“She didn’t feel protected, she was afraid”

“She didn’t feel protected, she was afraid”

Marisa Leo caresses her belly, she is radiant. Her little girl is growing in her womb, “a miracle”, the fruit of her union with the man who, four years later, would have killed her with three rifle shots in the countryside between Marsala and Mazara before take her life. It’s 2019. And she, who has always fought against gender-based violence, publishes a video dedicated to all women and to the little woman, her daughter, who is about to be born. «Woman, mother: you work, you design, you create and you are perfect for how you do it. You fall, you get up, you cry but you don’t give up and you are perfect just the way you are”. How many times had she fallen, but she had always gotten back up. Her relationship with Angelo Reina, 42, the father of her daughter had been over for years. But he didn’t give up. So much so that in 2020, after the umpteenth threats, she had reported him for stalking. Everything useless. Last night the man killed her in the family nursery that he managed.

Marisa Leo, shot dead by ex partner Angelo Reina who then commits suicide. In 2020 she reported him for stalking

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Professional full of passion and projected into the future, Marisa Leo was 39 years old, originally from Salemi, she was marketing and communication manager in the wine sector for a Sicilian company, Colomba Bianca, led by her friend Dino Taschetta. For some time she had denounced the constant pressures of her ex-husband who persecuted her.

The post against violence against women

This is why Marisa was very sensitive to the issue of gender-based violence.

In 2021, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, she had published a video on Facebook together with the other employees of the company to give voice to the slogan “Not one less” against gender-based violence. “We can all do something: help, raise awareness, spread… so that not one more woman suffers violence”, reads the caption of the post which immediately lists the names of the victims of femicide counted in the first months of 2021.

She didn’t feel protected

«Marisa often said she was worried, but no one, first of all, would have ever thought that all of this could happen. She didn’t feel protected by the institutions, she didn’t feel safe », her shocked friends say today.

In 2019 she had participated in a campaign against gender-based violence promoted by the association ‘Le Donne del Vino Sicilia’ for the project “You are not alone”. In the video, the words of pregnant Marisa: «A force so small, but so disruptive and a life that grows to the rhythm of two hearts beating together. Woman, mother, you work, you design, you create and you are fantastic for how you do it. You fall, you get up, you cry but you don’t give up, and you are perfect just the way you are. Woman, mother, YOU, you are not alone». Last night, in front of her killer, unfortunately she was.

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