2 women like Reeva are killed by their current or former partner every week

In response to Oscar Pistorius being found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, national domestic violence charity Women’s Aid is highlighting that two women are killed by partners or ex-partners in England and Wales every week. Additionally, thousands of other women living with abusive partners who go on to kill themselves, with a third of all female suicide attempts being linked to domestic violence. Large numbers of women are killed by their partners or commit suicide because of abuse, and we urgently need to take steps to prevent these deaths. It is vital that these women have somewhere to go to escape, which is why Women’s Aid has launched the SOS campaign to ensure that there is a national network of refuges. Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid said: For families who lose a loved one to domestic violence through murder or suicide, it is hard to understand why preventative steps are not taken to stop such tragedies. Specialist domestic violence services protect women’s lives and support them to escape domestic violence as early as possible domestic violence is rarely a one-off: it is a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour which often results in the woman having no personal freedom, and can end in the loss of her life. We must ensure that specialist services are funded to support women trying to escape, and that all professionals in contact with survivors have appropriate training to understand that how they respond to domestic violence can be the difference between life and death.

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