‘Stop killing women’: EP President Roberta Metsola pays tribute to femicide victim Bernice Cassar

'Bernice should have arrived to work yesterday': Metsola pays tribute to Bernice Cassar in European Parliament

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said there are no more excuses to gender-based violence, and that proper protection frameworks are needed to protect women,

Metsola delivered a brief statement on domestic violence during Wednesday’s plenary in the European Parliament. She mentioned Bernice Cassar, the 40-year-old woman who was shot dead by her estranged husband on her way to work.

“Bernice should have arrived to work yesterday. She should have been able to go home and play with her children. She should not have been forced to live in fear. She should have been safe. She should have been free from torment. She should not have been killed,” Metsola told the plenary.

She said that proper protection frameworks are needed, and people who prey on women should be conficted. “We need to end the remaining institutional blindness to the endemic violence against women.”

Metsola noted that Bernice Cassar spent months asking for help, even requesting protection. “Neither the help nor the protection ever arrived. She was left alone.”

“None of the horrific examples of violence against women we are forced to endure should take place in our Europe. We are not talking about victims. These are our fallen warriors.”

Police never arrested the husband of Bernice Cassar, now suspected of having shot his wife twice in cold blood, when he failed to turn up for an interview at the Floriana police headquarters on 20 November.

Cassar had suffered an altercation with Roderick Cassar, 40, outside the Floriana health centre on Sunday, 13 November, where she had been receiving medical attention.

Details published by The Times shows that Bernice Cassar immediately fled the health centre to the nearby police headquarters, where she waited seven hours, unsuccessfully, to file her report. She returned the next day, and waited another two hours to file her report.

When police called the husband, he failed to turn up for the interview.

Last Monday, on the eve of her murder, Bernice Cassar returned to the police to report a series of defamatory comments made against her by her husband on social media. The report is yet to be investigated, according to Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà.