Femicide: "Fears have been stoked for days"

According to experts, the background is a little different from what was often shown recently. There is also too little focus on the perpetrators.

“We are shocked by three feminicides in one week. What is also appalling, however, is the insensitive and sensational approach to this topic. For days, fears have been stoked, numbers are thrown down in an undifferentiated manner, guilty parties are sought and, in some cases, absurd demands are made. This scaremongering is of no use to anyone, especially not to those who are affected. “

This is how Marina Sorgo, Federal Chairperson of the Austrian Violence Protection Centers, sums up the previous discussion on the subject of feminicide / femicides.

Less murders

Because the number of murders is actually falling in Europe. And in Austria. Those of the men a little stronger, those of the women a little slower. In Austria about as many women murdered as the European average. Corresponding fact checks by the KURIER and the APA in the past few days have proven this. The only problem is that the numbers fluctuate so much that individual years have little to no meaningfulness. In fact, Austria is basically one of the safe countries in Europe.


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It can also be observed that the topics of femicides and women’s rights are often debated in parallel in the current discussion. It looks – at least according to the statistics – as if those countries that have comparatively strong women’s rights (such as Sweden, Finland or Iceland) are currently being hit harder. In criminology this is called the Nordic paradox.

One problem is that now all murder cases (feminicide and femicides) are lumped together, although they have different causes. But do the shooting of a wife by a 70-year-old man in a rural area, an honor killing among migrants and the murder of the 22-year-old ex-girlfriend in Vienna’s municipal housing estate really have so many common causes?

An English researcher discovered seven warning levels before the jealousy murder (see graphic on the right), but only in one case was there an officially known history this year.

At the same time, there were more than 12,000 evictions from violent people. Calls for preventive pre-trial detention or police protection have recently been made, but with this high number this is de facto impossible. Who should guard 12,000 victims or imprison 12,000 people?

The discussions of the past few years have shown that people focus on simple concepts above all else. More money for violence protection centers, that sounds sensible and will save you until the next discussion.

Police experts

In the past few weeks, the KURIER spoke to numerous police officers who are involved in investigations into murder cases. The main complaint was that too few offers were available for the perpetrators in advance. But in this area, savings have been made over and over again, as one of the criticisms is that the focus was on the victims.

For the first time, mandatory courses for potential violent criminals are to be held here from September. According to the Ministry of the Interior, up to ten million euros are to be invested in this area alone. Case conferences (between different authorities) are also to be reintroduced. But even these usually fail because of the high number of violent criminals. With thousands of cases, there is often little time for long discussions.

What is certain is that other problem areas relating to murder cases are being lost in the current reporting. The number of mentally abnormal offenders is increasing (see report on the right). It is also noticeable that alcohol plays an important role in many acts of violence. That is why the first major lockdown last year resulted in a sharp decline in practically all violent crimes.


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