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Italians loudly Demand an End to Violence Against Women after a Murder and a Film

Italy has seen a surge in anger following the death of a college student, who was allegedly killed by her ex-boyfriend who refused to accept their breakup and was jealous of her success.

At the ‘A minute of noise for Giulia’ flash mob outside the Statale University in Milan, Italy on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023, several people grieved in memory of Giulia Cecchettin, who was allegedly killed by her possessive ex-boyfriend. Students are leading the way in Italy’s growing outrage over violence against women. Together, young people all over the nation have started banging on school desks to call for an end to the killings of women by men and to eradicate the toxic, patriarchal attitudes that have long pervaded Italian society. In parliament, opposition lawmakers followed suit.

In a coordinated move, students from Turin to Palermo have started banging on classroom desks to call for an end to the horrific murders of women in Italy by men, following the most recent horrific death of a college student who was allegedly the victim of her envious and spiteful ex-boyfriend.

Days before the murder of Guilia Cecchettin, 22, Italians were praising a popular film about a woman who faces abuse and humiliation at the hands of her domineering husband. The film takes place in 1946, the year that Italian women were granted the right to vote for the first time and 24 years before divorce became legal in that country. The film’s examination of patriarchy’s oppressive hold on Italian society still has a painfully relevant resonance.

The extraordinary convergence of fact and fiction at this time is fueling calls for women’s protection and the abolition of patriarchal mindsets that permeate Italian society.

Days before Giulia Cecchettin was set to graduate from the University of Padua with a degree in biomedical engineering, she vanished after meeting her ex-boyfriend Filippo Turetta for a burger at a mall.

Friends and family claimed that her ex-beau, who was a year younger than her, was angry that she had completed her education before him and worried that she would go on to pursue her aspirations in life and career.

A restaurant was reserved for Cecchettin’s family and friends, and red bows were tied to the metal fence outside her family’s home in Vigonovo, a town of 10,000 people close to Venice, to celebrate her degree.

She texted Elena, her older sister, while she was at the burger joint, asking for suggestions on shoes for the ceremony. Her family would never hear from her again after that.

Actress and director Paola Cortellesi stated in a Rome interview earlier this week that “Giulia’s case shook all of Italy.” “Because everyone in Italy knew that a young woman who had been killed by a man would soon be found,” the statement reads.

“Because it’s the same routine by now.” Referring to Italian statistics that show that a woman is killed in the nation approximately every three days by a man, usually her spouse, partner, or ex-boyfriend, she said, “It’s chilling to call it a routine.”

For the seven days leading up to Nov. 18, when Cecchettin’s body was discovered in a ditch next to a lake in the foothills of the Alps, covered in black plastic bags.

A few kilometres (miles) from her home, on a deserted street, the security camera of an industrial complex caught a glimpse of a man, who investigators believed to be Turetta, pursuing Cecchettin. Cecchettin had run from the car, only to be hit several times, knocked down and bundled into the car, leaving blood and hair stains on the sidewalk.

Roadside security cameras captured glimpses of Turetta’s car for days, first in northern Italy, then in Austria, and finally in Germany. German police conducted a check on an empty car that was parked on the shoulder of a highway on Sunday, November 19. Turetta was inside.

His extradition to Italy for a murder investigation was ordered by a German court on Wednesday. Italian media reported that a medical examiner’s report revealed 26 wounds on the woman’s arms, legs, and neck that appeared to have been caused by a blade.

Italian audiences were captivated by the film “C’è ancora domani” (There’s still tomorrow) as the real-life drama surrounding Cecchettin’s murder unfolded.

The film’s director, Cortellesi, claimed that her creations moved viewers “beyond the ordinary, precisely because, as I have been saying, it hit a raw nerve in everyone’s lives.” Known for her comedic roles in Italian comedy, Cortellesi also portrays the title character, Delia, a victimised Roman wife who longs for a better future for her adolescent daughter.

Cortellesi related how, during a screening, a woman took the stage and declared, “I was Delia,” to an unfamiliar audience, revealing that she, too, had been the victim of an abusive husband.

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