Two women are dead, and police suspect foul play. On April 3rd, a woman in her fifties was found dead in her home in Suðurnes, and police arrested a man in his fifties in conjunction with the investigation. Her death is being ruled as criminal.
Then, last night, a sixty-year-old woman was found dead in Hafnafjörður, and two men were detained and brought in for questioning. One man is about thirty, and the other sixty. A call was placed to the emergency line at 2:30 last night, and when the police arrived on the scene, the woman had been killed. The two men were in the home at the time, and are being questioned as to whether they were involved in her death. It is not clear whether the men are under arrest.
Although it is unclear what happened, it is worth noting that incidents of domestic violence have risen, according to police. In March of this year, police received 60 notifications of domestic violence. That is double what was reported last year. Despite the increase in reported incidents, the number of women seeking aid from the Kvennaathvarfið Women’s Shelter has not increased.
“We have pointed out that in situations like this, it would be more likely than not for domestic violence to increase,” director of Kvennaathvarfið, Sigþrúður Guðmundsdóttir told Fréttablaðið, referring to the COVID-19 epidemic. “Still, we do not expect more women to come to us. Because circumstances are so difficult, it’s hard to leave home and break up right now.”
Indeed, in times of uncertainty and economic hardship, it can be easier to stay with someone familiar who is causing pain rather than sever ties and plunge oneself into further uncertainty. That said, instances of murder are rare in Iceland, with only 37 having been committed in Iceland over the past twenty years. Whether the deaths of these women are the results of cold-blooded murder, domestic violence, or something else entirely is unclear at this time.
As ever, those looking for more information or advice should go to the Icelandic Government’s excellent COVID-19 help page.
Tune into our daily COVID-Cast for a deeper dive into the day’s developments.
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