Italy is outraged by the death of a young woman in the latest suspected case of gender violence


ROME (AP) — Italy has erupted in outrage over the death of a young woman, allegedly at the hands of her possessive ex-boyfriend, with vowing to crack down further on gender-based violence that has claimed the lives of more than 50 women so far this year.

Police in Germany over the weekend arrested Filippo Turetta, who had been on the run since Nov. 11, when he was last seen fighting with 22-year-old Giulia Cecchettin, hitting her in a physical attack that was captured by roadside video cameras.

Cecchettin’s body, reportedly with multiple stab wounds, was found wrapped in plastic on Saturday in a ditch near Lake Barcis, in the province of Pordenone north of Venice.

Italian newspapers had been consumed with the search for them both, given multiple reports from friends and family that Turetta had refused to accept Cecchettin’s decision to end the relationship. Cecchettin’s sister, Elena, said she had been concerned about Turetta’s possessiveness of her sister but never imagined he could hurt her.

Police in the eastern German city of Halle said Sunday that they had detained a 21-year-old Italian man who was wanted by police in Italy after his car broke down on the A9 highway in the south of the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Italian news reports said police road cameras had traced Turetta’s black Fiat Punto as he drove on mountain roads through northern Italy, into Austria and then Germany.

Italian state-run radio network RAI said Turetta had agreed to be extradited, and Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said he was expected back in Italy within days. Venice’s chief prosecutor, Bruno Cherchi, suggested Monday it might take longer and urged patience so the investigation can complete its course without external pressure.

The fate of Cecchettin, who had been due to graduate university Thursday with a degree in engineering, had dominated news reports for a week and led to an outpouring of anger when her body was finally found. Even Turetta’s parents attended a candlelit vigil for her, and RAI led its main evening news program Sunday with a backdrop made up of portraits of all the women killed in Italy this year.

i expressed outrage at Italy’s long history of violence against women by their partners or ex-partners, saying it has appeared to be getting worse recently. She cited data from the Interior Ministry saying of the 102 women killed in Italy this year up to Nov. 12, 53 died at the hands of their partners or former partners.

“Every single woman killed because she is ‘guilty’ of being free is an aberration that cannot be tolerated and that drives me to continue on the path taken to stop this barbarity,” she said in a statement on social media.

A government-backed bill that has already passed the lower Chamber of Deputies and is coming to the Senate later this month would boost preventative measures to protect victims of gender-based violence.

In addition, the Interior Ministry urged all schools to hold a minute of silence on Tuesday in honor of Cecchettin “and all abused women and victims of violence.” An organization of Italian university rectors, meanwhile, vowed to launch initiatives to make students more aware of gender-based violence.

The aim, the group said, was to “promote respect of the person and halt violence against women” through education that fosters a culture of respect and responsibility.

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