I recently heard a story on the radio about how South African men murder their wives and girlfriends at a rate of 3 women per day. This type of murder is called Femicide. Very few of these murders are ever prosecuted and for those that are, the conviction rate is “extremely low” (BBC 6/22/18). One woman said that the problem is that these murders have become “normalized” in South African culture. Let that sink in for a second. In 2018 it is normal for men to murder their wives and girlfriends in South Africa and never see the inside of a courtroom, never mind a prison. Imagine being a woman in a country that doesn’t view your murder as a crime. Now imagine being the mother of a daughter in a country like that. The fear that you would have for your daughter’s life coursing through your veins every second of every day is unfathomable.
My first thought, and probably yours, was what is the South African government doing about this?!?!? Where are the world’s organizations and institutions that are supposed to protect these women!?!?!
My next thought was, does this happen in the US?
A 2017 CDC report concluded that more than half (55%) of all female homicides in the US are committed by their partners and more than 98% of the perpetrators are men.
This isn’t just a problem here and in South Africa, it’s a problem in many countries around the world. According to the World Health Organization, femicide accounts for 35% of all female murders globally.
While I’d like to believe the prosecution and conviction rates are better here, with data like this I can’t help but wonder if are we also accepting this on some level? When we describe these murders as “crimes of passion” are we somehow normalizing this behavior instead of looking at these crimes as indicative of a larger issue? We would love to hear your thoughts. Please start or join a forum to continue the discussion.