Police arrested a 69-year-old man in the city of Ioannina, Greece for beating his American wife to death on Sunday in yet another femicide recorded in Greece.
The ambulance service received a call late on Sunday night and rushed to the spot. Paramedics found the body of the victim, who had been severely beaten, laying on the floor. The victim had died before the paramedics arrived.
The man admitted having beaten his wife following an argument when he spoke to police officers He claimed that he did not mean to kill her, however.
Murder of Caroline Crouch highlights femicide problem in Greece
Greece saw an alarming increase in femicides in 2021, when 17 women were killed by current or former partners.
The case that drew the most international attention was that of Caroline Crouch, who was killed by her husband Babis Anagnostopoulos at the family home in Athens in May 2021.
She was found in her bed in Athens next to her 11-month-old daughter, after being suffocated as she slept. Her child was found to be unharmed after the incident.
Anagnostopoulos, 33, initially told the officers that his wife had been killed by a gang of foreign burglars during a robbery at their home. He later confessed to smothering Crouch with a pillow in front of their baby following an argument.
Why such a rise in femicides?
“We are a deeply sexist and patriarchal society,” says Anna Vougiouka, a social scientist and expert on matters of sex at the Diotima Female Studies and Research Center. “Patriarchy means control, it means I won’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” she explains. She adds that if a woman decides to leave a patriarchal man, violence usually escalates.
Femicide is traditionally connected to the devaluation of women, which is a symptom of patriarchy, says Anna Lazou, an assistant professor of Philosophical Anthropology at Athens University. “Women being murdered for their sex are being murdered predominantly by male boyfriends or husbands,” she says.
Statistics show that domestic violence has been on the rise in Greece in recent years. In 2018 3,815 adult women were domestic violence victims. The number in 2019 rose to 4,171 women.
There were 13 femicides in 2018, eight in 2019, and ten in 2020. All of them were family or boyfriend-related.