The Platform for Gender Equality reacts: Another femicide due to inaction by the institutions

Photo: MIA

Appalled by the latest case of femicide, when a woman was stabbed to death in Kočani, although it previously reported the perpetrator for blackmail and sought protection, the Platform for Gender Equality suspects that the institutions did not act according to their competences and demands that responsibility be determined.

- No, we are not talking about an unpleasant or tragic event, as reported by some media, but we are talking about murder, femicide, which should be qualified and presented to the public as such. Because it is neither a tragic case, nor an unfortunate event, but the murder of a woman - femicide and is the most serious type of gender-based violence. Have the institutions acted? It is clear that the victim did not receive adequate protection and that the protection system failed, especially because we saw that it was reported several times by the victim. The relationship between the suspect and the victim in this case is not significant at all because it is about gender-based violence. This really raises doubts as to whether the institutions acted appropriately and with due care and whether the reports filed by the victim were treated as reports of gender-based violence and whether all appropriate measures were taken, such as by the police, because the victim reported to the police, as well as from the prosecution, but also from the center for social affairs, as institutions that should provide protection to victims of gender-based violence, the Platform for Gender Equality responds.

From there, they point to the case from a month ago in Kumanovo, a femicide with two victims who also reported violence several times, but in that case the institutions did not react with due attention, in a timely manner and according to their competences.

- All this shows that the level of awareness and knowledge is still low and that there is a real need to increase the capacities of the institutions to act in these cases, because femicide is happening again and we must not face again in the future this problem. And this case confirms the knowledge that all efforts to deal with this problem are insufficient if they are not accompanied by appropriate institutional action. Such behavior in cases of gender-based violence only further increases the already high degree of mistrust in the competent institutions. All this has a significant effect on citizens being demotivated to report violence, which in turn directly increases the likelihood that violence culminates in murder, states the reaction of the Platform for Gender Equality.

- Every tragic death of a woman just because she is a woman leaves us with the bitter realization that all the efforts of the civil sector to deal with this problem (raising awareness, supporting victims of violence and advocating for systemic changes) are simply insufficient if they are not accompanied by wider institutional and social action. Family and gender-based violence is not a private matter, they are decisive.

The Platform for Gender Equality expects that the institutions will properly complete their work in terms of the further handling of the case and that they will correctly qualify the crime as murder in the context of gender-based violence.

- What this and numerous other cases point to is the need for the institutions to start working within their preventive role to protect against gender-based violence, so that these cases do not have such fatal endings, the announcement states.

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