France femicide: Three women are brutally murdered in France in one day during an ‘unbearable start to the new year’

People have taken to the streets in protest of the brutal killings of women and sometimes their children by their former or current partners over the past year.

Many were shocked by the New Year’s Day murders in France. This prompted renewed calls for tougher punishments of those who perpetrate violence against women or girls. Marylie Breuil spoke for Nous Toutes in France, a feminist campaign group. She said that the killings were shocking but that campaigners in France were not surprised at the result. She said, “Violence does not stop with the New Year.”

Police report that a 56 year-old woman was found with a knife in her chest after Labry police officers responded to calls about a domestic disturbance. Official investigation has begun into the case of “murder of an accomplice” in which a man is being investigated.

According to the prosecutor of the town, the second case involved a 28-year old female military recruit who was found stabbed to death in western France near Saumur. In connection to her death, investigators have detained a 21 year-old soldier.

The body of a 45 year-old woman was discovered in the trunk of an automobile in Nice. Maud Marty said that she believed she had been strangled. Her ex-husband, 60, has been the subject of formal investigations by authorities into manslaughter as well as intentional homicide.

Europe is seeing a rise in violence against women. The government of Greece was criticized for refusing to accept an opposition amendment that would have recognized the term femicide as institutionally recognized. In Greece, 17 femicides were reported in 2021, according to public broadcaster ERT. After a 48-year old woman was stabbed 23-times by her husband in Thessaloniki, Alexis Tsipras, the opposition leader, posted on Facebook: “There should not be any political disputes when we experience the dramatic effects of gender-based violence on daily basis.

Following the March kidnap, murder, and subsequent heavy-handed police crackdowns on vigils in Sarah’s memory, activists criticised what they called a culture within police of misogyny.
Pope Francis stated that violence against women by men is almost satanic in comments broadcast December 12. According to police figures in Italy, November saw approximately 90 incidents of violence against women per day. 62% of these were domestic violence cases.

Activist: Women should be heard

France’s President Emmanuel Macron was urged to take action after the first deaths were reported on January 1. Nous Toutes tweeted that it was impossible to start this new count again.

Breuil said that the murders are indicative of France’s current climate, and the impunity for aggressors. Breuil also noted that one of the victims had complained about her aggressor to police. Statistics from a French Ministry of Justice ReportThe 2019 statistics showed that 65% percent of women murdered made contact to the police before their deaths.

Breuil stressed that “65% of these women could be saved if things were managed correctly, if their grievances were taken up and if the women were listened to,”

French President Francois Hollande quickly condemned the January 1 massacres. Elisabeth Moreno, Equality Minister, tweeted that she was saddened by the deaths and that she felt for the children of the victims and their families. She stated that the police, magistrates and health services, as well as other bodies, are “constantly mobilized” in order to combat “this scourge.” However, campaigners remain dissatisfied with the government’s response to these tragedies.

Breuil explained that, “Following the three Feminisms that occurred within 24 hours in France, the only thing that happened was that the minister for equality went to talk with the associations.”

It is not the first time that the French government has been criticized for its handling domestic violence.

After widespread protests in France over violence against women’s rights in 2019, the government announced a number of reforms. These include increased funding for emergency housing and the hiring of specialized police officers to handle complaints.
A French woman was shot and burned by her estranged husband, officials say, as anger builds over femicides
Gerald Darminin (Interior Minister) addressed journalists in October stressedIt is essential that domestic violence be dealt with by law enforcement agencies as a top priority.

Breuil stated that Nous Toutes maintained that Macron and his government were “completely out-of-step with what’s happening on French territory.” She added that Macron and his government “remain silent, and that is shameful.”

In May, the country was shocked by the case of a 31-year-old woman, Chahinez Daoud, who according to officials was shot and burned alive in the street by her estranged husband in Mérignac, near Bordeaux. Soon after the incident, police arrested Mounir B., the husband. Bordeaux prosecutor Frédérique Porterie told reporters at the time that the man had seven previous convictions, including a charge in 2020 for spousal violence in the presence of a minor. Chahinez had already filed a claim of aggression against him two months before she died.

Five officers were sanctioned this week in connection to Daoud’s murder, according to CNN’s spokesperson.

Breuil is critical about the French police who she claims are not properly trained to handle these types of cases.

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

“Tip of an Iceberg”

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

This is an increase from 2020 when 102 women were murdered by their ex-partners or partners, according to an Interior Ministry agency linked to the French National Police. The same body reported that 121 women died in 2018 and another 146 were killed in 2019 by their ex-partners or current partners. The government figures for 2021 are not yet available.

'The world's best place to be a woman' is being sued for misogyny
Femicide, also known by feminicide, can be defined as “intentional killing of women because they’re women”. However, there is no global, standardized or consistently recorded data on femicide.
The following is an extract from the World Health Organisation (WHO)“Most cases of femicide are committed either by partners or expartners and involve ongoing abuse at home, threats, intimidation, or sexual violence, or situations in which women have less power or resources than their partner.

French penal law recognizes the “murder by a spouse” but does no distinguish between male or female victims. Accordingly, “femicide” is not an official term.

Breuil said that although the statistics are valuable, Nous Toutes insists that the figures “only reflect the extent of abuses occurring within couples.” She stated that statistics “are only the tip” of the iceberg and stressed that abuses occurring before murders are common.

The true cost of femicide

Meanwhile, in Spain, New Year’s Day is celebrated. new systemIt was created by the government to make it the first European country to officially count all femicides. This includes cases in which children are killed to cause harm to women.
As of December 27, 2019, there were 43 women who had been killed in Spain’s gender-based violence. According to the Government Delegation on Gender Violence. It said that 1,125 women were killed by gender-based violence in the country in 2003.

Spain previously recognized as gender-based violence any murders of women that were committed by someone they were in a relationship or with.

However, the official statistics regarding gender-based violence will now include all murders of women and children in which gender has been deemed to be a factor.

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

These five categories cover murders of women related to sexual violence. The “vicarious Femicide” category includes the “murdering of a woman, or minor children, by an individual to inflict injury or harm on another woman.”

Recent cases involving violence against women, and their children, have shaken Spain.

Madrid, December 31, 2012: A three-year-old girl was murdered in a case of gender-based violence. According to the governmentOne of seven children who lost their lives that way last year.
Following the murder of his two children, Olivia, six-years-old, and Anna, one year old, a man was arrested and charged with dumping their bodies into the Tenerife sea. Reuters reported.

According to the news agency, the court document stated that “the plan of the accused was for his ex-partner to suffer the greatest pain she could picture, by deliberately creating uncertainty about the fate Olivia and Anna had suffered at His hands.”

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.

Irene Montero, equality minister, stated that the new system would count all “sexist murders by women” because they were women. She stated in a government press release that to name feminicides was to do justice and the most basic exercise for reparation with all victims.

Montero stated that “we are making progress towards making all forms sexist violence visible so that we can implement the public policies necessary for their elimination.” What you don’t name, is not there.”

French campaigners are supportive of this move and want a similar framework to their country. Nous Toutes would like the femicides of young girls, and women other than couples, “to also be counted” so that we can see the extent of abuse against women in France,” stated Breuil.

Breuil concluded that the French society is ready to change because it recognizes that abuses can be prevented and are not inevitable.

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