Over the weekend, Hekuran Rrasa, an Albanian man from the city of Divjaka, murdered his wife with a shotgun before turning the gun on himself.
45-year-old Fellenxe Rrasa died immediately. Police reported that there were no previous reports of domestic violence within the family.
This is the second femicide in a week in Albania. Sabrina Bengaj was murdered by her husband Elton Metaj last weekend in Fier. She was just 23 years old.
Her estranged husband had been in prison for domestic violence, but managed to secure a release in under a year. He then hunted her down at her parent’s house wher he shot her.
There have been as many as 17 femicides this year, almost equivalent to two a month.
A protest took place in Tirana and Fier last week as hundreds marched and lit candles to remember the women lost to femicide.
They labeled femicide a “virus without a vaccine” and denounced the institutional failures that enabled violence against women in the first place.
The women who participate in these protests hold the state responsible for how it continues to fail Albanian women. According to the latest statistics, some 53% of Albanian women will suffer from domestic violence at least once in their lives. Yet, roughly 13% of the cases brought before the police are prosecuted.
Meanwhile, women who decide to leave their husbands face homelessness and high rates of poverty. And even state policies meant to help battered women secure long-term housing solutions fail to provide the desired results.