Thousands pay tribute to woman murdered in northern Italy
MILAN, Italy - Thousands of people on Tuesday attended the funeral of an Italian university student who was murdered last month by an ex-boyfriend, in a case that triggered nationwide protests and demands for greater protection for women.
The killing of Giulia Cecchettin, a 22-year-old student from a small town near Venice, shocked the nation and led to widespread soul searching over male chauvinism, which remains deeply rooted in Italy.
Cecchettin's ex-boyfriend, Filippo Turetta, was arrested as a suspect in Germany and extradited to Italy, where he confessed to the killing, his lawyer Giovanni Caruso told reporters.
Her body was found dumped near a lake with multiple stab wounds, after she had been missing for a week. She was last seen with Turetta, with whom she had gone shopping for a dress for her graduation ceremony.
On Tuesday, more than 10,000 people gathered in and outside Padova cathedral, where the service was being held, to pay tribute to Cecchettin, according to the city's diocese.
"In this moment of pain and sadness, we must find the strength to react, to turn this tragedy into a push for change," Giulia's father Gino Cecchettin said during the service, shown live on Italian state television.
"Giulia's life ... was taken from us in a cruel way, but her death can, or rather must, be the turning point to put an end to the terrible scourge of violence against women," he said.
The crowd shook their keys as the young woman's coffin left the church, in a symbolic act to ensure such violence does not pass in silence.
As of Dec. 4, 109 women have been killed this year in Italy, including 58 by their partner or former partner, interior ministry figures show. This compares with 128 women killed in the whole of 2022, including 61 by a partner or ex-partner.
Cecchettin's case has dominated the media and politics, with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni vowing to step up protection for women and Italian lawmakers unanimously backing measures to clamp down on violence against women. – REUTERS