A Tragic Tally

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Italians expressed outrage at the death of a young woman allegedly murdered by her former partner, a killing that prompted calls to address the issue of gender and domestic violence in the European country, Euronews reported.

On Saturday, authorities found the body of Giulia Cecchettin, a 22-year-old engineering student, in a ditch near Lake Barcis, north of Venice. Police said Cecchettin had at least 20 stab wounds to the neck and head, and her body was covered with plastic bags.

Over the weekend, German police arrested her ex-boyfriend, Filippo Turetta, near the city of Leipzig in Germany – more than 600 miles away from the scene of the crime.

Turetta, 22, had been on the run since Nov. 11, when he was last seen fighting Cecchettin, hitting her in a physical attack that was captured by roadside video cameras, according to the Associated Press.

He will be extradited to Italy where he is expected to face trial for voluntary homicide.

In the week spent searching for the two individuals, details emerged about their relationship, including claims that Turetta was jealous and controlling, and did not accept Cecchettin’s decision to end the relationship.

The case prompted anger from many Italians, who are calling the killing a “femicide” – even though Italy does not legally recognize the murder of a woman because of her gender as a distinct crime.

Numerous protests and vigils took place throughout Italy on Sunday, with a larger demonstration scheduled for Nov. 25 in Rome, marking the International Day Against Gender Violence.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni voiced deep concern about Italy’s persistent issue of violence against women by their current or former partners, emphasizing that the situation seems to be deteriorating.

Citing government data, Meloni noted that out of the 102 women who lost their lives in Italy this year, 53 tragically fell victim to violence inflicted by their partners or ex-partners.

Meanwhile, the Italian leader said she will launch a new educational initiative in schools to eliminate the persisting toxic culture of violence in the country. She also highlighted that she has already augmented funding for women’s shelters and anti-violence centers.

At the same time, a bill supported by the government is heading to the upper chamber of parliament later this month. It aims to enhance preventive measures for the protection of domestic violence victims.

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