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France femicide: Three women brutally killed in one day in ‘unbearable’ start to new year

It has seen folks take to the streets over the previous year in protest over the brutal deaths of women — and in some circumstances, their youngsters — by the hands of their present or former companions.

The New Year’s Day killings in France shocked many and prompted a renewed name for more durable motion towards those that commit violence towards women and ladies. Speaking to CNN, Marylie Breuil, spokesperson for Nous Toutes, a French feminist marketing campaign group, mentioned that though the killings had been “shocking,” campaigners in the nation had been sadly “not surprised” by the flip of occasions. “Violence doesn’t stop with the New Year,” she mentioned.

According to police, a 56-year-old girl was discovered lifeless with a knife in her chest in Labry, in the nation’s northeast, after officers had been referred to as to reviews of a home disturbance on January 1. A person has been positioned underneath formal investigation for the crime of “murder of a partner.”

In the second case, a 28-year-old feminine army recruit was discovered stabbed to demise close to Saumur in western France, in accordance to the city’s prosecutor. A 21-year-old man, a soldier, was detained in relation to her demise; investigators suspect a doable killing by her companion.

Then, the physique of a 45-year-old girl was discovered in the trunk of a automobile in Nice. She had been strangled, in accordance to Maud Marty, deputy prosecutor in the southern metropolis. Prosecutors have launched formal investigations for manslaughter and intentional murder towards her ex-husband, 60.

Across Europe, circumstances of violence towards women are stoking rising outrage. In Greece, the place 17 femicides had been recorded in 2021 in accordance to public broadcaster ERT, the federal government was criticized for rejecting an opposition modification that might have established institutional recognition of the time period femicide. In November, after a 48-year-old girl was stabbed 23 occasions by her husband in Thessaloniki, opposition chief Alexis Tsipras posted on Facebook: “There should be no political disputes when we dramatically experience the effects of gender based violence on a daily basis.”

In the United Kingdom, following the March kidnap and homicide of 33-year-old Sarah Everard by a serving male police officer, and a heavy-handed police crackdown on a vigil in her reminiscence, activists criticized what they are saying is a tradition of misogyny inside policing.
Meanwhile, in feedback broadcast in December, Pope Francis said that males who commit violence towards women have interaction in one thing that’s “almost satanic.” Police figures launched in Italy in November confirmed that there have been about 90 episodes of violence towards women in the nation each day and that 62% had been circumstances of home violence.

Activist: Women should be heard

In France, after information of the primary two deaths emerged on January 1, Nous Toutes referred to as on French President Emmanuel Macron to act, tweeting that “to start this count again is unbearable.”

The killings are “indicative of the current climate in France and the impunity of aggressors,” Breuil mentioned, highlighting the truth that one of the three women had complained to the police about her alleged aggressor. Statistics from a French Ministry of Justice report in 2019 confirmed that 65% of women killed made contact with the police earlier than their homicide.

“We realize that 65% of these women could have been saved if things had been handled correctly, if their complaints were taken up, if we had listened to these women,” Breuil careworn.

The French authorities was fast to condemn the January 1 killings, with Equality Minister Elisabeth Moreno tweeting that she lamented the violent deaths and felt for the victims’ youngsters and different bereaved kin. The police, magistrates, well being providers and different our bodies are “constantly mobilized” to struggle towards “this scourge,” she mentioned. The campaigners, nonetheless, stay unimpressed with the federal government’s response to the tragedies.

“Following the three femicides that took place within 24 hours in France the only thing that was done was the minister of equality went to discuss with the associations,” Breuil mentioned.

This isn’t the primary time the French authorities has come underneath hearth for its dealing with of home violence.

Since 2019, when France noticed widespread protests over violence towards women, the federal government has introduced a raft of reforms. These embody extra funding for emergency housing for these affected and specialised cops to take care of complaints, in addition to efforts to encourage the appointment of specialised courts and prosecutors to streamline prosecutions.
A French woman was shot and burned by her estranged husband, officials say, as anger builds over femicides
Addressing reporters in October, Interior Minister Gerald Darminin stressed that tackling home violence “must be a priority” for legislation enforcement our bodies.

However, Nous Toutes maintains that Macron and his authorities are “completely out of step with what is taking place on the French territory,” in accordance to Breuil. “For us Macron and the government are silent and that is shameful,” she added.

In May, the nation was shocked by the case of a 31-year-old woman, Chahinez Daoud, who in accordance to officers was shot and burned alive in the road by her estranged husband in Mérignac, close to Bordeaux. Police arrested the estranged husband, recognized as Mounir B., shortly after the incident. Bordeaux prosecutor Frédérique Porterie advised reporters on the time that the person had seven earlier convictions, together with a cost in 2020 for spousal violence in the presence of a minor. Chahinez had filed a grievance of aggression towards him solely two months earlier than her demise.

