Yet another man committed femicide, killing his partner and their 10-month-old daughter with a hunting rifle in the village of Lekani near Kavala in northern Greece on Friday.
The 56-year-old man took both victims to a cattle pen he owned and shot them dead. Soon after, he turned the same gun on himself and committed suicide.
The perpetrator and the 31-year-old victim had been living together for the last four years. However, the woman left their home with the baby in July.
The victim, who was Greek-German, was preparing to return to Germany with the baby. Reports suggest she had filed for child custody, and the perpetrator had threatened her not to leave and take the child.
Her family origins were from Lekani, and she was born and raised in Germany to a Greek mother and a German father.
Police have blocked off the crime scene as relatives and friends gathered outside the cattle pen in a state of shock.
Why such a rise in femicides in Greece?
The woman is the thirteenth victim of femicide in Greece alone in 2022. Over twenty women were murdered in the county by partners or former partners in 2021, when the phenomenon began reaching unprecedented levels.
The case that drew the most international attention was that of Caroline Crouch, who was killed by her husband Babis Anagnostopoulos at their family home in Athens in May 2021.
In August, two femicides that occurred within a few hours of each other at Rethymnon, Crete and on Zakynthos shocked public opinion in Greece.
“We are a deeply sexist and patriarchal society,” said Anna Vougiouka, a social scientist and expert on matters of sex at “Diotima,” the Female Studies and Research Center.
“Patriarchy means to control, [and] 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, said Anna Lazou, an assistant professor of Philosophical Anthropology at Athens University. “Women being murdered for their sex are being murdered predominantly by male boyfriends of husbands,” she says.
Dimitris Kioupis, an associate professor of Criminal Law and Procedure at the Athens University Law School believes that it is about time that the term “femicide” is introduced to the Greek Penal Code.
“There are EU guidelines introduced into the Greek Penal system, but recent changes introduced by the government are distinguishing between murders committed in the heat of the moment and those committed in cold blood,” Kioupis explains.
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