Counting Dead Women

2022: UK women killed by men or where a man is the principal suspect

2021: 144 UK women killed by men or where a man is the principal suspect

2020: 110 UK women killed by men or where a man is the principal suspect

2019: 117 UK women killed by men or where a man is the principal suspect

2018: 175 UK women killed by men or where a man is the principal suspect

2017: 151 UK women killed by men or where a man is the principal suspect

2016: 125 UK women killed by men or where a man is the principal suspect 

2015:   138 UK women killed by men or where a man is the principal suspect

2014156 UK women killed by men or where a man is the principal suspect 

2013154 UK  women killed by men or where a man is the principal suspect

2012: 144 UK women killed by men or where a man is the principal suspect

This short film clip introduces the Femicide Census 

Counting Dead Women in Other Countries

Nevertheless, I persisted

Why I still wanted to be in the Labour Party

I left Labour in a fit of pique in 2018 when the then General secretary, Jennie Formby, announced that all-women-shortlists would no longer be women only.

I applied to join again in December 2019 after the election defeat. I wanted to be part of building the party ready to win the next election because I am a socialist as well as a feminist. The thought of another five-years of Tory rule was bad enough. I wanted to help make sure that it wasn’t ten.

My application was rejected on the grounds that information had been brought to the party’s attention that I had engaged in conduct online “that may reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility based on gender identity”. I wrote about the saga here.  I appealed. The appeal process concluded in July 2020, my appeal was unsuccessful.

I reapplied in June 2021, just after the Forstater ruling. It was now recognised in law that beliefs such as mine, that is, recognition of the reality of the difference between sex and gender, knowing that people cannot change sex, that women are disadvantaged if we can’t even name and measure sex discrimination (and so many more examples) were “worthy of respect in a democratic society” and our right to that belief was a protected characteristic. However, my application was rejected again. The reason given to me was that it had not been two years since my initial rejection.

So, two years after my application had been initially rejected (on 24 March 2022), I applied again. I was rejected again. This time I was given the reason that it was not two years since my appeal was rejected. So, I applied again on 21 July 2022, two years to the day of the conclusion of the appeal process. I got no response. Just in case my application had fallen down the back of a metaphorical filing cabinet, I applied again at the end of March 2023.

I’m very pleased to share that I am now a member of the Labour Party.

Why have I bothered to persist with a party that didn’t want me? Because – despite the imperfections of the Labour Party, and yes, I know there are many – I firmly believe that Labour offers the best policies for the majority of women in the UK.

I know the term ‘socialist feminist’ has again become a term of derision to some, but it’s a badge I’m proud to wear. I’m a feminist. I’m a socialist. They’re not incompatible, in fact I think that neither can be what it claims to be without the other. I prioritise women and within that I prioritise women who have been subjected to men’s violence. But I recognise that sex is not the only axis of oppression and privilege. I recognise that class, race, other inequalities and iniquitous social policies mean some women have fewer life chances and opportunities than others. I believe that the Labour Party deals with these inequalities better than the Tories and are the only Party which could possible beat the Tories in England and Wales in a general election.

Many women – and some men – some whose names some of us know and some whose names most of us do not, are working behind the scenes to make legislative and policy change. And of course, there are many whose work is visible and recognised. Some of these women and men are making sure that the Labour Party does not let women’s sex-based rights and protections slip like dry sand through fingers. Thank you to all those people for the fight you are fighting and the differences that you are making. Thank you for trying even where you fail or feel like you’re failing.

Some on the left have turned their backs on women’s rights. It has ever been thus. But feminists do not have to turn our backs on inequalities beyond sex inequality. Women don’t lead single issue lives and I’m not a single-issue feminist. Gender identity ideology is a threat to women’s rights and the mechanisms for responding to the many manifestations of sex inequality. It is an important fight but it is not our only fight. I’m not going to let sexist men, misogynistic men and women who won’t fight for women define the left or drive the rest of us out of grassroots or mainstream politics. I’m not going to sit back and let them write-off those of us who fight for women’s rights as right-wingers and traditionalists. I’m not going to collude with those on the right whose gender criticism aligns with regressive politics and a roll back of women’s freedoms or LGB equality. Whilst it’d be churlish of me to not acknowledge that some who are not of the left are making important contributions to the fight against gender identity ideology and resistance to ideological capture and I myself am of the left. I think and hope that I always will be. I’m not going to stop Defending Women’s Spaces. And I want the next UK government to be a Labour government.

Picking our targets

Neither Jess Phillips nor Brianna Ghey will be mine.

Today, for the eighth year running, in the Parliamentary International Women’s Day debate, MP Jess Phillips read out the names of women in the UK who have been killed since the previous years IWD debate and where a man or men are principal suspects. This year the list contained the names of 107 women, the youngest, Holly Newton was just 15 years old, the oldest, Anne Woodbridge was 92.

I have been collating and commemorating UK women killed by men for 11 years, since the murder of 20-year-old Kirsty Treloar on the 2nd January 2012.

I am grateful to Jess Phillips for amplifying my work and for doing something that I could not do without her: ensuring that those women’s names are afforded the respect of being recorded in perpetuity in the official parliamentary record. This year and last year, Jess invited members of families of women who have been killed by men, some of them whose names have been read out in previous years, to sit in the House of Commons public gallery to listen. Jess and I are frequently told how much this gesture means to those who knew and loved the women who are commemorated.

