The French-speaking Socialist Party (PS), has announced that it has tabled a motion for the creation of an observatory on femicides in Belgium so that official figures and a legal definition can be provided.
While the Penal Code does not currently provide for gender-based violence to be 'aggravating circumstances,' there is still no clear definition of the notion of femicide.
While having first been defined in the 1970s by author Diana E.H. Russell as "the killing of females by males because they are female," a legal transcription of the notion is rarely found among legal texts around Europe.
To that end, taking inspiration from the Spanish Government, the centre-left PS announced in a press release on Thursday, that they had tabled a motion to Belgium's Chamber of Representatives, for an observatory on femicides to be created.
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The Federal MP Laurence Zanchetta stated that “when a woman reports violence, it is necessary to better assess the danger incurred, better allow women to express themselves on the facts suffered, better support, supervise, to better protect and prevent these murders.”
For Chanelle Bonaventure, one of the motion's co-authors, “to improve the fight against femicides, it is necessary to call them what they are and to better define them."
She added that "there is a currently a very well done blog which lists femicides in Belgium based on press articles," but the party is now calling on more to be done by authorities.