It is a privilege to represent Soroptimist International at the 26th session of the CCPCJ (Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice) held in Vienna from 22 – 26 May 2017..
There are plenary sessions and side events. The Tuesday 23 May side event sessions on violence against women – “The Collection of Data on Gender-Related Killing of Women and Girls: Promising Practices” and “The Special Event: Establishing Femicide Watches in Every Country in the World” were informative and well attended reflecting keen interest from governments and civil society in making a difference with gender-related killings.
The global statistics on homicide indicate that more than 70% of victims are men. The majority of intimate partner murder victims are women (this accounts for over 70% of women killed). There are also children who are homicide victims, killed by the perpetrator who killed their mothers. There were also murder – suicides. Violence against women knows no borders, and also exists in the conflict setting.
There is a need to collect data on the prevalence of gender based violence. There is awareness of the problem, but we lack specific evidence based data which is needed to bring in policies and monitoring. Women’s Aid Ireland (WAI), collected stories from the newspapers and found it equated to the police records. WAI found that the majority of women were killed in their own homes, and not by strangers on the street. 31% were stabbed, 26% were strangled, 21% beaten, 13% shot and 9% other. The most common age of victims was in the range 26 – 35 years. This accounted for over 50%. 15% of the perpetrators were not held accountable. The full report is available at www.womensaid.ie/about/policy/publications/behindcloseddoors/
There was a call to hear the voices of the perpetrator to learn the causes, with the hope that it may assist prevention.
Collecting femicide data is difficult. The call is to address the dearth of data. National statistics need to be comprehensive, including the many types and causes of homicide. The need for training in the collection of data, and increased capacity to ensure the work is done well, was acknowledged. All this is needed to improve policy making and implementation to remove this heinous crime.
Photo: Back row: SI UN Representatives Dora Vrdlovec. Front row: SIE President Elect Renata Trottmann, SI President Elect Mariet Verhoef – Cohen, and SI President Yvonne Simpson
SI President 2015 – 2017.