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Third femicide census report published

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Third Femicide Census, report, 2017, nia, Women's Aid, INQUEST, UN SRVAW, Karen Ingala SmithThe three femicide census reports name the 1,246 women killed since 2009.

The third Femicide Census Report, released by nia’s Chief Executive, Karen Ingala Smith, in partnership with Women’s Aid, has revealed that at least 139 women were killed by 126 men in the UK between 1 January and 31 December 2017.

The Femicide Census gathers information on women and girls aged 14 years and over who have been killed, and where the principal charged or convicted perpetrator is a man.

The census is constantly being updated, and currently contains information on 1246 women killed since 2009.

Each report has been based on the most complete data available at the time of publication, and the 2017 report is based on data currently available for femicides committed from 1 January to 31 December 2017 in the UK.

At the point of publication of this report, there remain a number of cases that are as yet unsolved: cases where the criminal justice outcome is unclear; cases that are still under investigation; and cases where information was exempt from disclosure via police Freedom of Information (FOI) Act requests.

It is therefore believed that the total number of 2017 femicides is in fact likely to exceed 139.

64 women (46 per cent) were killed by their current or former partner; for women killed by men other than by terrorism, the percentage killed by their current or ex-partner would rise to 54.2 per cent;

30 women (21.6 per cent) were killed by a stranger, including 21 women killed in terror attacks;

24 women (17.3 per cent) were killed by a man known to them (such as a social or business acquaintance, friend or neighbour);

10 women (7.2 per cent) were killed by their sons, and 7 women (4.9 per cent) were killed by another male family member, such as a brother, father, uncle, grandson or nephew;

12 (55 per cent) of those women killed by their ex-partner or ex-spouse were killed within the first month of separation and 19 (87 per cent) in the first year; and

59 per cent of femicides occurred in the home of either the woman or the perpetrator.

The greatest number of femicides occurred within the Greater Manchester, London Metropolitan and West Midlands police force areas.

In addition, INQUEST’s recent report, ‘Still dying on the inside, examining women’s deaths in prison‘, published in May 2018, found that although less than 5 per cent of the prison population is made up of women, still 93 women died in prison between 2007 and 2017 and 116 women died while under probation supervision following release from prison between 2010/11 and 2016/17.

Again, figures show that women who do enter custody are often survivors of male violence. Apparent causes of death recorded by the Ministry of Justice for deaths while on probation include ‘self-inflicted’, accidents, natural causes and homicides.

INQUEST are increasingly positioning these deaths as engaging state responsibility and complicity in the context of human rights law.

This seems an appropriate and proportionate lens through which to examine these deaths.

None of the 2017 cases have been included in the Femicide Census this year, but these are deaths that the census would want to look into in more detail in future reports

Femicide has been defined by the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women (SRVAW) as constituting ‘the most extreme form of violence against women and the most violent manifestation of discrimination against women and their inequality’.

The UN’s Special Rapporteur on violence against women has called on all governments to set up a Femicide Watch to collect data as a crucial tool for the development of effective strategies to address this serious human rights violation, and for that data to be published annually.

The Femicide Census provides such data, and could assist the government in identifying commonalities and learning to help reduce and prevent femicide.

To read the full report, click here.

And please forward a copy to your MP and ask them to read it.

If you or someone you know needs help, call 0808 2000 247 – the Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline Run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge.

In an emergency, or if you feel threatened, call the police on 999.

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