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09 December 2016

THE FEMICIDE CENSUS: Redefining an isolated incident

Published by Women’s Aid & Nia


‘Recently, there was an online news article about a man who killed his estranged wife, and then committed suicide. We learned what age he was, what his job had been, and how he was a “kind, honest, hardworking man who loved his family“. We didn’t learn about her – the woman whose life he had taken in the most vicious of ways.’ (Dedication in The Femicide Census, p.2)

“Femicide” is the term coined in the 1970s to mean misogynistic murder of women and girls, and has been identified as a leading cause of premature death for women. Until now, however, there has been very little research published.

Femicide 2009-2015

Karen Ingala Smith, Chief Executive of nia, has spent much of the last 10 years researching femicide in England and Wales, publicising with her blog “Counting Dead Women”. Her impressive research was published this week. It documents the murders of almost 1000 women from 2009-2015, and makes important recommendations for Government, Police, Criminal Justice and the Media.

The dedication of the report also says:
‘This report is dedicated to the women whose lives have been stolen in similar ways. It aims to count and to recognise each woman who was taken from us at the hands of men’s fatal violence. It dedicates itself to each woman whose voice – in court hearings, police statements and newspaper publications – is silenced as the perpetrator writes the story of her death. It dedicates itself to the friends and families who grieve every day. This report aspires to be a voice for all of them.’

The Femicide Census is not for the fainthearted, it is painful and explicit. But it is a vitally important publication for anyone concerned with violence against women and girls.

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