This year, following the suggestion of my Femicide Census co-founder and fellow Director, Clarrie O’Callaghan, two weeks ago the Femicide Census wrote to every MP who had one or more constituents whose names were going to be read out.  84 letters were sent and followed up by email. We asked MPs to honour their constituents and act to prevent further femicides. We told them that femicide is a local and national problem occurring within the broader context of men’s violence against women which inhibits women’s ability to enjoy rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men. Seven MPs acknowledged our letter: Rosie Duffield, Rushanara Ali, Lillian Greenwood, Rachel Reeves, Yvette Cooper, John McDonnell and Andrew Lewer. Others were visible in the parliamentary broadcast. However, like preceding years, the benches were noticeably empty. Whilst each man who chooses to end a woman’s life must be held to account and to justice, the names stand as a roll call of state failure, the government could be doing so much more to end men’s violence against women and girls. The almost empty chamber does not reflect well on political will to address men’s violence against women.

Counting Dead Women and sister project the Femicide Census record men’s fatal violence against women in the UK. Through this work we know that on average, a woman is killed by a man every 2.6 days, and by a current or former partner approximately every four days. We know that after current or former partners, the next largest group of males killing female relatives is sons who kill their mothers. It was the work of the Femicide Census that told us that Wayne Couzens was one of 16 former or serving police officers who had killed women between 2009 and his murder of Sarah Everard in March 2021. At least 237 women are suspected to have been killed by men in the UK since Sarah’s death.

There has been a significant response online to Phillips’ decision to acknowledge the death of Brianna Ghey in February this year after reading the names of women and girls. Ghey was a 16-year-old male who had a transgender in identity. A boy and a girl, both 15, have been charged with Ghey’s murder. An inquest opened yesterday and has been adjourned pending criminal proceedings. Ghey’s alleged murder was marked by thousands of people attending candlelit vigils across the UK. None of the names of the women and girls read out today attracted comparable responses. Yet like those who loved Ghey, each of those women and girls will have left devastated and still grieving family and friends. It is Ghey’s name trending on social media. I wish the killing of every woman and every girl, in the UK and across the world, attracted the comparable energy and condemnation. They rarely do.

As far as I’m aware, it’s just over four years between Brianna Ghey’s death and the previous most recent known murder of a transgender person in the UK, that of Amy Griffiths in January 2019. In that same period in the UK, at least 453 females aged over 14 years have been killed by males. Don’t let’s add to the deflection of attention from women and girls. My focus, like always, is those women and girls. That doesn’t negate the tragedy of the any male life taken. Whether or not we agree with Jess’s decision, let’s not make her or Brianna Ghey the scapegoats. We should be demanding action from the elected representatives and others with power and influence, who do nothing or little to end men’s violence against and abuse of women and girls. They’re the ones we should be castigating.

If you’re reading this maybe you could identify the women who’ve been killed by men in your constituency. There are currently 1,414 women’s names listed in my blog, 1,425 women named in the Femicide Census 10-year report. Ask your MP what they are doing to honour these women, what they are doing to end femicide, what they are doing to end men’s violence against women, girls and children. You could ask your MP what they are doing to protect specialist women-led independent services for women who have been subjected to men’s violence in your area. We can all be part of a legacy to women who have been killed by men.

My speech at the Labour Women’s Declaration Fringe Meeting at the Labour Party Conference 2022

What do women need from the Labour Manifesto?

The last Labour manifesto fell well short of pledging to develop an ambitious strategy to end sexual and domestic violence and abuse, and prostitution.  However, it did say that a Labour government would,

“Ensure that the single-sex-based ‘exemptions’ contained in the Equality Act 2010 are understood and fully enforced in service provision.”

It also promised sustainable funding for refuges and rape crisis services. So, in that respect, whilst it wasn’t perfect it wasn’t’ bad.  It’s such a shame that two years later, the party leader couldn’t even say that only women have cervixes, which might suggest that he’d have a problem upholding a pledge to protect single-sex services.

I not here tonight to tell you what I think a strategy to end men’s violence against women and girls would look like. Suffice to say, that’s going to be my second book and I haven’t quite written it yet. Tonight, I’m here to tell you about my first book, due to be published in two months, on 25th November, called Defending Women’s Spaces.

Defending Women’s Spaces reflects my 32 years’ experience of working in specialist services for women who have been subjected to men’s violence and the research and campaigning that I’ve read and done alongside it. And my experience, like many of the women who I have worked with, and independent research: tells me that female survivors’ needs are best met in women-only spaces.

On the matter of males who transition? Do they belong in our women-only services? I say no. The minute you say that you provide access to services through gender identity, not sex, your services become mixed sex services. Males who have transitioned – if we accept that transition can be meaningful – are not a risk to women because they are trans but because they are male. The most rigorous data that we have currently on trans males and their rates of committing violent crime, tells us that at best their crimes followed the pattern of male offending, and that was only if they received psychological support as well as surgery and hormones. Without psychological support, trans males’ rates of violent offending were significantly higher than those of other males.

