Femicide Census report 2016 published

By agency reporter
December 13, 2017

The 2016 Femicide Census report reveals that 113 women were killed by men in England, Wales and Northern Ireland between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016.

Nine in ten women killed during 2016 were killed by someone they knew, 78 women were killed by their current or former intimate partner,  65 of which were killed at their own home or the home they shared with the perpetrator, data from the latest Femicide Census report can reveal.

By collating femicides, it can be seen that these killings are not isolated incidents; too many of them follow a repeated pattern. Many were committed in similar locations, a sharp instrument was used as a weapon in 47 cases, and the majority of women killed by men were killed by a current or former intimate partner – although men’s fatal violence against women does extend beyond violence in intimate partner relationships. By viewing these cases of femicide together, we can learn what needs to be done to reduce, and ultimately prevent, the killing of women by men.

The Femicide Census found that between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016:

  • 113 women were killed by men in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Nine in ten (88 per cent,) of women killed by men were killed by someone they knew, nine women were killed by a stranger
  • Three quarters (75 per cent, 85) of all women killed by men were killed at their home
  • Over two thirds (69 per cent, 78) of women killed by men were killed by a current or former intimate partner. 83 per cent (65) of women killed by a current or former intimate partner were killed at their own home or the home they shared with the perpetrator.
  • 23 women killed by men were killed by either a stranger or someone they knew who was not an intimate partner or male family member. Over half of these women (12) were killed at their own homes by either a neighbour, acquaintance, stranger or by the (ex-) partner of their daughter
  • Over three quarters (77 per cent, 24) of women killed by a former intimate partner were killed within the first year of separation.
  • In 47 cases, perpetrators used a sharp instrument to kill the victim

Karen Ingala Smith, Chief Executive of nia, (a domestic and sexual violence charity working to end violence against women and girls) said, “When we look at crime statistics, whether in relation to sexual violence, child sex abuse, prostitution or domestic violence and abuse, too often the disparity in the sexes of the victim and perpetrator is not made clear. This prevents us from being able to see the full extent and reach of men’s violence against women and girls. The Femicide Census is a very significant exception to this.

“Men are killing women and girls; most often women and girls that they are related to. Nine out of ten women killed by men in the census were killed by someone they knew. Over three quarters by a current or former partner. Every woman killed was important. But when we think about women killed by men, it’s important that we don’t forget about women who were killed by a man who wasn’t a partner; in 2016 they included a 30-year-old woman who was sexually assaulted and killed as she walked to work, a 20-year-old woman who suffered 60 separate injuries as she was raped and murdered by a delusional sexual predator who had promised to help her get home safely and an 81-year-old woman who was battered on the head and set alight by an intruder in her home. Men’s fatal violence against women extends beyond their partners and families.

“By breaking the barriers through which we contextualise violent crime, we’re able to build a different picture, a broader picture, about what causes and influences violence – violence that is largely perpetrated by men.

“Our work was cited as a good practice example by the United Nations.  I really hope that the lessons that can be learned from The Femicide Census are taken seriously.”

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said, “More needs to be done to address men’s fatal violence against women, as once again the Femicide Census reveals fatalities not as isolated incidents but as part of a repeated pattern of male violence against women. Shockingly, in 2016, over two thirds of women killed by a man were killed by a current or former intimate partner; 83 per cent of these women were killed at their own home or the home they shared with the perpetrator. The government must urgently put the prevention of femicide at the centre of its work to combat male violence against women and girls.

“Every woman should be safe in her own home. Until that day, refuges are a vital lifeline, not an optional extra; they are not just a bed for a night but essential for women to safely escape domestic abuse and rebuild their lives away from the perpetrator. A crucial part of preventing more fatalities must be to ensure sufficient provision for domestic abuse and sexual violence services, including refuges. Yet the government’s proposed changes to supported housing funding for refuges plan to remove refuges’ last secure form of funding.

“Demand for refuges already far outstrips supply and the proposed funding model could be the breaking point. Refuges will be faced with the awful reality of either turning more women away or closing their doors forever. Only by creating a long-term and sustainable funding model for a national network of refuges can we ensure that every woman can safely escape domestic abuse.

“Without a safe space to escape to, more women will be killed by men they know. The government must act now.”

Femicide is generally defined as the killing of women because they are women, though some definitions include any killing of women or girls by men. The Global Study on Homicide in 2011 indicated that whilst there had been a decrease in the number of homicides worldwide, there had been an increase in the number of femicides . A recent report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (SRVAW) noted that the UN and its Member States have repeatedly concluded that the comparability and availability of data is key to defining and understanding femicide, and its manifestations, causes and consequences. The SRVAW described the Femicide Census as an example of good practice in data collection.

Karen Ingala Smith has been recording and commemorating UK women killed by men since January 2012 in a campaign called Counting Dead Women. Karen is Chief Executive of nia, a London based charity championing an integrated approach to addressing all forms of men’s violence against women and girls.

* Download the Femicide Census 2016 here

* Women's Aid https://www.womensaid.org.uk/

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