Sunday, September 9, 2018

Feminicide across Europe: Greece

There is no statistical data concerning the female death rate due to assault in Greece, as data on homicides are not sex-disaggregated. According to the Greek Police Statistical Service, the only available quantitative data concern the relation of the sex of the perpetrator or the victim and the locus of murder (2013): 

The dominant femicide pattern is that of intimate partner murder. The term “femicide” (γυναικοκτονία-gynaikoktonia) is not in use, even in media discourse, where these murders are described mostly as a “family tragedy”, “crime of passion”, “love crime” pr even “unexpected crime”, where the “unfortunate woman” lost her life. A representative case study could be a young man who kills his girlfriend, or wife, through his own excessive jealousy, particularly after she attempted to break up their relationship. Two particular characteristics are worth mentioning: the cruelty and, in some cases, the dismemberment and disappearance of the female body, as well as the suicide or attempted suicide of the perpetrator after the murder. 
(by Athena Peglidou)

In order to fight feminicide/femicide, various Latin American and European countries have adopted increasingly specific laws and legal instruments that penalize feminicide. The ratification of the Belém do Pará Convention1 in Latin America and the entry into force of the Istanbul Convention2  in Europe, demonstrate an increasingly stronger international commitment against this kind of violence. The establishment of the Bi-regional Dialogue on Gender by the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), as well as the adoption of the Urgent Resolution on Feminicide in the European Union and Latin America3 by the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat) also express this commitment.    

However, legal norms, agreements, and international dialogues alone are not sufficient for the eradication of violence against women, nor its most extreme manifestation, feminicide.

Traditionally, States were only responsible for their own actions or those of their agents, but international public law has evolved and currently, the principle of due diligence makes the State responsible for the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of violence, regardless of who commits the crime. The duty of due diligence obliges States to enter the private sphere, where historically, they have not intervened, but where the majority of cases of violence against women occur. 

Therefore, it is the duty of the State to take all necessary measures to prevent human rights violations, such as feminicide, before they occur. This means, on the one hand, adopting pertinent laws and policies to prevent, investigate, prosecute, and punish those guilty of abuse, and on the other hand, successfully implement them. 

Patricia Jiménez, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung – European Union, Brussels

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