Gender Violence in Italy: Can Being A Woman Get You Killed?

Giulia Checchettin is a 22-year-old biomedical engineering student. The entire nation of Italy will never forget her name. On November 11, 2023, Giulia was out shopping for her graduation outfit with her ex-boyfriend, Filippo Turetta. She died that very same day at the hands of her ex-boyfriend. 

Elisa Ercoli, director of Differenza Donna (a non-government organization that’s dedicated to fighting gender violence), stated that the killing was “the last straw, after a string of high-profile cases of femicides.” Gender violence-based homicides, especially femicides, have dangerously increased in Italy. According to the Italian Interior Ministry, data shows that so far (2023), in Italy, 106 women have been killed, and 55 of those women were allegedly killed by a partner or an ex-partner. That is 106 too many. Being a woman is hard on its own, with their personal and physical struggles, along with the harassment they receive on a day-to-day basis. Now, the problem has darkened even more. Women must remain cautious, even around those they once loved and those that once loved them back. November 25, 2023, marks the day the United Nations officially signified the date as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Statistics from Italy’s anti-violence and stalking hotlines said that after November 24, just a day before the official declaration from the UN, calls had almost doubled.  

After the murder of Giulia Checchettin, a new question came into the story. Is the culture the root of the problem, or is it the man himself? In Italian culture, it’s very common for patriarchal ideologies to override the rights of women. Elisa Ercoli also stated, “In a toxic relationship, the most unbearable thing for violent men is when women are more successful than them.” Officials later found out that Filippo was studying the same subject Giulia was, biomedical engineering. She was set to graduate before him since she excelled in her studies. Jealousy most certainly played a role in his motive for her murder. 

The patriarchal system that lies within the minds of men (in this case, a majority of the men of Italy) is what failed Giulia Checchettin. Italy seems to be a patriarchal nation, as even the Prime Minister herself had said. Many women have taken serious steps towards gaining their freedom and proper rights, yet the men of Italy are still firmly anchored to the idea of a solid patriarchy. On November 22, 2023, the Italian Senate unanimously approved a new legislation to strengthen and increase safety measures against gender violence. However, many say the government hasn’t and still isn’t doing enough to ensure the safety of the women of Italy. 

Women later protested in Giulia’s name, stating that while it’s “not all men,” it is always men. Nonetheless, the men of the nation are the issue, and the women of Italy, even the nation’s first prime minister herself, have had enough. They all continue to fight towards a better future for women. And to those who may believe that the patriarchal mindset in Italy is truly right, ask yourself this question. Are you anchored to the culture, or are you simply despicable? 

Works Cited

Bettiza, Sofia. “Giulia Cecchettin’s Killing Sparks Italian Reckoning over Femicide.” BBC News, BBC, 24 Nov. 2023,

Sforza, Lauren. “Thousands Rally in Italy Condemning Violence against Women Following Murder of 22-Year-Old Woman.” The Hill, The Hill, 26 Nov. 2023,