Femicide in Armenia: A Silent Epidemic

Femicide in Armenia: A Silent Epidemic

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Published by the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women, this report records the death of women killed by intimate partners and family members and sheds light on the manifestations of gender-related killings and acts of violence that are uniquely experienced by women in Armenia.

We choose to use the term femicide in this report as opposed to the more gender-neutral term homicide, which overlooks the unique systems of inequality and oppression that women face. Domestic homicides in Armenia are largely carried out by men, and in the rare instances that they are carried out by women against male intimate partners, it is often in self defense. Thus, the gendered context and impact of domestic abuse warrants its own unique category.

As a result of the Coalition’s effort to raise awareness on domestic violence and its consequences, more cases have begun to surface and been given media attention. Still, cases of femicide are woefully underestimated due to poor reporting mechanisms and a conscious effort to conceal cases by authorities and perpetrators’ families. To date, there exists a dearth of information on domestic homicides and no national agency that collects comprehensive data on cases in Armenia.

In this report, we give detailed information on the thirty known cases registered in the period of 2010-2015 and make note of certain unregistered cases that have been classified as “suicide” or not classified whatsoever. Because we rely on public information and cannot be certain that we have not missed deaths, we use the phrase “at least” when describing the number of women killed by intimate partners. Though other forms of violence against women fit within the UN definition of femicide, including female feticide, this report focuses only on domestic homicides.

This report is intended to be used as a tool for change in the community. We describe the risk factors, lethality of domestic violence, and systemic impunity and injustice in an effort to improve institutional and other mechanisms to support victims and punish perpetrators.