Defending Women’s Spaces focuses on spaces for women survivors of men’s violence though I also briefly look at other areas. I look at sex differences in perpetration of and victimisation in violence. I dismantle and disprove the myth that it is trans people who are at greatest risk of murder.  I pull apart the lie that risk assessment can make it safe for males to be included in women’s spaces. I look at how telling women victim-survivors – that someone that we all know is male is actually a woman- is nothing more than a variation of the psychological abuse done to them by the man or men who had been abusing them. I look at trauma and explain why women-only space is necessary for recovery. I also explore why so many so-called specialist service providers seem to have abandoned their principles and stopped putting women first.

Including males with trans identities in services for women can mean excluding some of the most vulnerable women who need support. We know this will mean some women will self-exclude, because they tell us.

Not all women will be subjected to men’s violence and abuse, though globally one in three of us are at some point during our life. Not all women who suffer men’s violence will develop a trauma response. We can recognise that some women need or benefit from women -only spaces more than others. It’s true that not all women who have been abused by men want women-only spaces, but surely these women should not deny that right to those who do.

Labour needs to show its commitment to ending the sex hierarchy. Labour needs grow a backbone. The Labour Party needs to commit to ending men’s violence against women; and unless or until we ever reach that utopia, we need single sex spaces for women who have been subjected to men’s violence.


