A 28-year-old woman was fatally stabbed by her 39-year-old ex-partner as she was walking with a friend outside a Greek Police station in the northwest Athens district of Aghii Anargyri late Monday evening. She was ambushed as she was speaking on the phone with a police dispatcher in the latest shocking case of femicide in Greece.

The latest occurrence of woman killed by ex-partner

According to media reports, the woman had gone with a friend to the local police precinct to report harassment and stalking on the part of the perpetrator. She had already filed a lawsuit and restraining orders against him in 2020 for assault and rape.

Police said the woman saw the man waiting for her when she went home and she decided to go directly to the precinct to seek protection.

According to reports, she was told to wait inside the station for a patrol car to escort her, but as there was none available, she exited the police station and proceeded to call the emergency number “100” to ask for a patrol car.

While she was on the phone and still accompanied by her friend, the 39-year-old snuck up on her from behind and proceeded to repeatedly stab her in the back. He then turned the knife on himself and sustained a serious neck injury.

Media reports said he was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital where he is being treated under guard.

The head of the Attica region’s police directorate ordered an investigation into whether or not officers were at fault.

Ongoing Frustrations Over Femicide in Greece

The murder has shocked public opinion and brought the issue of femicide to the attention of the public yet again.

At the start of 2024, another woman, who was pregnant, was brutally murdered by her partner in the northern Greek village of Halkidiki.

Another man attempted to kill his wife in Athens during the same month by dousing her with flammable material, resulting in burns covering 90%  of her body.

Human rights activists have been fighting for a separate felony of femicide to be recognized as such for years. Under current law, femicides are legally recognized as homicides, which activists say masks the problem and don’t enable policy-makers and authorities to draft and implement the appropriate measures to protect women.

Following the femicide and attempted femicide at the start of the year, a representative from the Greek women’s non-profit specializing in gender and quality issues called Diotima said that “legal recognition [of femicide] will help to deal with the crime, record it and prevent it.”

A report at Balkan Insight previously highlighted that even the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) has been critical of Greece’s approach to the issue and identified shortcomings.

Diotima and the Greek Section of the European Observatory on Femicide note that, between 2019 and 2023, 202 women have been murdered in Greece. There was a notable increase during the pandemic years, which posted 17 femicides in 2019, 19 in 2020, 31 in 2021 and 24 in 2022.