17.03.2017: Press release – Case of murdered woman in Bitola
REQUEST TO THE INSTITUTIONS FOR RESPONSIBLE PROCEEDING IN THE CASE OF WOMEN’S MURDER IN BITOLA
Based on information shared on the internet portals, on 13.03.2017, a woman was killed in Bitola. The murder suspect is the husband of the victim, and the reason is assumed to be previously disrupted mutual relations of the spouses. According to the information from the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Bitola, the incident occurred in the living room of the home, where with multiple blows with a blunt object – wooden rolling pins, the defendant hit the woman on the head, inflicting multiple injuries, i.e. by committing domestic violence murdered his wife.
The murder of a woman committed in domestic violence in international documents is classified as femicide.
Femicide is the most severe form of violence against women and can be a direct consequence of domestic violence or intimate partner violence. The term femicide refers to the deliberate murder of a woman because she is a woman.
In the Republic of Macedonia from 2013 to 2016, 19 femicides, murders of women by an intimate partner or male family member, were registered.
Macedonian Criminal Code does not recognize this form of violence defined in this way, however, Article 123 paragraph 2 item 2 provides for a more severe sentence of imprisonment of at least 10 years if the murder of life is committed in the course of domestic violence.
As a network of 27 organizations that have been working for more than 20 years in prevention and protection against violence against women, we request:
- The competent institutions to take urgent measures for complete resolving of the case and appropriate punishment of the perpetrator
- The competent institutions to take measures that will investigate whether there have been reports of domestic violence against the victim in the police and the Center for Social Work in the past, and if there are reports to determine whether the competent persons have taken all measures for dealing with domestic violence and protection of health and life of the victim
- The Center for Social Work in Bitola to take all the necessary measures for the protection of the child and provide a safe environment and continuous psychological support in order to enable proper further development, in accordance with the Law on Prevention and Protection from Domestic Violence, the Law on Family and the Law on Social Protection.
We also believe that it is time for the Republic of Macedonia to pay due attention to gender-based violence and to criminalize violence against women and to systematically address all specific forms of violence that target women because of their biological and sociological nature.
Therefore, as a Network, we demand urgent ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) which addresses these specially targeted types of violence against women and girls through several provisions. The ratification of this document will lead to appropriate regulation of cases of violence against women and adequate punishment of perpetrators, and at the same time will offer a systematic change of the institutional response to all types of violence against women and domestic violence.
National Network to End Violence against Women and Domestic Violence