In December 2002, Sahide Goekce was murdered by her husband following years of domestic violence. Between 1999 and 2002, she had repeatedly reported incidents of violence to the authorities. On two occasions the public prosecutor refused police requests to arrest and detain Mr. Goekce. In October 2002, as criminal proceedings were ongoing, Mr. Goecke violated an injunction forbidding him from contacting Ms. Goekce or returning to the family home. Police were informed of the situation, including that Mr. Goekce owned a handgun and that he had made further threats to his wife’s life. However, in December 2002 the prosecutor ended the criminal proceedings on grounds that there was insufficient reason to prosecute Mr. Goecke. Two days after the proceedings ended, Ms. Goekce called emergency services but received no official response. A few hours later Mr. Goekce shot his wife in their apartment. He was later tried and convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Two Austrian civil society organizations, the Vienna Intervention Centre against Domestic Violence and the Association for Women’s Access to Justice, filed a communication on Ms. Goekce’s behalf to the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, alleging that Austria had violated articles 1, 2, 3 and 5 of the Convention.