107 UK women killed by men or where a man is the principal suspect

  1. 5 January 2022: Brenda Blainey, 88, was found dead in Thornton-le-Dale, North Yorkshire. Shahin Darvish-Narenjbon, 33, has been charged with her murder.
  2. 6 January 2022: Judith Armstrong, 78, was found dead in a house in Herefordshire by police who were following up reports of a car hitting a lamppost. Benjamin Armstrong, 48, has been charged with her murder.
  3. 15 January 2022: Freda Walker, 86, was found dead at her home in Derbyshire. Vasile Culea, 33, has been charged with her murder and also with the attempted murder of her 88-year-old husband.
  4. 20 January 2022: Marlene Doyle, 32, died of head injuries in a flat in Coventry. Her partner Patryk Skupinski, 36, has been charged with her murder.
  5. 23 January 2022: Lauren Malt, 19, was allegedly ran over twice by her father Nigel Malt, 44, as she tried to stop him attacking her boyfriend. Nigel Malt has been charged with murder.
  6. 24 January 2022: Yasmin Chkaifi, 43, was stabbed to death by her abusive ex-partner Leon McCaskre, 41. The attack took place in the street in West London. A stalking prevention order had been put in place against McCaskre.
  7. 24 January 2022: Mariam Kamara, 46, was found dead after a house fire at her home in London. A post-mortem found that she had been stabbed eight times, including wounds to her head and face and had died before the fire started. Her husband Amidu Komora, 47, has been charged with her murder.
  8. 27 January 2022: Lucy Powell, 21, was found dead at home Birmingham. Her partner, Gregory Duhamel, 47, smothered her before killing himself.
  9. 28 January 2022: Marena Shaban, 41, was stabbed multiple times at the entrance to her home in Birmingham. Mohammed Arfan, 42, has been charged with her murder.
  10. 30 January 2022: Lesma Jackson, 84, was found at her home in Enfield, North London, with a number of injuries and died shortly afterwards. Her 50-year-old son Gareth Jackson, has been charged with her murder.
  11. 1 February 2022: Ashley Wadsworth, 19, was found stabbed to death at her boyfriend’s home in Chelmsford. She was visiting from her home in Canada. Jack Sepple, 23, has been charged with her murder.
  12. 2 February 2022: Charissa Brown, 36, was assaulted in her home in Bury and died shortly afterwards in hospital. Bobby Hardman, 34, has been charged in relation to her death.
  13. 6 February 2022: Katy (Kathryn) Harris,  44, was found with serious injuries at her home in Derbyshire. Her husband, Conrad Iyayi, 44, has been charged with her murder.
  14. 17 February 2022: Nicola Shaba, 46, died of a head wound in her home in Folkestone, Kent. Liam Petts, 24, has been charged with her murder and arson reckless as to whether life was endangered.
  15. 21 February 2022: Dawn Trussler, 45, was found dead in a property in Edinburgh. Joseph Cummings, 37, has been charged with her murder.
  16. 24 February 2022: Valerie Freer, 68, was pronounced dead by paramedics on the driveway of her home in Lichfield, Staffordshire. Alexander Verdu Munoz, 26, has been charged with her  murder and two counts of aggravated burglary.
  17. 26 February 2022: Clair Ablewhite, 47, was found stabbed to death in her home in Melton, Leicestershire. John Jessop, 26, has been charged with her murder.
  18. 3 March 2022: Valerie Warrington, 73, and her husband, Clive, 67, were both found stabbed to death in separate locations on Gloucestershire. Their son William Warrington, 40, has been charged with their murders.
  19. 17 March 2022: Sabita Thanwani, 19, was found dead in her bed in university halls in London. She had died of sharp force trauma to the neck. Her boyfriend Maher Maroufe, 22, has been charged with her murder.
  20. 24 March 2022: Yasmin Begum, 40, was stabbed to death in her home in East London. Her estranged husband Quyum Miah, 40, has been charged with her murder.
  21. 25 March 2022: Kirstie Ellie, 35, was found dead at home in Leeds. Tony Brooks, 35, has been charged with her murder.
  22. 2 April 2022: Shotera Bibi, 80, was stabbed to death in Newham, Est London. Subell Ali, 33, has been charged with her murder.
  23. 3 April 2022: Sherry Bruce, 58, was found seriously injured in Aberdeen and died at the scene. Thai Hoang, known as Beaton, 24, has been charged with her murder.
  24. 10 April 2022: Emma Baillie, 26, was found dead in a property in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire. Peter Duffy, 46, has been charged with her murder and that of John Duffy, who was found dead in a different property.
  25. 11 April 2022: Ramona Stoia, 35, died from stab wounds to the neck in Canterbury, Kent. Police believe she was killed by her husband who also killed himself. He had previously been questioned by police about sexually assaulting her.
  26. 16 April 2022: Alyson Nelson, 64, was stabbed to death in Whitehead, County Antrim. William Finlay, 66, has been charged with her murder aggravated by reason of causing domestic abuse. Finlay is the first to be charged with the aggravated offence under the new Domestic Abuse Bill.
  27. 19 April 2022: Susan Farrance, 65, and her husband Jeffrey, 67, were found dead with a third man in a Buckinghamshire home. All three are reported to have known each other and no other suspect is being sought.
  28. 22 April 2022: Katie Kenyon, 33, was last seen alive getting into a vehicle in Burnley, Lancashire. Andrew Burfield, 50, reported to be her ex-partner, has been charged with her murder. At the time of writing her body has not been found.
  29. 22 April 2022: Buddug Jones, 48, was found dead in her bed, at home in Holyhead, Wales. She died of blunt force injury to the head. Colin Milburn, 52, has been charged with her murder.
  30. 24 April 2022: Inayat Begum, 85, died with head, chest and abdominal injuries, in a house in Burnley, Lancashire. Her son Mumtaz Ahmed, 43, has been charged with her murder.
  31. 25 April 2022: Dolet Hill, 64, was one of 4 family members, including her partner Denton Burke, 58, her daughter and granddaughter, stabbed to death in S. London.  Joshua Jacques, the boyfriend of her granddaughter, has been charged with their murders.
  32. 25 April 2022: Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo, 45, was one of 4 family members, including her mother, her mother’s partner and her daughter, stabbed to death in S. London.  Joshua Jacques, the boyfriend of her daughter, has been charged with their murders.
  33. 25 April 2022: Samantha Drummonds, 27, was one of 4 family members, including her mother, grandmother and grandmother’s partner,  stabbed to death in S. London.  Joshua Jacques, her boyfriend, has been charged with their murders.
