Pope Francis didn't mince words when discussing domestic violence against women during a TV program that aired Sunday night, calling it "almost satanic." In what the BBC calls "some of his strongest language yet on the issue," Francis put it like so: "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. It is humiliating. Very humiliating." He made the comments while part of a panel that included three women and a man. CNN reports all had "difficult backgrounds," but one was a domestic violence survivor named Giovanna.
"You are giving an example of resistance, a lesson of resistance to calamities," he said to her. "You're coming out better than before. ... I see dignity in you because if you didn't have dignity, you wouldn't be here. Look at the Blessed Mother and stay with that image of courage." The BBC rounds up some recent stats on domestic violence, citing a UN report in which women in 13 countries were surveyed on their experience with domestic violence since the pandemic began; half said they experienced it during that time. Within Italy, new stats show about 55 domestic violence incidents occur daily. (Read more Pope Francis stories.)