Femicide: 800 people gather to seek justice for woman (27) killed in front of her children
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    Femicide: 800 people gather to seek justice for woman (27) killed in front of her children

    In 2018, the Ministry of Internal Affairs registered 121 femicides. Credit: Wikipedia

    About 800 people gathered on Wednesday outside the town hall in Le Havre to seek “justice” for “Johanna”, a 27-year-old woman killed in front of her three children on Monday by her partner, police told the Belga news agency. 

    “Break the silence”, “Stop the femicides,” “Stop the violence”, could be read on placards during the protest. Many chanted “Justice, Johanna.” Around 600 marched through the streets of Le Havre, composed of 70% women and children, according to the police source. 

    The man, 37, stabbed the woman in front of their children aged two, four and six, outside a shopping centre. He was charged and incarcerated late Wednesday afternoon. 

    “The three children have been entrusted to a family member within an interim placement order. According to the law, following this preliminary decision, the juvenile judge is seized under educational assistance,” Le Havre’s prosecutor François Gosselin said. 

    Arrested shortly after the incident, the man, who inflicted 14 stab wounds on his wife, said he acted out of fear that the victim would deprive him of his son, according to prosecutors. 

    The victim had complained on 11 August. The police intervened at that time in the couple’s home, when “the young woman said to have fled through the window of the apartment (…) having been threatened by her partner with a knife and by suffocation with a plastic bag.”

    The man was detained and then released. “In this first case, it was one’s word against the other’s,” Gosselin stated. 

    The woman had since left the shared residence, moving into a shelter and “the children were taken care of in turn by a parent” pending a decision on their guard. It is when the victim went to get her children that she was stabbed by her partner, who had no prior judicial condemnation. 

    In 2018, the Ministry of Internal Affairs registered 121 femicides. The Council of Francophone Women in Belgium, CFFB, has called for femicide – the killing of women precisely because they are women – to be recognised specifically in Belgian law.

    The Brussels Times