Report – Femicide Census Report 2021

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At least 147 women were killed by 144 men in 2021. Data from 2021 may seem like old news if you are chasing headlines, but because we also report on criminal justice outcomes for the men accused of killing women in the year in question, there will inevitably be a delay in the production and publication of our reports.

This year, we waited until all the killings (bar two) have either concluded the criminal justice process or were excluded, for example, because the killer of a woman also killed himself.

While the majority of cases were concluded in 2021 and 2022, a number of cases extended into 2023. For one of the most-high profile murders of the year, that of Sarah Everard on 3 March, her killer Wayne Couzens pleaded guilty on 8 June 2021 and was sentenced on 30 September that same year. In contrast, Michelle Lizanec was killed on 13 February 2021, but her husband John Lizanec, charged with her murder on 16 February, was only convicted and sentenced on 24 November 2023 – some two years and nine months later. At the time of publication all but one 2021 case has gone to trial (and a second case is currently in process).

The family of Catherine Stewart will have to wait until July 2024 for a conclusion, three years after her death. Delays weigh heavily on families and friends of those affected by these killings. The long wait for justice some of these families endure is painful, the uncertainty of a lastminute change of plea, the prospect of a criminal trial where the defendant protests innocence requiring re-exposure to the often distressing details of the case or where the
character of the victim is called into question.

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