Femicides on the rise as watchdog releases first quarter figures
DHA photoFemicide figures from the first quarter of 2016, the highest since the volunteer watchdog organization “We Will Stop Femicide Platform” began collecting data some four years ago, have sounded an alarm amid disquieting reports of increased sexual assault cases over the same period.
The platform announced on its website that some 94 women were killed over the first three months of 2016, marking a sharp increase from 59 sex-based murders in 2013, as killings have risen consistently each year.
The data explained that while women were being killed for a range of pretenses, most cases, and some 34 percent, remained unsolved. However, the most commonly reported cause of femicide was women’s decision-making regarding their own lives.
According to reports, women’s decisions relating to their bodies, finances or social relationships were cited as reasons for their murder in some 30 percent of all cases. A close second was a woman’s decision to end her marriage or relationship, which was related to 27 percent of murders committed.
The statistics also revealed some 49 percent of murdered women were killed by their current or previous partners, husbands or boyfriends.
In presenting its findings, the platform harshly criticized the policies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Turkey’s Family and Social Policies Ministry, slamming the controversial topic of reduced sentences for “good conduct” in court.
The group also dismissed the ministry’s argument that there was a selective perception of femicide cases rather than an increase, insisting violence against women and misogyny persists.
Finally, the platform also bashed the government for failing to prevent child abuse and taking immediate action against reported cases at the Ensar Foundation, which sparked public outrage in late March when reports surfaced that at least eight male students had been raped by their teacher.
Meanwhile, a Turkish news website compiled reports of sexual abuse reported in the media over the past month and noted that some 84 women and children were sexually assaulted across 19 provinces. While 76 percent were children, both boys and girls, the remaining 24 percent were women, the website announced.
Accordingly, 58 percent of the reported cases took place in schools, study centers or rehabilitation facilities for children and in 41 percent of the cases, the children were abused by their teachers.