Honour killing story

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Xena Wilhelm
born: 1973
stabbed to death: June 10, 2019
Residence: Wolfsburg
Origin: Ukraine
Children: 2
Perpetrator: her divorced husband (47 years)
Xena comes with her husband and 2 children from Ukraine to Germany. She gets divorced in 2019, cancels the rent of the communal flat in Wolfsburg and wants to move to Bochum. On Whit Monday 2019 her husband stabs her 22 times. Neighbors find her badly wounded in the stairwell.

The act happens before the eyes of the daughter who is also injured. She is taken to the hospital together with her mother, later in the youth care center, then she goes to her aunt and uncle. The police arrest the perpetrator in the apartment. The mother dies 2 days later in the hospital due to organ failure.

In November 2019 the trial will start at the regional court of Braunschweig. In December, the perpetrator is sentenced to 11 years imprisonment. The judge calls the crime an "absolutely senseless orgy of violence".

Is this an honour killing? Some circumstances may indicate this: The perpetrator does not learn German and therefore cannot find work as a jeweler. His wife works, does things better, becomes more independent and wants a divorce. A not entirely unusual background for an honour killing, plus the divorce situation and the staging of the crime for the 10-year-old daughter, which can be seen as a threat.

What is an honour killing?

An honour killing is a murder in the name of honour. If a brother murders his sister to restore family honour, it is an honour killing. According to activists, the most common reasons for honour killings are as the victim:

Questions about honour killings

  • refuses to cooperate in an arranged marriage.

  • wants to end the relationship.

  • was the victim of rape or sexual assault.

  • was accused of having a sexual relationship outside of marriage.

Human rights activists believe that 100,000 honour killings are carried out every year, most of which are not reported to the authorities and some are even deliberately covered up by the authorities themselves, for example because the perpetrators are good friends with local policemen, officials or politicians. Violence against girls and women remains a serious problem in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Serbia and Turkey.

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