Following the murder of a young Spanish woman in Brussels, The Federal government of Belgium endorsed a proposal framework law on Friday that defines numerous types of violence that can decrease various kinds of crimes, such as sexual or psychological violence, and distinguishes between several types of Femicide, including intimate, non-intimate, and indirect femicides as well as gender-based homicide.
The law will also permit the gathering of statistics information. An annual report will be released to evaluate the issue’s features and scope. It should include the most important facts, information about victims’ and perpetrators’ personalities, and details about the connection between them.
Sarah Schlitz, State Secretary for Gender Equality, stated that a study will be performed every two years. An interdisciplinary group will examine the problem to find flaws and create suggestions for the government. The overall goal is to improve the rights and protections of femicide victims.
She added, “The police and the judiciary will have to use a risk assessment and management tool during the investigation to more accurately evaluate the risk faced by a victim or the level of danger posed by the criminals, a process that is almost unique on the planet”.
In 2022, at least 19 femicides occurred in Belgium. Civil society was responsible for keeping track of femicides based on news media articles because there were no government statistics on the subject. There were at least 22 femicides in 2021, 27 in 2020, 24 in 2019, 39 in 2018, and 43 in 2017.
Annika Ojala, Rights and Democracy Campaigner for the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament, shared his views about the announcement of Belgium’s law proposal. She stated, ” As the first European nation to introduce a law against Femicide, Belgium made history under Sarah Schlitz’s leadership. This is a significant victory for feminists, victim families, and European civil society”.