Over 10,000 mourners, including Attorney General Carlo Nordio, gathered from across Italy to attend the funeral of Giulia Cecchettin, the 22-year-old Italian college student who was brutally murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s first female prime minister, took to Facebook to declare that “women are not alone” and pledged to take decisive action. She also shared a helpline number for victims of violence and stalking.
The funeral for Cecchettin took place at the Santa Giustina Cathedral in Padua, situated in the northeastern Veneto region, as reported by The Associated Press. Mourners at the service condemned the tragic incident as a quintessential example of “femicide,” a term derived from the fusion of “female” and “homicide.” Femicide refers to the disturbing trend where women are targeted and killed due to factors such as sexism, sexual exploitation, and gender discrimination.
Cecchetin, a biotechnology major at the University of Padua in Italy, was murdered at the hands of her ex-boyfriend and fellow student, Filippo Turetta, on November 18. Turetta, grappling with the aftermath of their breakup, harbored resentment, particularly since Cecchettin was on the verge of graduating ahead of him. Following the crime, he escaped to Germany and was apprehended by local prosecutors before being subsequently deported back to Italy.
The autopsy exposed the horrifying reality of Cecchettin’s murder, revealing over two dozen stab wounds inflicted on her face and neck. The brutality of this crime has sparked widespread concern in Italy. On November 25, the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Rome, Milan, and various other cities across the nation, advocating for an end to violence against women. Authorities report that this year alone, 107 women in Italy have fallen victim to murder, including Cecchettin. Shockingly, 82.2% (88) of these cases involved perpetrators who were family members, lovers, or individuals known to the victims.
During the funeral, numerous attendees adorned red ribbons on their labels, symbolizing a collective stance against femicide. In a powerful gesture, many also chimed bells and jingled keys, signaling their commitment to breaking the silence surrounding violence against women. These poignant acts served as a visual and auditory pledge to stand united in ending the pervasive issue of gender-based violence.
The funeral proceedings were broadcast live on state television. In a heartfelt eulogy, Cecchettin’s father delivered an emotional message, urging, “My daughter’s death should serve as a wake-up call to put an end to the appalling violence against women. It is time to break this vicious cycle.” To honor the occasion, all universities in Italy suspended classes until 2 p.m. on the funeral day, and the Veneto region officially declared a day of mourning.