3 Women Killed on Same Day in Alleged Domestic Disputes Prompts Outcry in France

On New Years Day in France, three women were found dead from alleged domestic violence and feminist groups are saying more needs to be done about the rise of domestic violence.

The three women were all allegedly killed at the hands of their partners. According to reports, in each case, the men allegedly told the police they were the ones responsible for the deaths of the women.

In western France on New Year's Day, a 27-year-old woman was found dead outside her home with stab wounds. Her partner was arrested for the crime and authorities opened a murder investigation in connection with the case, France-3 reported

On the same day in Nice, a 45-year-old woman was found strangled to death in the trunk of her son's car. France-3 reported her husband allegedly went to the police to turn himself in for the crime.

Lastly, in the northeast town of Labry, a local prosecutor said a 56-year-old woman was also allegedly stabbed to death by her partner during an argument, local news site Lorrain Actu reported.

Elisabeth Moreno, the junior minister for equal rights, said the three murders are "femicides," or when a woman or girl is killed because of her gender.

In France, 113 women were killed from domestic violence at the hands of their partner last year, according to activists who keep track of the deaths.

French President Emmanuel Macron took action to try and stem the rise of deadly domestic violence cases by launching a nationwide campaign in 2019, but some say it's not enough.

Three Women Dead, Alleged Domestic Violence
Three women in France were found dead on New Year's Day, allegedly killed by their partners, despite years of efforts by President Emmanuel Macron's government to rein in deadly domestic violence. In this October 31, 2019 photo, the word "violence" is pasted onto a wall by a group of women in a dark street in Paris. Kamil Zihnioglu/AP Photo

In response to public anger, government ministers held an online meeting on Tuesday with local officials in the town where one of the killings occurred. "We're all mobilized," tweeted Moreno.

"Three women killed in 24 hours and their only reaction is to organize a little meeting days later?" asked Marylie Breuil of activist group Nous Toutes. "No, their work isn't done."

The three deaths were especially shocking after high-profile efforts by the French government to prevent such killings, and by French activists and media to shine a light on them.

Breuil says nearly two-thirds of victims had reported past abuse to police, and noted that such killings are "just the top top tip of the iceberg" of domestic abuse. "There are so many signals you can notice" before such abuse turns deadly, she said.

In 2020 102 women in France lost their lives at the hands of current or former partners compared to 152 in 2019.

In one shocking case last year, a woman was burned to death by her partner after reporting abuse to a police officer who himself had a previous conviction for domestic violence, and the complaint was mishandled. Six police officials are facing a disciplinary council Tuesday as part of an internal investigation into the case.

The government has increased efforts to train police to respond more effectively and sensitively to reports of abuse. But Breuil says the training doesn't reach enough police and is too cursory to make a difference. She also called on the government to better apply its own rules on imposing electronic bracelets or restraining orders on abusers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.