Nearly half of the 139 women murdered by men in 2017 were 'overkilled' with extreme violence

Nearly half of the 139 women murdered by men in 2017 were 'overkilled' with extreme violence

December 18, 2018

The “Femicide Census” from Women’s Aid found 58 out of 139 women died from extreme violence saying “in our society, men’s violence against women and girls is not only routine, but tolerated and normalised”.


Campaigners called for funding promises from the Government to stop specialist support services closing down.

The report’s authors looked at 139 deaths of women and girls aged 14 and over at the hands of men in 2017, including 21 victims of the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.

There were 113 such deaths in 2016, 119 in 2015, and 139 in 2014.

Of the victims last year, 64 women (46%) were killed by their current or former partner – when the terrorist attacks were excluded, the proportion rose to 54.2%.

Thirty (21.6%) were killed by a stranger, including 21 women killed in terror attacks; 24 died at the hands of a man outside their family but known to them, such as a friend, colleague or neighbour; 10 women (7.2%) were killed by their sons, and seven women (4.9%) were killed by another male family member.

Most victims were aged between 26 and 55 – 82 women, 59% of the total – and the majority were killed either at their home or the perpetrator’s.

Of those who were killed by their ex-partner, 12 (55%) died within the first month of separation, and 19 (87%) within the first year.

Nearly three-quarters of the 126 killers (90) were aged between 26 and 55, and most of the killings involved a sharp instrument (66).

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said: “In four in 10 cases, there was evidence that the perpetrator used excessive violence, more than was necessary, to kill the victim.

“Despite the extreme level of fatal male violence being used against women, it is clear that not enough is being done to protect women from men’s violence and prevent more women’s lives being taken.”

The Government is expected to publish its Domestic Abuse Bill later this week, and Women’s Aid is calling for guaranteed funding to stop specialist support services from closing down.

Ms Ghose added: “Our network of life-saving specialist services is not an optional extra but an essential piece of the jigsaw in our response to domestic abuse and femicide.

“They not only provide survivors with the support they need to escape abuse but they are also often the key to survivors having the confidence to report the abuse to the police in the first place.

“The Domestic Abuse Bill must protect specialist services from closure – only then can we ensure that every survivor can safely escape and rebuild her life, free from fear and abuse.”


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