This week, 5 officers had been sanctioned in relation to Daoud’s killing, a spokesperson for the director of the nationwide police confirmed to CNN.

Breuil is essential of the French police, whom she claims are “not trained properly at all” to deal with these sorts of circumstances.

Forensics officers arrive at the home of Chahinez Daoud on May 5, 2021 in Merignac, Bordeaux.

‘Tip of the iceberg’

Daoud was one of 113 women killed in 2021 in France by their present or former companions, in accordance to French advocacy group Féminicides par compagnons ou ex (Femicides by companions or exes).

That represents an obvious improve on 2020, when 102 women had been killed by their companion or ex-partner, in accordance to an Interior Ministry physique linked to the French nationwide police. Another 146 women had been killed by their present or former companion in 2019, and 121 women in 2018, the identical physique mentioned. Government figures for 2021 haven’t but been launched.

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Femicide, also called feminicide, is widely defined because the “intentional murder of women because they are women.” However, there isn’t any world, standardized or constantly recorded information on femicide.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “most cases of femicide are committed by partners or ex-partners, and involve ongoing abuse in the home, threats or intimidation, sexual violence or situations where women have less power or fewer resources than their partner.”

French penal legislation acknowledges “murder by a partner” however doesn’t distinguish between female and male victims. The time period “femicide” is thus not formally used.

And though they see the worth of the statistics, Nous Toutes maintains that these figures are “only the visible part of abuses taking place within couples,” in accordance to Breuil. “They are only the tip of the iceberg,” she mentioned, emphasizing that earlier than any homicide there may be often a complete vary of abuses going down of which the general public is unaware.

Counting the true price of femicide

Meanwhile, on New Year’s Day in Spain, a new system was introduced in that the federal government says will make it the primary nation in Europe to formally depend all femicides — together with circumstances the place youngsters are killed by males to damage women.
The variety of women killed in gender-based violence in Spain in 2021 reached 43 as of December 27, according to the Government Delegation for Gender Violence. Since 2003, it mentioned, 1,125 women have been recorded as killed in gender-based violence in the nation.

Spain has beforehand recorded as gender-based violence any killings of women the place there’s proof they had been or had been in a relationship with the perpetrator.

But from the start of this year, official statistics on gender-based violence might be broadened to embody the homicide of any girl or baby in which gender is deemed to have performed a task.

One in three women worldwide experience violence in their lifetime, WHO says

The 5 classes vary from the murders of women linked to sexual violence, together with trafficking and prostitution, to homicide by males in the lady’s household, as in so-called honor killings. They additionally embody “vicarious femicide,” outlined because the “murder of a woman or minor children, by a man as an instrument to cause injury or harm to another woman.”

Spain has been shaken by latest circumstances involving violence towards women and their youngsters.

A lady of three was killed in Madrid on the finish of December in a presumed case of gender-based violence, the government said — one of seven youngsters to lose their lives in that manner final year.
In June, offended demonstrations had been held in cities throughout the nation after a person was accused of killing his two daughters, Olivia, six, and Anna, one, and dumping their our bodies in the ocean off the Spanish island of Tenerife, Reuters reported.

“The plan of the accused was to cause his ex-partner the greatest pain she could imagine, by deliberately causing uncertainty about the fate that Olivia and Anna had suffered at his hands,” a courtroom doc mentioned, in accordance to the information company.

A woman takes part in a protest against sexist violence and for women's rights, in front of the Congress of Deputies in Madrid, Spain on May 18, 2021.

Equality Minister Irene Montero mentioned the new system would imply all “sexist murders of women, because they are women,” could be counted. “Naming feminicides is to do justice, the most basic exercise of reparation with all victims of sexist violence,” she mentioned in a authorities information launch.

In this manner, Montero mentioned, “we are making progress in making all forms of sexist violence visible in order to carry out the public policies necessary to eradicate them. What you don’t name, does not exist.”

French campaigners help this transfer and are pushing for the same framework to be adopted in their nation. Nous Toutes need the femicides of younger ladies and women exterior {couples} additionally “to be counted, so we can show the extent of the abuse against women in France,” mentioned Breuil.

French society is “ready to see a change” as a result of it “understands that these abuses are not inevitable” and may be prevented, Breuil concluded.

CNN’s Duarte Mendonca, Anaëlle Jonah, Chris Liakos and Camille Knight contributed to this report.

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