  34. 1 May 2022: Diana Gabaliene, 33, was found dead in a house in Lincolnshire. She had been strangled by her husband Deividas Gabalis, 40, who also killed himself.
  35. 7 May 2022: Aimee Cannon, 26, was found dead with multiple stab wounds in a house in West Lothian, Scotland. Michael Porchetta, 25, has been charged with her murder.
  36. 8 May 2022: Amanda McAlear, 50, was found dead after sustaining serious injuries, in a house in Glasgow, John Higgins, 62, has been charged with her murder.  
  37. 10 May 2022: Shannon Stanley, 27, was stabbed to death in Birmingham. Pablo Hoad, 27, has been charged with her murder.
  38. 11 May 2022: Lorraine Cullen, 43, was found dead with multiple stab wounds in her home in Merseyside. A 21-year-old man has been detained under the Mental Health Act.
  39. 12 May 2022: Karen Wheeler, 62, was found dead in a flat in Birkenhead. Mark Wheeler, 51, has been charged with her murder.
  40. 13 May 2022: Lisa Fraser, 52, was found dead in her home in Wales. Matthew Harris, 41, was charged with her murder.
  41. 17 May 2022: Ania Jedrkowiak, 21, was stabbed to death as she walked home from work in Ealing, West London. Dennis Akpomedaye, 29, of Wales, who has been reported as being known to her, has been charged with her murder.
  42. 20 May 2022: A 34-year-old woman who has not been named was stabbed to death in Newham, East London. Asim Hasan, 32, who has been said to be her husband, has been charged with her murder.
  43. 24 May 2022: Mari O’Flynn, 79, was found dead at an address in Bettws, Wales. Simon Parks, 51, has been charged with her murder.
  44. 31 May 2022: Julie Youel, 53, was stabbed to death in Barnsley, S. Yorkshire. Darren Youel, 54, has been charged with her murder.
  45. 1 June 2022: Antonella Castelvedere, 52, was stabbed to death at her home in Colchester, Essex. Her husband Erstan Ersoy, 50, has been charged with her murder.
  46. 3 June 2022: Kerry Owen, 35, was found dead by a dog walker in Hopwood, Worcestershire. Alan Edney, 30, has been charged with her murder.
  47. 5 June 2022: Sarah Ali, was stabbed to death in Sheffield, W.Yorkshire. Vahid Kabiri, 43, her husband, has been charged with her murder.
  48. 6 June 2022: Jennifer Andrews, 35, was found seriously injured at a property in Leeds, West Yorkshire and later died in hospital. Rawden Ibbitson, 31, has been charged with her murder.
  49. 16 June 2022: An woman in her 40s whose name has not been released was found dying on  a street in Wolverhampton. Rahul Sharma, 29, has been charged with her murder.
  50. 19 June 2022: Margaret Una Noone, 77, was found dead in the bedroom of a house in Cookstown, N. Ireland. Police said that a set of rosary beads were in her hands. The cause of her death was compression to the neck. Her son, Barry Noone, 45, Has been charged with her murder.
  51. 21 June 2022: Sakunthala Francis, 89, was found dead in a house in Croydon, S. London. She had been stabbed to death. Her grandson, Verushan Manoharan, has been charged with her murder.
  52. 22 June 2022: Sally Turner, 50, was killed in a suspected stabbing in a house in Durham. Harry Turner, 53, has been charged with her murder.
  53. 25 June 2022: Somaiya Begum, 20, of Bradford, was last seen alive, her body was found on 6 July. Her uncle Mohammed Taroos Khan, 52, has been charged with her murder.
  54. 26 June 2022: Zara Aleena, 36, died of head and neck injuries after being attacked as she walked home in N.E. London. Jordan McSweeney, 29, has been charged with her murder, robbery and attempted rape.
  55. 28 June 2022: Wendy Morris, 76, was found dead with a gunshot wound to her head by medics attending to reports of an unresponsive female in Dorset. He husband, Edward Morris, 79, was also found dead with a gunshot wound. Police are not looking for anyone else.
  56. 10 July 2022: Abi Fisher, 29, was found dead in undergrowth after going missing in West Yorkshire. She had been strangled. Her husband, Matthew Fisher, 29, has been charged with her murder.
  57. 11 July 2022: Margaret Barnes, 71, died in Barmouth, Wales. David Redfern, 45, has been charged with her murder.
  58. 11 July 2022: Hina Bashir, 21, was last seen alive and was reported missing on 14th July. Her body was found in a suitcase in London on 17th July. Her boyfriend, Muhammad Arslan, 26, has been charged with her murder.
  59. 16 July 2022: Samantha Murphy, 37, was stabbed in a house in Margate and later died in hospital. Her partner, Thomas Allen, 38, has been charged with her murder. 
  60. 22 July 2022: Madison Wright, 30, was last seen alive. A body was discovered on 30 July and although formal identification has not been disclosed, Madison’s family have been informed. Gary Bennett, 36, has been charged with her murder.
  61. 24 July 2022: Lauren Howe, 26, died in hospital after police had found her in a property in Bradford when responding to a concern for safety call. Charlie Booth, 27, has been charged with her murder and also threats to commit damage and malicious communications.
  62. 25 July 2022: Becci Rees-Hughes, was found dead in a house in Beverley, E. Yorkshire. It is believed she was killed by her partner Ben Crosby who died in a crash after he fled the scene.
  63. 26 July 2022: Mairi Doherty, 41, died in hospital 3 days after she was injured during ‘a disturbance’ in Dunoon, Glasgow. Kevin Campbell, 43, has been charged with her murder.
  64. 29 July 2022: Kathleen John, 39, ‘fell from height’ in Wembley, London. Leonidas Georgalla 50, has been charged with her murder.
  65. 8 August 2022: Helen Barlow, 54, was found dead at home in North Shields after it was reported that she hadn’t turned up for work. Police said she had been assaulted. Her partner Richard Leishman, 65, was also found dead with what are believed to be self-inflicted injuries.
  66. 16 August 2022: Mckyla Taylor, 27, was found dead in a house in Worksop. David Jackson, 66, has been charged with her murder.
  67. 16 August 2022: Elinor O’Brien, 22, was found with stab wounds in an apartment in Manchester. Kevin Mannion, 44, has been charged with her murder.
  68. 21 August 2022: Ashley Dale, 28, died in hospital in Liverpool after being shot dead in her home. It is believed she was not the intended target. Police are appealing for witnesses.  
  69. 22 August 2022: Karen Dempsey, 55, died in hospital after being stabbed in a car park in Liverpool. Her son, Jamie Dempsey, 32, has been charged with her murder.
  70. 23 August 2022: Wendy Buckney-Morgan, 71,  was stabbed to death in Wales. A 55-year-old man has been detailed under the Mental Health Act in relation to her killing.
  71. 26 August 2022: Margaret Griffiths, 87, died in hospital in Wales. Her son, John Griffiths, 57, has been charged with her murder.
