Italy's parties unanimously back clampdown on violence against women

Italy's parties unanimously back clampdown on violence against women


Italy's parties unanimously back clampdown on violence against women

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ROME (Reuters) - Italian lawmakers on Wednesday unanimously backed a raft of measures to clamp down on violence against women after the killing of a university student, and the arrest of her ex-boyfriend triggered a nationwide debate over the issue.

The upper house Senate passed the bill proposed by the right-wing government of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni by 157-to-0, a rare show of unity between the ruling parties and the opposition.

The lower house Chamber had already granted it a first unanimous green light late last month.

The new law expands protections for women at risk to prevent more serious violence and stem a wave of femicides which have sparked outrage across the country.

"This law introduces measures that in many cases can make the difference between life and death," said Family Minister Eugenia Roccella.

The murder in recent days of Giulia Cecchettin, a 22-year-old student from a small town near Venice, has particularly shocked the nation due to the young age of the victim about to graduate this month. Her former partner, Filippo Turetta, has been arrested as a suspect.

Turetta is being held in Germany where he was found by police on Saturday in a broken down car. Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said on Wednesday that his extradition had already been agreed.

The government also pledged to campaign in schools to promote respect for women and raise awareness on the issue of violence among pupils.

"It is absolutely unacceptable that women have to endure harassment, humiliation and violence every day," School Minister Giuseppe Valditara told a news conference at the Senate while presenting the initiative.

As of Nov 19, 106 women have been killed this year in Italy, including 55 by their partner or former partner, interior ministry figures show. This compares with 109 women killed in the year-ago period, including 53 by a partner or ex-partner.