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Femicide Census: Men who kill women are killing again

MORE than half of femicides involve greater violence than is necessary to cause the victim’s death, a report reveals today.

The Femicide Census, which aims to raise awareness of violence against women, found that 147 women were killed by men in 2018, the most recent year for which figures are available.

The majority of killings took place in the victim’s home, with ‘overkilling’ – when more than one method of killing is used, or one method is used repeatedly – found in 56 per cent of cases.

Of the 147 male killers, three had taken a women’s life before, and over half had a history of violence against women.

More than 60 per cent of the women were killed by a current or former partner. Others died at the hands of a social acquaintance, a neighbour or housemate, a client seeing a prostitute or a complete stranger.

The greatest number of women were killed with a sharp instrument. Strangulation or asphyxiation was the next most common method, with the use of a blunt instrument in third place.

Femicide Census co-founder Karen Ingala Smith warned that there was a “high degree of normalisation” of male violence against women and “no end of excuses or rationales” given to perpetrators.

She said: “Every year we make recommendations and every Domestic Homicide Review points out lessons to be learned, yet they seem to go unheeded.

“For every woman killed, there are thousands of women living in violent, controlling and abusive relationships.

“The closure and under-resourcing of specialist women-only services and refuges and of public services means that even where women may want to leave, they may struggle to find the help, support and safety they need and to which they are entitled.”

Ms Smith called for resources to make “ambitious changes” to women’s status in society and men’s sense of entitlement, to challenge sex-role stereotypes, and for women to be believed and perpetrators to be held to account.

Those compiling the annual Femicide Census reports try to include as much information as possible, including from criminal proceedings, so they are published at least a year after the killings.

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