Femicide: When men kill women

Femicide: When men kill women

 The 117 victims of femicide who were murdered in the partnership in 2019 were commemorated with 117 pairs of shoes

In 2020 there was this commemoration in the courtyard of the Brandenburg state parliament in Potsdam: 117 pairs of shoes were used to commemorate the 117 victims of femicide who were murdered in the partnership in 2019

© Soren Stache / DPA

Every third day in Germany a woman is killed by her husband. Often referred to as a family drama or act of jealousy, acts that are brutal murders are played down.

Femicide is the murder of women – and it should be called that, says “stern” editor Isabelle Zeiher in the 441st episode “important today”. “It’s a killing that happens because there are patriarchal structures in the relationship,” that is, rules of conduct that a man has to follow woman imposed. If these are broken, it is a “legitimate reason for the perpetrator to end the woman’s life,” she says in the podcast.

Femicides: the escalation of years of violence

The editor’s own legal concept of “femicide” therefore makes sense. Because behind it hides a much bigger problem: “Domestic violence starts much earlier.” Often the femicide is just the escalation of violence that has manifested itself for years. murders by men Women occur much more frequently. Last year, 113 women in relationships were killed by their partners – compared to “only” 14 men.

Women don’t report their husbands very often”

Nevertheless, the data situation in Germany is difficult. “Femicides are still a very unexplored field,” says Isabelle Zeiher – also because there are many unreported cases. Not with the femicides per se, but with the assassination attempts that precede it. “Women show theirs men not very often,” says the editor. During her research, Isabelle Zeiher spent a long time talking to a protagonist who needed many attempts before she reported her partner.

Extreme potential for shame, dependencies and fear: Why women don’t go

Why don’t these women go first if they’re dealing with a violent partner have to do? A question that comes up again and again when it comes to femicide. Only: “That’s very easy to think about,” says Isabelle Zeiher. There are many factors why these women stay: financial dependency or emotional dependency. “Many love their man and trust that he will change, even if most of the time he doesn’t.” Common children often also played a role. In the worst case, men threatened their wives with harming their children if the wife left, Zeiher explains. “And in fact, the moments when you leave are often the worst, where femicides are particularly common.” And so it is not surprising that most women need about seven years before they separate from their violent partner. “And although we’re talking more about it now, the potential for shame is extreme.”

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