Dec 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pope Francis says domestic violence is "almost satanic"

Pope Francis speaks during his weekly General Audience at the Paul VI Hall on Dec. 15 in Vatican City. Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Pope Francis forcefully condemned domestic violence during an appearance on Italian television Sunday, saying that men who commit it are engaging in something "almost satanic," Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Domestic violence levels have risen throughout the world during the pandemic, as lockdowns and strained health systems have cut many women off from vital sources of help while trapping them with their abusers, according to U.N. Women.

  • New figures released last month showed that there are 90 cases of violence against women in Italy daily, with 62% of these being incidents of domestic violence, according to Reuters.

What he's saying: "The number of women who are beaten and abused in their homes, even by their husbands, is very, very high," Francis said during the program, per Reuters.

  • "The problem is that, for me, it is almost satanic because it is taking advantage of a person who cannot defend herself, who can only (try to) block the blows," he added, per Reuters. "It is humiliating. Very humiliating."
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