Austria: More Than Half of Suspects in Murders of Women in 2017 Were Foreigners

A policewoman patrols over a Christmas market in Salzburg on December 20, 2016, as security measures are taken after a deadly rampage by a lorry driver at a Berlin Christmas market. / AFP / APA / BARBARA GINDL / Austria OUT (Photo credit should read BARBARA GINDL/AFP/Getty Images)

More than half of the suspects involved in murders where women were the victims have foreign backgrounds, according to Austrian Family Minister Juliane Bogner-Strauss.

Ms Bogner-Strauss said that in 2017 Austria had seen 203 suspects involved in the murders of women and of those, 126 were foreigners. Among the foreigners were 62 asylum seekers — over a quarter of all suspects, Kleine Zeitung reports.

“You have to take appropriate action,” Bogner-Strauss said and added that she wanted to support economic development for women to help them gain independence from violent households saying, “Patriarchal structures have not yet died out in Austria.”

The Austrian family minister also defended the government’s move to reform the amount for child payments for foreigners working in Austria but with children living overseas saying, “The cost of living in Eastern Europe and the average wages there are much lower.”

The new policy sees the amount paid to the percent based on the cost of living in the country where the child resides, meaning less money for children living in countries like Hungary and Romania than children living in Austria.

The policy, which came into effect this year, was slammed by European Social Affairs Commissioner Marianne Thyssen who said earlier this week, “When mobile workers contribute to a social security system in the same way as local workers, they must receive identical benefits, even when their children live abroad.”

The mention of murders of women comes after several high-profile cases in which young women have been murdered in recent weeks by asylum seekers including 16-year-old Michelle F. who was killed in Steyr by an Afghan asylum seeker in December, and 16-year-old Manuela K. whose body was found under a pile of leaves by her mother in Wiener Neustadt earlier this month.

Last year it was revealed that in the Austrian capital of Vienna more than half of the suspects in all crimes were from foreign backgrounds.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.