CBS: In six out of ten murdered women (ex-) partner is the perpetrator | NOW


Last year, 44 women were killed, according to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). In more than half of the cases, the woman’s partner or ex was the (suspected) perpetrator. Marital quarrels and jealousy have for years been “the most common motives for taking a woman’s life”.

The female victims are often stabbed or strangled to death in their own homes.

Where the (ex-) partner was the suspected perpetrator in 23 of the 44 cases last year, in 2018 this was even 33 of the 43 cases. In the period 2015 to 2019, a partner or ex was the perpetrator in almost six in ten cases. The actual number is probably higher, because the murder of a woman who was not married or had a registered partnership with the perpetrator falls outside the category ‘(ex-) partner violence’.

Interestingly enough, the murder and manslaughter figures have been falling sharply in the Netherlands for years, but the decrease is less marked for female victims. In 2000 153 men were killed, compared to 70 women. In 2019, 81 men were killed against 44 women. Men are often killed by an acquaintance or friend or are the victim of a liquidation.

One of the more famous cases in the Netherlands when it comes to lethal violence by an ex-partner is that of the shot student Humeyra. The sixteen-year-old girl ended a short-term relationship with Bekir E., who then stalked her and eventually shot her in her school’s bicycle shed. The man appeared to have previously harassed exes out of anger about the breakup of a relationship. Although the teenage girl asked for help from authorities several times, she did not get it.

Almost half of Dutch women experienced physical or sexual violence

Research by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), which provides evidence-based advice to policymakers, found that 45 percent of Dutch women have ever experienced some form of physical or sexual violence. In the other EU countries this percentage is on average 33.

Renée Römkens, professor by special appointment of Gender Based Violence at the University of Amsterdam, recently told the magazine OneWorld that the principle that a man cannot bear to have no control over ‘his’ wife is still a problem in the Netherlands.


Police at teenage girl Humeyra’s school. (Photo: ANP)

Fear that domestic violence is on the rise

The fear among aid organizations is that the number of cases of domestic violence will only increase due to the corona virus. For example, many partners now stay longer in the same rooms because they work from home. This also means that reporting domestic violence has become a lot more difficult.

Minister Hugo de Jonge of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS), Minister Sander Dekker for Legal Protection and the pharmacy organization KNMP therefore launched the code word ‘mask 19’ in May, which victims of domestic violence can call pharmacies to get help.

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