The Berlin Senate has decided on an extensive package of measures to effectively protect women from violence and prevent femicide. The case of Zohra Mohammad Gul, who was killed by her husband on the street in April of this year, has again shown that there is a lack of effective protection in acutely dangerous situations.
In order to identify high-risk cases of domestic violence better and faster in the future, the police, youth welfare offices, courts and specialist counseling centers should discuss and decide on certain cases together. So far, authorities had often failed, also because there was no such exchange of information. In addition, more places in women’s shelters are to be created and further training is to be given central importance. A clearing center in the soon to be completed eighth women’s shelter in Berlin will also offer help 24 hours a day for women who are acutely at risk.
Terre des Femmes welcomes this important step by the Berlin Senate. Other federal states must now follow suit and the federal government must also systematically combat gender-specific violence and ensure fast, comprehensive and effective help for affected women and their children.
“The murder of Zohra Gul made it clear once again that faster and more thorough cooperation between the authorities in cases of domestic violence can be vital for those affected,” says Yamina Lourghi, adviser on domestic and sexualized violence at Terre des Femmes. “We are also calling on the other federal states and the federal government to finally implement effective measures to protect women.”
Every fourth woman is affected by domestic violence, according to police statistics 119,164 women in 2020 alone. Every day a man tries to kill his partner or ex-partner, every third day a woman is murdered by her current or former partner. In 2020, 139 women were killed.