of public intervention and it will look at women’s movements and associations, political parties and institutions in Italy. The tormented process of approval of the law on sexual violence will be reconstructed as a paradigmatic example of the obstacles that hinder the formation of a public agenda for women, as well as the factors that favor it in the second half of the 90s. The Italian case will also be compared with Portugal and Spain.
Keywords: Violence against Women; Feminist Movements; Women’s Movements; Beijing Platform.