Wednesday, 25 August 2021
About 150 demonstrators gathered on the Place du Monnaie in Brussels on Tuesday evening to demonstrate against femicide, homophobia and biphobia.
The catalyst for the demonstration was the double murder of Nathalie Maillet, director of the Francorchamps racetrack, and her partner Ann Lawrence Durviaux.
The pair were killed by Franz Dubois, the husband of Maillet, on 14 August.
Hundreds of people gathered in the Cathédrale Saint Pierre in Malmedy this weekend for her funeral to pay their respects.
But on Tuesday, those who gathered were there to give speeches and testimonies about the broader issue of femicide.
There were representatives from various LGBTQI+ associations present, reports De Standaard, who says the demonstrations were subdued and somber.
Attendees held a minute’s silence to raise awareness of the issue of femicide, saying that a tragedy like the murder of Maillet and Lawrence Durviaux is still too often presented in the news as a crime of passion within the context of a marriage, rather than being more deeply rooted in hatred of women and LGBTQI+ people.
The murders of the two women bring the number of femicides in Belgium to 16 this year, according to an online count managed by activists who focus on violence against women.
In May this year, it was announced that a census of official femicide statistics will be part of Belgium’s National Plan against Violence.
The Brussels Times