Femicide in Germany

Criminologist Gunda Wössner explains to ntv.de why femicide should be specifically recorded

March 12, 2021

In Germany, there is currently no femicide category in crime statistics to record the intentional killing of women or girls. Some experts on the matter, including MPI senior researcher Gunda Wössner, say this has to change if we are to truly understand the facts behind the crime.

Honor killings, family dramas: for a long time, the killing of females has almost been described apologetically in Germany, reports an ntv.de article on the matter. In criminal proceedings, mitigating circumstances have often been asserted, especially in cases of intimate femicide. In contrast, many other countries have addressed acts of gender-specific violence against women far more openly.

Gunda Wössner – who holds a doctorate in psychology and is a senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law – belongs to a group of experts demanding that acts of femicide be specifically recorded in crime statistics. She told ntv.de that this will force authorities to “confront the structural reasons that lead to femicide.” She added that cases of femicide often concern power and control as well as corresponding gender roles. The killing of women is particularly apparent when intimate relationships break down. “Many men do not want to accept the concept of separation as they have very specific images of what constitutes being male and female.”

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