  72. 30 August 2022: Katie Hurmuz-Irimia, 40, died after being stabbed in the neck and chest in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. Mihai Hurmuz-Irimia, 28, has been charged with her murder
  73. 31 August 2022: Jacqueline (Jaki) Forrest, 49, was found dead in a house in Haydock, Merseyside. Robert Massey, 43, has been charged with her murder.
  74. 3 September 2022: Patricia Bitters, 84, died in hospital after being assaulted in Forres, Aberdeenshire. Her grandson, Scott McCulloch, 25, has been charged with her murder.
  75. 6 September 2022: Harleen Kaur Satpreet Gandhi, 32, was found seriously injured ina house in Leeds, W. Yorkshire. Her husband Satpreet Singh Gandhi, 37, has been charged with her murder.
  76. 11 September 2022: Hollie Thompson, 28, was found dead in a property in Belfast. Her partner, Christopher Morelli, 31, has been charged with her murder.
  77. 14 September 2022: Ruth Stone-Houghton, 60, and Christopher Stone-Housghton, 66, were found dead in a house in Portsmouth. Police have commenced a murder investigation with regards to the death of Ruth and are not seeking anyone else.
  78. 15 September 2022: Jillu Nash, 44, and her 12-year-old daughter Louise, were found dead in a property in Suffolk. Jillu died from pressure to the neck and Louise from stab wounds. a 46-year-old man, who is hospital, has been arrested on two counts of murder.
  79.  17 September 2022: Jill Barclay, 47, was stabbed and set on fire at a roundabout in Aberdeen. Rhys Bennett, 22, has been charged in relation to her death.
  80. 7 October 2022: Diana Dafter, 36, was found stabbed to death in a property in Northampton. Her husband Phillip Dafter, 32, has been charged with her murder.
  81. 12 October 2022: Hilary Round, 67, was found in her home in Ilford, N.E.London, in an early stage of decomposition by police responding to calls about her welfare. The cause of her death was given as ‘compression to the neck’. Her neighbour, Jamie Cook, 31, has been charged with murder.
  82. 22 October 2022: Angie White, 45, was found dead in her home in Plasmarl, Swansea. Daniel White, 35, has been charged with her murder.
  83. 23 October 2022: Yolanda Saldana Feliz, 53, was stabbed to death in Stratford, E. London, along with a second woman who has survived. Police are seeking Miguel Angel Alvarez Florentino, 38, in relation to the murder.
  84. 24 October 2022: Deborah Gumbrell, 59, was found unconscious at home by police responding to reports of an assault. Her husband James Gumbrell, has been charged with her murder.
  85. 30 October 2022: Caroline Adeyelu, 64, was stabbed to death in a house in Dagenham, E.London. Her son Nicolas Aina, 28, has been charged with her murder and the attempted murder of another woman.
  86. 1 November 2022: Keisha Christodoulou, 32, was stabbed repeatedly and died in her flat in Deptford, S. London. Her ex-partner Leon Murray, 33, has been charged with her murder.
  87. 4 November 2022: Emma Potter, 40, was found dead in her home in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Joe Rankin, 33, has been charged with her murder.
  88. 6 November 2022: Alexis Karran, 49, dies in hospital after being attacked in her home in Tameside.  A 48-year-old man has been detained under the Mental Health Act.
  89. 6 November 2022: Clair Armstrong, 50, was found dead in a house in Messingham, N. Lincolnshire. Ashley Kemp, 54, has been charged with her murder.
  90. 6 November 2022: Jacqueline (Jackie) Rutter, 53, was shot dead at home in Merseyside. Police have said that they believed it was a targeted attack.
  91. 21 November 2022: Lorraine Mills, 63, was found dead in a house in Millbrook, Southampton. Richard Shaw, 48, has been charged with her murder.
  92. 22 November 2022: Fatoumatta Hydara, 28, died in hospital two days after a fire at her home which had killed her two daughters Naeemah Drammeh, aged one, and Fatimah Drammeh, aged three. A neighbour Jamie Barrow, 31, has been charged with their murders.
  93. 23 November 2022: Ruta Draudvilaite, 44, was found unresponsive after a fire in a house in Nelson, Lancashire. Jan Kontash, 57, has been charged with wounding with intent.
  94. 28 November 2022: Mary Andrews, 76, and her husband Brian, were found dead in their home in Sheffield. Their son, James Andrews, 55, has been charged with heir murders.
  95. 3 December 2022: Michelle Hanson, 47, was found stabbed to death in her home in Sunderland. Alexander Carr, 33, has been charged with her murder.
  96. 5 December 2022: Maureen Gitau, 24, was last seen alive, leaving her home in London, and was reported missing on 10th December. On 2nd January, Mark Moodie, 54, was charged with her murder. Maureen’s body has not been found.
  97. 8 December 2022: Cynthia Turner, 55, was stabbed to death in a house in Oldbury, West Midlands. Her husband Legitte Reid, 55, has been charged with her murder.
  98. 15 December 2022: Anju Asok, 35, and her two children Jeeva, 6, and Janvi, 4, were found seriously injured in their home in Kettering. Her husband Saju Chelavalel, 52, and father of the children, has been charged with their murders.
  99. 15 December: Ailish Walsh, 28, as found stabbed to death in a house in Hackney, London. Her partner Liam Taylor, 37, has been charged with her murder.
  100. 18 December 2022: Natalie McNally, 32, was stabbed to death in her home in Lurgan, N. Ireland. A murder investigation is on-going, as a man arrested in relation to her death has been released on bail.
  101. 18 December 2022: Sabrina Cooper, 68, was found dead at her home in Sussex. Tony King, 59, has been charged with her murder.
  102. 20 December 2022: Stacey Warnock, 51, was found dead in a house inn Airdrie, Scotland. John McLaughlan, 52, has been charged with her murder.
  103. 21 December 2022: Francesca Di Dio, 20 (and her partner Nino Calabro) were found dead in a flat in Thornaby, N. Yorkshire. Andrea Cardinale, 21, has been charged with their murders.
  104. 23 December 2022: Courtney Boorne, 20, was found in a critical condition in a house in Liverpool and later died in hospital. Liam Cain, 19, has been charged with her murder.
  105. 24 December 2022: Elle Edwards, 26, was shot outside a pub in Wallasey, Wirral. She is not believed to have been the intended target. Connor Chapman, 22, has been charged with her murder and a number of other offences.
  106. 31 December 2022: Stephanie Hansen, 39, was stabbed to death at her home in west London. Sheldon Rodrigues, 29, has been charged with her murder.
  107. 31 December 2022: Gabriella Rudin, 75, was discovered dead in a house in Cambridge. Her husband Martin Rudin, 81, has been charged with her murder.

