Tens of thousands of protestors rallied in multiple cities around Italy on Saturday to recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, as well as express their anger over the recent killing of an Italian university student.
Giulia Cecchettin, 22, was killed earlier this year, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, Filippo Turetta, 21. Cecchettin’s case became national news in Italy when reports surfaced that she was missing after meeting her former boyfriend for a burger at a mall near Venice. Just a few days later, she was supposed to receive her university degree in biomedical engineering.
However, her body was found on Nov. 18. Police found her near a lake by the Alps. According to authorities, her body was found in a ditch, and she was covered by black plastic bags.
Turetta was quickly named a suspect in her murder. One day after her body was found, Turetta was arrested in Germany.
On Saturday, hours before many took to the streets to express their outrage over Cecchettin’s death and the problem of violence against women in Italy, Turetta landed at the Venice airport. Upon returning to Italy after extradition, he was taken to a prison in Verona. There, he will face questions as the police continue to investigate this murder.
Many Italians have quickly become outraged by Cecchettin’s murder, as the prevalence of violence against women has become an unfortunate aspect of Italian culture, according to analysts. On average, one woman is killed every three days in Italy.
According to the Italian Ministry, 106 women have been killed in Italy this year. The Ministry also said that 55 of these women were allegedly killed by a partner or former partner.
Many women have taken to the streets across Italy to try to bring an end to what they believe are patriarchal attitudes. Many men have also joined with women in these demonstrations, especially young men, as they also seek to end this violence.
The Italian parliament has also worked to help, approving new measures to try to stop violence against women earlier this week. These measures received unanimous support from the parliament.
Pope Francis has also spoken out about this issue. On X, formerly known as Twitter, the Pope wrote, “Violence against women is a poisonous weed that plagues our society and must be pulled up from its roots. These roots grow in the soil of prejudice and of injustice; they must be countered with educational action that places the person, with his or her dignity, at the center.”