Women’s rights groups complain that Germany is lagging behind in the fight against so-called feminicide. The state needs to take more money in hand, so demand.
Göttingen – 27-year-old Besma A. was sleeping on the couch when her husband shot a mother of three in the head. The man later told police that he accidentally shot her while cleaning a gun. The District Court of Göttingen accuses him of a sneaky murder.
A mother of six is stabbed in a street in Berlin. Her split-up husband is a suspect. The 53-year-old dies at a supermarket in Schwalmstadt, Hesse, after her ex-boyfriend fired four shots at her. The man is killing himself, she reported him for assault, coercion and harassment. Only three of the more than 100 such homicides nationwide each year.
While crime in Germany is generally declining, the number of acts of violence against women is increasing. Statistically, the most dangerous man is his own husband or ex-partner, sometimes the man whose advances are rejected by the ultimate victim. For a long time, such incidents were often left unsaid as “relationship tragedy” or “family tragedy.”
Clearly label the murders as such
These are murders! We must clearly call them the murders of women, “Interior Minister Nanca Faeser told Bild am Sonntag in May. Women are killed because they are women. – The state has to admit that we have a big, dangerous problem there. And act – said the SPD politician. Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) has now announced that violence against women will be punished more severely and wants to amend the penal code to this end.
Women’s rights organization Terre de Femmes believes further government action is overdue. “Spain has a law to protect women since 2004 and an independent monitoring agency from 2020 that records all misogynistic murders, including vicarious acts of revenge against children,” says Yamina Lourghi, Domestic and Sexual Violence Officer at Terre des Femmes .
The risk assessment is carried out throughout Spain using the software. If there is a particularly high risk of endangering a woman, aggressive criminals would have to wear GPS bracelets. According to Lourgha, this is used to monitor contact bans. The right of access to children together may also be suspended under certain circumstances. The expert emphasizes that other EU countries already have a national strategy and spend much more money than Germany on fighting violence against women.
Killings of “hidden” women in Germany?
By signing the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention, Germany undertook to prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women. According to the assumptions of this agreement, however, almost 15,000 are missing. places in women’s shelters across the country.
“The maximum level of violence against girls and women, feminicide, is ignored in Germany, and the state does not even have a definition of the term,” criticizes Kristina Wolff, who has documented and scientifically assessed feminicide since 2019. Changes in criminal law are necessary, but they have to be implemented much earlier – says the scientist and activist. Compulsory training in the prevention of violence from childhood is essential and then must also be provided part-time.
Unlike men, there is a real risk of women’s death or serious injury if they no longer want to spend their lives with their former partner, according to the statement of the German Women’s Lawyers Association: “Neither the judiciary nor society should be allowed to blame this environment of gender-based violence. understanding, understanding or reducing penalties. ”
Possessive thinking is not considered to be a aggravating factor
If men killed their ex-partner while separated, it was often judged only as homicide, not murder. It was considered that the perpetrator’s turbulent emotional situation softened his punishment, while his patriarchal possessiveness, which prevented women from living without him, was not considered to aggravate his punishment.
Besma A. from the small town of Einbeck died in April 2020, and from January 2021 her husband more than 20 years older than her has to answer in court. This process is accompanied by an initiative against feminicide, which, inter alia, organized a vigil on the second anniversary of the 27-year-old’s death. “Femicide is a structural problem and has its roots in the patriarchy, not in specific cultures or traditions,” says a spokeswoman for the initiative.
“This trial is a lot about the perpetrator’s guilt, not about violence in the marriage and Besma’s situation,” criticize the activists. They commit to “an appropriate commemoration of Besma” and support their loved ones.
In Berlin-Pankow, there was also a memorial march for a mother of six, who was stabbed to death at the end of April. Authorities want to see if everything has been done to protect the 31-year-old after repeatedly reporting domestic violence to her husband.
The number of feminicides in Germany is increasing
The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) has only published its own statistics on civil violence since 2015. According to BKA, in 2020 139 women and 30 men were killed by their current or former partners. According to Kristina Wolff’s analysis, feminicide affects many more people, such as women killed by their brothers, cousins and stalkers. Moreover, children are very often involved in crime. Wolff is convinced that the number of feminicides in Germany has increased.
In turn, the director of the Institute of Criminology at the University of Tübingen, Jörg Kinzig, emphasizes that there is a lack of comprehensive data on the so-called Femicides in Germany. The research work to date has focused on the so-called “honor killings” and partner killings. Together with the Lower Saxony Institute for Criminology (KFN), the homicides of women in Germany are to be investigated in a three-year project.
The basis is the files from criminal proceedings in Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Lower Saxony and Rhineland-Palatinate from 2017. During this period, there were 352 murders of women in four federal states – it is not known how often they were victims of their gender. According to the researchers, the motives of the crime include male possessiveness, patriarchal misogyny, sexual frustration and general hatred of women.
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