Waiting for further information regarding charging or other circumstances in relation to the deaths of Zoe Nicklin, Charlotte Hibbert, Naomi Hunte, Susan Ioannou, Shannon Beirne, Danielle Ejogbamu, Monika Eisen, Saffia Jameelia Davy, Woman, Scarborough, Sarah Ashcroft, Kerry Randall, Helen Long, Catherine Palmer,  Woman: Niddrie, Edinburgh, Danielle Norton/Pinder, Woman, 92, Waltham Chase.

Please let me know if you have information regarding the deaths of these or any other women/girls (aged 13 and over) where a man/men is/are the primary suspects in the UK or UK women killed abroad in 2022.

Last updated14 January 2023.

Remember her too

The speech I gave at the femicide vigil at FiLiA 2021

In the first three days of 2012, 8 women in the UK were killed through men’s violence.  Three days, 8 dead women: 3 shot, 1 stabbed, 1 stabbed and beaten so hard with her own walking stick that the wood splintered, 1 beaten, 1 strangled, and 1 smothered.

Since then, I’ve been keeping a record of the women in the UK who have been killed through men’s violence and have personally recorded the names of 1,366 women killed by men or, in cases where criminal justice process hasn’t been concluded or has been prevented, for example if the killer also killed himself, where a man is or was the principal suspect. 

I don’t think there’s a person here who won’t know the name of Sarah Everard almost everyone here will also know the name of Sabina Nessa, both women killed this year and whose deaths made national headlines.

But between Sarah and Sabina at least 77 other women were killed in circumstances where a man is held as suspect, awaiting trial or would be if he were still alive.

Do you know the name of the 84-year-old woman who was allegedly strangled by a burglar? What about the 25-year-old woman who was found dead in bags with the body of her two-year-old daughter, the two-year-old daughter who is suspected to have been sexually assaulted –  as well as another child who survived – found buried in concrete beneath someone’s floor? The 82-year-old suspected to have been stabbed by her 84-year-old husband? Or the 29-year-old, found dead in the street with stab wounds to her neck, chest and arm, killed by her husband. At least 115 UK women are suspected to have been killed by men this year. The names of most of these women are not household names.

Men’s fatal violence against women cuts across all sections of society, across ages, class and ethnicity. But, some women are afforded more empathy than others. Some are more likely to be disbelieved, to be blamed, to be sent away without the help they need.

This appalling hierarchy of victims continues into death. It is almost always the young, conventionally attractive, middle-class, white woman killed by a stranger, the perfect victim, who makes the front pages.

Not the 50-year-old from a council estate in Leicestershire, killed by the father of her children after a 30-year marriage, where her life and dignity have been chipped away, little by little, every day. Not the immigrant. Not the 45year old homeless woman with a drug problem who was sexually abused from childhood to death. We need to end the hierarchy of dead women.

And of course, that hierarchy is there in life too. Black women and disabled women are disproportionately victimised yet more likely to receive a sub-standard response from state agencies. Poor women are more likely to be blamed.

Because of the Femicide Census, we know that in the UK 92% of women who are killed by men are killed by someone they know. One in 12 (or 8%) is a woman who is killed by her son. That’s the same proportion– 8% – of women in the UK who are killed by a stranger. 62% of women killed by men are killed by a current or former partner. More than 40% of these had already left or were taking steps to leave him. More than a third of these were killed in the first month post separation, almost ¾ within the first year.

Because of the Femicide Census we know that Sarah Everard was the 16th UK woman to be killed by a serving or former police officer since 2009.  

Femicide is the killing of women, girls and female infants and foetuses, predominantly but not always committed by men. Femicide maintains men’s individual and/or collective dominant status, or reflects the lower status of females. Femicide is not just homicide of women by men, it’s about how and why women are killed and how this is different to the circumstances in which men are killed.

Do I believe it is possible to end men’s violence against women, to end femicide? I don’t know. Do I believe it is likely? No. There just isn’t the will. Patriarchal societies, in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, authority, social privilege and control of resources, ensure that power stays with the powerful and advantaged; it’s the same with socio-economic class, it’s the same with race. Sure, there will continue to be steps to address men’s violence against women and girls. And mostly these will have originated from feminists but what is implemented by the state will always be a watered-down version.

Men’s violence against women and girls is both a cause and consequence of sex inequality. Whilst perpetrators must be held responsible for their actions and behaviours; men’s violence against women is not reducible simply to individual acts perpetrated by individual men. Men’s violence against women is a key instrument of men’s domination of women, supported and normalised by patriarchal institutions, attitudes and social norms and values.

What can you do? Make politicians know you care. Make politicians know that men’s violence against women is an issue that could lose them votes. Make sure that every woman counts. Make them know that they damn well better be able to say that only women have a cervix.

Know their names. Not just Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa. But Mandeep Singh, Angela Tarver, Valerie Richardson, Mihrican Mustapha, Sammy-Lee Lodwig, Denise Keene-Simmons.

Thank you, Keira Cadwell, for creating this beautiful commemoration to women. Each heart carrying the name of a woman killed by a man, taken from my work at Counting Dead Women.

