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Protesters in Italy demand end to violence against women

Rallies to take place on Saturday in Rome and Sicily.

Italy marks the 2023 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women with major demonstrations in Rome and Messina on Saturday 25 November.

The rallies come amid an outpouring of anger and national debate sparked by the recent killing of 22-year-old student Giulia Cecchettin in Italy's northern Friuli Venezia Giulia region.

Elena Cecchettin, who has called for her sister Giulia to be remembered with a minute of noise instead of silence, said on Friday that she might attend the Rome demonstration.

Organised by feminist movement Non Una di Meno, the protest in Rome is scheduled to start at the Circus Maximus at 14.30 before making its way to Piazza S. Giovanni.

Busloads of people are due to travel from all over Italy to attend the Rome rally, with a parallel demonstration being staged in the Sicilian city of Messina on Saturday morning.

The Italian parliament on Wednesday approved new measures to clamp down on violence against women, following unanimous support from the senate and lower house.

Among the measures being introduced is a campaign in schools to address sexism, machismo and psychological and physical violence against women.

Protests have been taking place across the country since last weekend when Cecchettin's body was found wrapped in plastic at the bottom of a ravine near a lake north of Venice. 

Her corpse showed signs of a brutal murder, with multiple, deep knife wounds to the head and neck.

The murder suspect - Cecchettin's former boyfriend Filippo Turetta - was arrested in Germany on Sunday, eight days after fleeing the country.

The 22-year-old is due to be extradited on Saturday, the same day that Italy marks the Giornata Internazionale per l'Eliminazione della Violenza sulle Donne.

Photo credit: Vincenzo Nuzzolese / Shutterstock.com.

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