The Femicide Census Report

‘I know she’s leaving me. If I can’t have her, no-one else can.’

The national domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid, in partnership with Karen Ingala Smith, Chief Executive of nia, today releases key findings from The Femicide Census Report: a ground-breaking project which for the first time allows detailed tracking and analysis of fatal male violence against women. The census aims to provide a clearer picture of men’s fatal violence against women, committed by partners, ex-partners, male relatives, acquaintances, colleagues and strangers. The Femicide Census was built with support from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Deloitte LLP.

The Femicide Census Report has found that: 

  • between 2009 and 2015, 936 women have been killed by men.
  • 598 (64%) were killed by their current or former partners; 75 (8%) women were killed by their sons.
  • Most women who are killed are killed by a man known to them. 598 women were killed by men identified as current or former partners.
  • Women are at significant risk at the point of separation from an abusive partner. 76% of women killed by their ex-partner or ex-spouse were killed within the first year that followed their separation.

The partnership is calling on the Government to urgently undertake key actions, including:

  • Ensuring specialist domestic abuse and sexual violence services have sustainable, long term funding and that funding is available for specialist projects for women to exit prostitution.
  • Recognising that post-separation is a significantly heightened risk period for women leaving abusive relationships.

Femicide – the killing of women because they are women – is a leading cause of premature death for women, yet there is limited research on this issue. 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[1].  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.

The Femicide Census has been developed out of an urgent need to address the reality of fatal male violence against women. It can play a key part in the identification of patterns of femicide, the circumstances leading up to the femicide, and ultimately help us reduce femicide.

Read the full Femicide Census Report here