Number of feminicides 'stable' in France in 2022, but number of attempted murders of women rises

© Clement Mahoudeau/AFP

The number of women killed by their domestic partners in France decreased slightly in 2022, though official statistics also showed an alarming increase in attempted murders of women by husbands, ex-husbands or lovers.

In 2022, 118 women were killed by their partners – four fewer than in 2021 – according to the interior ministry, which published figures over the weekend.

The report was published two days after a man killed his ex-wife with a machete in the street in Savoie, and a week after a man known to authorities for domestic abuse was jailed for allegedly killing his girlfriend in the Val-de-Marne.

While the murder rate was "relatively stable" in 2022, according to the report, there was a 45 percent increase in attempted murders by domestic partners, 366 as opposed to 251 in 2021.

“We can only underline the seriousness” of these crimes, the Minister for the Equality between men and women, Bérangère Couillard, said in a statement, acknowledging the slight decrease in the number women killed, but stressing that “every life counts”.

Murdered even after going to the police

However, the statistics show that nearly a third of the women murdered had previously been victims of domestic violence – 24 of them had alerted the authorities, 19 of whom had filed a formal complaint.

Lawyer Isabelle Steyer, who specialises in domestic violence, says women need the most protection once they have approached the authorities.

“It is at that moment that they run the risk of dying, and it is at that moment that they are not protected.”

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