It is the first time that police figures have been issued listing murder and manslaughter victims in relation to the prime suspects in their killings – prompting experts to stress how commonplace domestic violence is towards women.
The German federal police (BKA) figures, obtained by daily newspaper the Süddeutsche Zeitung, show that of the 313 women killed in 2011, police named the husband, boyfriend or ex-partner as the prime suspect in 154 cases.
Of these suspects, 100 were married to the victim, 27 were their partner and a further 27 were a former partner.
Reverse the roles, though, and the statistics told a very different story. Of the 349 men who fell victim to murder or manslaughter in 2011, just 24 were believed to have been attacked by their female partner.
In 16 of these 24 cases, the suspect was the man’s wife. Seven times it was a girlfriend or boyfriend and in one case it was the victim’s same-sex civil partner.
Experts researching violent behaviour have taken the new figures as further proof that women predominantly experience violence in their own home, and often from their male partner, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.
A separate study carried out by the country’s women’s ministry supported this idea further as researchers found that out of the 10,000 German women they asked, a quarter had experienced physical violence from their husband, partner or ex.
One in 17 of the women said they had been subjected to severe physical or psychological abuse.
Murder and manslaughter were “just the tip of the iceberg,” study leader Monika Schröttle told the paper. Women of all levels of education and social classes are affected, she said.