Thursday, June 30 2022

Feminist activists in France are calling for stronger government action to tackle violence against women and girls after three women were reportedly killed by their current or former partner on the first day of 2022.

The body of a 28-year-old military recruit who had been stabbed to death was found near Saumur in western France on Saturday. Local prosecutor Alexandra Verron said a 21-year-old man, also in the military, had been arrested and investigators were investigating possible femicide – the murder of a woman by his partner or ex-partner.

In eastern France, police discovered the body of a 56-year-old woman with a knife in her chest after neighbors in Meurthe-et-Moselle reported a heated argument. The victim’s husband was questioned by police and was due to appear before a judge on Monday.

A 45-year-old woman was found in the trunk of a car on a property in Nice on Sunday. She had been strangled. Police were questioning the woman’s former partner, a 60-year-old man who allegedly admitted to having had a violent altercation with his ex-wife, and their 24-year-old son, in whose vehicle the body was allegedly discovered.

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, said he was devastated by the alleged murder and called it a “horror”.

The #NousToutes collective accused the French government of remaining “scandalously” silent on the gloomy start to the year for women. He said about 220,000 women reported domestic violence each year, but judges had ordered the use of electronic bracelets in only 379 cases.

Lena Ben Ahmed, from #Us all, declared to France Info radio: “These feminicides are not isolated cases. These are not occasional reports. It is systematic violence. The whole system is complicit in these murders because it trivializes and minimizes gender-based and sexual violence. That is why we are outraged by the government’s silence.

In France, there were at least 113 feminicides last year, an increase from the 102 officially registered in 2020. In 2019, a record 146 women were killed.

Femicides By Companions or Ex, the Femicide by partner or ex association, who announced last year’s figures, said it was only a ballpark figure and almost certainly an underestimate.

“Many events which are the subject of an investigation and are the subject of omerta prosecutors’ offices were not counted, ”he said.

“No, these are not ‘family dramas’ or ‘separation dramas’ or ‘crimes of passion’; these are conjugal killings perpetrated by frustrated men who think they have the right to kill …

Last August, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced new measures to combat violence against women and girls, in particular by prioritizing complaints of domestic violence and by ensuring that each police station and gendarmerie have access to at least one officer specializing in the care of female victims.

“The number of police and gendarmerie interventions for intra-family violence remains very high, with more than 400,000 (in 2020), or 45 every hour,” said Mr. Darmanin. “Not a day goes by without [specialist police] release a woman or children held hostage, ”added the Minister.

In the UK, the Feminicide Census estimates that a woman is killed by a man every three days, 62% of them by a current or former partner. A history of abuse was recorded in 59% of murders of women perpetrated by partners or ex-partners or a male relative.

Françoise Brié, director of the Fédération Nationale Solidarité Femmes (National Federation of Solidarity Women), said stricter legislation was needed, including allowing women to conceal the address where they lived if they left the family home and a violent partner with their children.

Ben Ahmed, of #NousToutes, added: “We need training, education, prevention from an early age in schools, high schools, colleges … obviously we call on all presidential candidates to make concrete promises that include additional staff, money and materials. to address the issue of gender-based and sexual violence.

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