The Current Realities of Domestic Homicide
Over recent months, the media has widely reported on the concerning increase in domestic abuse killings (domestic homicide) due to lockdown restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic. These concerns have been highlighted in newspaper headlines such as:
“Three women a week killed by domestic violence during lockdown,” Express & Star
“Coronavirus lockdown has exposed the hidden killers behind Britain’s front doors,” Telegraph.
Dr Laura Richards’ Appeal to Government
Importantly, just last month, Dr Laura Richards, renowned international expert on domestic violence, stalking, sexual violence and homicide, appealed to the Government with the question:
How Many More Women Must Die Before The Government Acts?
In an article on her website, Richards, states that: “It feels like murder after murder of women by men followed by report after review after report. And yet still the Government is resistant to bringing about real change that focuses on the men who cause the most harm.” Read full article here.
One of the key points Dr. Richards makes is the importance of statutory agencies charged with public protection to include serial domestic violence perpetrators and stalkers in their remit whilst working with specialist charities and organisations who deliver front-line services.
2018 Femcide Census
Backing up Dr Richards’ appeal, the Femicide Census, released in 2018, provided detailed comparable data about female homicides in the UK since 2009, including demographic and social factors and the methods men selected to kill women.
The key findings from this census include the following facts:
- 149 women were killed by 147 men
- 91 women were killed by their current or former male spouse or intimate partner
- 12 women (8%) were killed by sons or step-sons; a further 5 women (3%) were killed by a son-in-law or ex son-in-law.
- 94% of femicides were committed by a man known to the victim.
See reports here.
More recently, research by Karan Ingala Smith, who is responsible for the femicide census and the founder of Counting Dead Women, a pioneering project that records the killing of women by men in the UK, has identified at least 16 killings between 23 March and 12 April, including those of children. Smith’s research shows at least seven people have been allegedly killed by partners or former partners during the period, while three people have been allegedly killed by their father. You can get more details here.
Calan DVS’ and Domestic Homicide
At Calan DVS we are extremely supportive of the appeal made by Dr Richards to Government, backed by the findings of the Femicide Census.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been actively supporting Welsh Government’s ‘Home Should Not be a Place of Fear’ campaign by sharing details of the campaign and the ‘Live Fear Free’ hotline across all our online resources as well as through our local offices. See more here.
We have also been actively supporting and promoting the Welsh Women’s aid bystander toolkit which consists of specific advice and information for concerned neighbours, engaged volunteers and employers, journalists and others to ensure they can safely raise awareness and signpost to support.
If you are victim of domestic abuse and in fear of your life, or if you believe someone you know may be in danger, call the ‘Live Fear Free’ Helpline on 0808 80 10 8000 or you can call our specialist frontline staff in your area on the numbers below: