Killing of women

Characteristics and facts

In Germany, around three women are killed every week by their current or former partners. In 2022, this amounted to 133 women, meaning one woman was killed almost every three days. More than once an hour, a woman sustains dangerous physical injuries from her partner in Germany.

The gender-related killing of women poses a serious problem worldwide. In 2017, more than 50,000 women and girls worldwide were killed by (former) partners or other family members. In terms of the number of women killed, Germany falls in the middle range compared with the rest of Europe. More women die in Germany than, for instance, in France, Finland or the Netherlands.

What are femicides/feminicides?

The killing of women because of their gender, or because of certain views of femininity, is referred to as femicide or feminicide. The term femicide was first developed by Diana E. H. Russell, a feminist activist and sociologist. She defined femicide as follows:

"The killing of one or more females by one or more males because they are females."

The terms femicide and feminicide are often used interchangeably, but do not have the same meaning. The term femicide or intimate femicide refers to the killing of women by men to whom they were close. The term feminicide, on the other hand, refers to the role taken by state institutions and key players in countering the killing of women. In other words, the measures the state implements in order and to prevent killings from occurring. The term femicide is linked to international feminist movements, alliances and protests. In many Latin American countries, femicide now constitutes a criminal offence in its own right.