Austria: how to stop the femicides?

In Austria, the high rate of serious acts of violence against women by (ex-)partners has led to protests in recent months. The country has already registered nine cases of femicide this year; in the most recent one a 35-year-old woman was shot dead, presumably by her ex-partner. In 2020, there were a total of 31 femicides. A summit has now been held to discuss measures to protect women and girls. The country's press stresses the role of prevention.

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Der Standard (AT) /

Tackle the root of the problem

It's high time violence prevention was incorporated into school curricula, Der Standard demands:

“After each of these terrible crimes, there is great consternation. Voices are raised from all sides demanding more protection for women hit by violence. This repetition couldn't be sadder - or more correct. There is still far too little support for women, girls and children in need. Nevertheless it is really only tackling the symptoms and not the root of the problem. Because protection for victims starts only when it's already too late, when there is a victim. ... Violence prevention must become a topic that everyone learns about, starting at an early age. How to deal with frustration without lashing out at someone should be as much a part of education as multiplication tables.”

Die Presse (AT) /

Men are the key

Die Presse also calls for a serious and sustained approach to the issue:

“Possessive thinking and patriarchal roles run deeper than some would like to admit. How could it be otherwise? It's not so long ago that we set out on the path towards equality and equal rights. ... Those who want to protect women must also say from whom: men. For far too long, the debate has focused on what women and girls should watch out for. ... The measures should focus first on children and youths - preventively. They need to be taught a new image of masculinity. They should learn that they are allowed to talk about their problems and emotions. And that they can seek help in a crisis. So that in future, help for women doesn't come too late.”