Three women were murdered in France on January 1, each claimed to be by a partner or ex-partner, in what feminist activists called an “intolerable” start to the new year. In France, the Coronavirus is not the only pandemic occurring; there has been a shadowed pandemic for women’s violence which worsened through the lockdown. Women were forced to stay in a household with their abuser with financial pressure and less support.
Although the deaths were “disturbing,” activists in France were unfortunately “not shocked” by the sequence of events, according to Nous Toutes, a feminist advocacy organization in France.
After policemen were contacted to allegations of a domestic disturbance on January 1, a 56-year-old lady was discovered dead with a knife in her chest in Labry, in the country’s northeast. A male has been charged with the “murder of a partner” and has been placed under official inquiry. A 28-year-old female military recruit was reportedly stabbed to death in Saumur in western France in the second occurrence. In association with her death, a 21-year-old soldier was arrested; detectives believe her partner killed her. Furthermore, in Nice, a 45-year-old woman’s body was discovered in the trunk of a vehicle. She’d been choked to death. Prosecutors have opened official investigations into her ex-husband, 60, for manslaughter and deliberate killing.
Cases of abuse against women are causing increasing concern across Europe.
“In Greece, where 17 femicides were recorded in 2021 according to public broadcaster ERT, the government was criticized for rejecting an opposition amendment that would have established institutional recognition of the term femicide. In November, after a 48-year-old woman was stabbed 23 times by her husband in Thessaloniki, opposition leader 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.”CNN article, “Three women brutally killed in one day in France, in ‘unbearable’ start to new year”
Following three femicides in less than 24 hours in France, the minister of equality only traveled to meet with the associations to examine the situation. Since huge protests about violence against women erupted in France in 2019, the government has pledged plenty of reforms. More money for emergency housing for people impacted, specialist police personnel to deal with complaints, and efforts to urge the formation of specialized courts and prosecutors to speed prosecutions are among these initiatives. Domestic violence prevention “must be a top priority” for law enforcement agencies.