4th femicide in France (and one child murder) in only seven days

Muriel, 56 years old, the first victim of the New Year with thirty (30) stab wounds to the chest by her companion. Murdered because she wanted to leave him. The killer has been placed in temporary detainment (placé en détention provisoire). What does that mean, exactly? Will he be let out in a few days? Will he be imprisoned, and if so for how long and under what charge?

Why is this felony so rampant in “civilized” countries? Because the crime of killing women is not taken seriously in rich, first-world nations.

An unnamed military servicewoman, 28 years old, the second victim of the New Year stabbed multiple times and left for dead. Her killer was also in the military, “but in a different regiment”. He has been taken into police custody and charged with intentional homicide. According to testimony from the killer’s brother whose apartment they had been weekending in, the couple had consumed a lot of alcohol and a violent altercation had taken place. While the brother telephoned the police, the killer dragged his girlfriend out to the landing and stabbed her.

An unnamed mother of three children, 45 years old, was found in the trunk of a car in Nice. The third victim of the year, she had been strangled to death by her companion.

Last night just north of Paris, a 29-year-old mother and her 2-year-old daughter were stabbed to death in their own home. The father of the child has been arrested.

Unlike in the U.S.A., knives are the weapon of choice, not guns.

113 femicides in France in 2021

102 femicides in France in 2020

146 femicides in France in 2019

For a long, long time in this country (and other European countries), the killing of a wife or girlfriend was called a “crime passionnel” (crime of passion). The killer was let off the hook for that reason.

The term “femicide” doesn’t exist in the French Penal Code. In other words, it is not officially recognized.

Femicide or feminicide is a hate crime, broadly defined as “the intentional killing of women or girls by men.”

From statistics provided by the French Ministry of Justice, 65% of killed women in 2019 had contacted the police before their murder. But the police didn’t react for two reasons: misogyny exists within the ranks of the police and because they are not at all trained to respond to this type of situation. These women could be alive today if only the police had responded correctly.

The case that shocked the country occurred only last year. A 31-year-old ex-wife and mother of three small children (5, 8 and 13) was dragged out of her home, shot and then burned alive in the street in a town near Bordeaux. Police arrested the ex-husband shortly afterwards. The man already had seven convictions, including one indictment in 2020 for domestic violence in the presence of a minor. The victim had filed numerous harassment and assault complaints against him.

But listen to this: it was revealed that the police officer who registered the final complaint of the victim had himself been sentenced for domestic violence.

What does President Macron have to say on this subject? Not much; nothing, actually. The French government, like all other governments except Spain, are accused of remaining ‘scandalously’ silent. Why? You’d think that this year being an election year, he’d get on top of the subject.

SPAIN is the first European country to officially count all femicides

It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a start, I guess. “What is not named does not exist,” said Spain’s equality minister, Irene Montero. “We have to recognize all of the victims and make visible all forms of violence – all machista [sexist] killings – so that we can put in place policies for prevention, early detection and eradication.”

Women’s groups are asking that these violent acts be treated as “misogynist terrorism” and, as such, a State issue.

Femicide, a culture of domestic violence in France (and around the world)

feminicide

Last night I stayed up till midnight preparing this blog post and researching the 105th case of femicide this year in France. Today at lunch, I learned that in the space of twelve hours that number had jumped to 107.

October update: that number is now 116.

Her name was Audrey, she was 27 years old, and she’s the 107th victim of femicide since the beginning of this year in France. She was an intern in pediatrics, she wanted to become a generalist, but her ambition (and her life) was snuffed out when her ex inflicted 14 stab wounds to her chest and abdomen.

The 106th femicide victim was a 53 year old woman who lived in eastern France. Her name has been withheld.

Two days ago, on Monday September 16, 2019 in the city of Le Havre, a 27-year old woman was stabbed to death by her husband – in front of their three children aged 2, 4 and 6, in the middle of a street at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Her name was Johanna. He was of Malian descent. What will become of those children? They’ll be traumatized for life.

In August, Johanna had filed a complaint against her husband. A few months earlier she had tried to escape him by jumping through the window of his first-floor apartment. He was taken into custody and then released, without being convicted. The couple had been separated since July. Johanna lived in a shelter for battered women (I’m assuming with the three kids). He kept coming round to the shelter and to the children’s school, threatening them.

“Why didn’t anyone do anything?” the citizens of Le Havre are asking. Neither the police nor the judicial system reacted. Johanna had undertaken all the steps to get away from this violent man.

In 2018, the Ministry of the Interior identified 121 femicides in France.

Femicide: the act of killing a woman, as by a domestic partner or a member of a criminal enterprise.

Femicide: a gender-based hate crime, broadly defined as “the intentional killing of females because they are females.”

Céline, Sarah, Clothilde, Eliane, Hélène, Denise, Ophélie, Martine are the names of some of the other women murdered by their current or former partners this year. There’s no law condemning femicide in France.

In many cases, the killing of a woman here is called – are you ready for this? – un crime passionnel (a crime of passion) – thereby letting the man off the hook.

Femen group protesting in Paris. Is anyone listening?

Here’s another scandalous fact: in France they refer to murders, rapes and femicides as “Faits Divers” which translated into English is “Miscellaneous Facts.” I wish they’d change that. In fact, I wish they’d change a lot of things here. Not that it’s any better in other First World countries: a recent report by the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability revealed that there were 106 victims of femicide in 2018 in Canada.

Contrary to women in America who are killed with a gun, the victims in France are generally knifed, strangled, run over with a car, smothered, beaten to death or burned.

Without a doubt, there’s a big problem with the French Police. They refuse to listen to victims when they come forward. Or worse, they make inappropriate remarks, or blame the victim for what happened. “We need to systematically educate police on how to respond to domestic violence,” an activist said.

At a rally last month, actress Muriel Robin said “These women were not sufficiently protected,” and she questioned President Emmanuel Macron“You spoke of a national cause. What are you waiting for? What is a woman’s life worth to you? We’re waiting for an answer.”

Read the article below recounting how President Emmanuel Macron visited a hotline center in Paris exactly two weeks ago. He sat with a trained operator and listened in on a particularly disturbing telephone conversation, witnessing first-hand the problem with the French Police. Honestly? Had it been me, or rather, had I been him, I would’ve grabbed the phone out of the operator’s hand and shouted into it: This is the President of France speaking! I command you to bouge ton cul and accompany this woman to her home!

But he said and did nothing. Combatting femicide is not a priority in patriarchal France, or anywhere else.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/04/macron-hears-police-officer-refuse-to-help-woman-in-danger