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Femicide rates in London highest among black women

BLACK women in London are experiencing higher rates of femicide than any other ethnic group, new figures have revealed.

Met Police statistics obtained through a Freedom of Information request show black women, making up just 14 per cent of the city’s female population, accounted for nine out of 21 femicides recorded in 2022 (43 per cent) and eight out of 13 in 2023 (62 per cent). 

Mother-of-three Keisha Christodoulou was fatally stabbed 17 times in her living room in 2022. Her ex partner, Leon Murray, was charged with her murder.

Her younger sister Chanel Vasiliou said that there is not enough media coverage around innocent women killed by their partners.

She urged for “tougher laws against men committing violence” and “more culturally specific services for black women [that] they feel safe to turn to.” 

After her sister’s death, Ms Vasiliou founded the organisation Keisha’s Place, which raises awareness about domestic abuse and its dangers.

“I am dedicated to helping women flee domestic abuse safely and rebuild their lives away from violence,” she said.

“My journey in this has only just begun and I have so much more to do.”

Selma Taha of Southall Black Sisters said: “Racism and sexism are deeply entrenched in the UK’s system. 

“At the intersection of race and sex, black women are disproportionately impacted and failed as a result.

“Black femicide is a form of violence against women and girls that reflects these prejudices, both in the act of violence and in the systemic response to it.

“Why is the value of black women’s lives so obsolete, they’re facing a crisis … we need politicians and the police to step up.”

Clarrie O’Callaghan of Femicide Census, which records data on women killed in Britain, said there had been a “woeful disregard” for the experiences of black and minoritised women in London.

Commander Kevin Southworth, who leads Public Protection for the Met, said: “We are committed to protecting those who are at risk, regardless of their ethnicity or faith, and understand that communities are affected in different ways.”

Zita Holbourne, co-founder of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts said:“The disproportionate impacts of femicide are symptomatic of the experience of black women in UK society.

“Urgent action must be taken to address the attack on black women and the systemic and institutional discrimination which creates and fuels these brutal and fatal attacks.”

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