Thank you, Keira Cadwell, for creating this beautiful commemoration to women. Each heart carrying the name of a woman killed by a man, taken from my work at Counting Dead Women.

Sex differences in intimate partner homicide (England and Wales) April 2009 to March 2020

One day, people might stop asking me ‘What about the men?’ but that day isn’t here yet. This is the third time I’ve written a blog comparing sex differences in intimate partner homicide but it’s five years since the last time and so it’s time for an update.

This information is about people aged over 16 in England and Wales who have been identified as having been killed by current or former partners by The Office of National Statistics (ONS) for the 11 years ending March 2020. I’ve used ONS data because – although the Femicide Census data for women killed by men is much richer, we do not collect data on male victims or on women killed by women – it’s important to use consistent ways of collecting information for everyone. The ONS data doesn’t break down the data for victims of intimate partner homicide by the sex of the perpetrator so I requested this from them.  

In the 11 years from April 2009 to March 2020, 1,027 people were killed by a current or former partner, defined by the ONS as when the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator falls into one of the following categories: spouse, common-law spouse, cohabiting partner, boyfriend or girlfriend, ex-spouse, ex-cohabiting partner or ex-boyfriend or girlfriend or adulterous relationship.  890 (86.7%) of the victims were female, 137 (13.3%) were male. So, for every 2 men killed, there were thirteen women.

But there are differences in who is doing the killing too. Of 137 male victims, 109 were killed by women. Of 890 female victims, 884 (99%) were killed by men. There were 912 men who killed a current or former partner and 115 women. So, one in five men (20.4%) killed by a current or former partner were killed by a man; for women, approximately one in 147 women killed by a current or former partner were killed by a woman.  Men who are killed by a current or former partner are 29 times more likely to be killed by someone of the same sex than women are.

There is a further important difference too, but this can’t be found in the ONS data. When the Femicide Census published our 10-year report on women killed by men in the UK between 2009 and 2018, we found evidence in 59% of cases that the man who killed them had been violent and/or abusive to them in the past. We think this is highly likely to be an undercount since it is not unusual for women to tell no-one that they are being abused, and also in many cases, this might not have been reported in publicly available information even if someone did know about it. The Centre for Women’s Justice looked at women who have killed current or former male partners. They found a very different picture, that in 77% of cases, it was the man who had been killed who had been abusing the woman who killed him.

So, in answer to that question: yes, sometimes women kill male current/former partners but there are four critical sex differences:

  • 87% of people killed by current or former partners are women
  • 89% of people who killed a current or former partner are men
  • Men who are killed by a partner or ex are more likely to be killed by someone of the same sex (29 times more likely)

Women are likely to have been abused by the man who killed them in the years (or sometimes months) before their deaths, men who are killed by female partners are very likely to have been abusing the women who killed them in the years of months before their deaths

Truth, lies and Storytelling

I overheard a discussion on Radio Four’s Today programme this morning (8 June 2021) that contained such a blatant piece of misinformation imparted by Benjamin Cohen, CEO of Pink News, that I felt compelled to transcribe it.

Justin Webb: Just on the point about abolishing legal provisions for single sex spaces, do you not accept that it is perfectly acceptable for women to campaign for those single sex spaces and to say that those who have changes sex should not be in them?

Benjamin Cohen…..[Evades question and talks about something else for a few moments]   and goes on to say, over again, it’s a debate about trans issues without a single trans voice being heard

Justin Webb: Hang on number one, you don’t know anything about me; number two, I asked you a question, would you answer it?

Benjamin Cohen: Sure bit, I just, I’ve made a statement, is this a debate about trans issues with no trans voice?

Justin Webb: Yeah, you’ve made your statement, now could you answer the question?

Benjamin Cohen: You made the statement which is that the provisions around who hets access to single sex spaces has changed, that hasn’t changed, the EqualityAct was passed in 2010, there’s been no changes to that

Justin Webb: Yeah, hang on, what I’m suggesting is that Stonewall would like to change it, and a lot of women are worried about

Benjamin Cohen: Sorry, you just claimed that but that’s not actually true. So, Stonewall supports self-ID  (Justin Webb : Exactly) which is about, simply about paperwork, so you’ve been able to self-ID for practical purposes for the Equality Act, since 2010,

Justin Webb:  But not for instance to go to a safe space for women, like a women’s refuge, those a protected  aren’t they

Benjamin Cohen: (speaking over Justin Webb): yeah, and they continue to be protected.

Justin Webb: And does Stonewall …

Benjamin Cohen: Can you answer me a question, Justin, has Stonewall said that those spaces should be open to trans people, I don’t believe they have

Justin Webb: Well, exactly

Benjamin Cohen: this is the problem,

Justin Webb:  But hang on, I think we agree on this

Benjamin Cohen: It’s such misinformation

Justin Webb:  Hang on,  I think we agree on this in that case because, is it the case, or is it not the case that Stonewall, is campaigning for those safe spaces not to be women only?

Benjamin Cohen: They aren’t campaigning for that, that’s just misinformation being spread by a homophobic and transphobic media, I’m afraid.

The thing is, Benjamin, you’re the one that’s not telling the truth here. The extract below shows that Stonewall are campaigning or did campaign for the removal of the protection of women’s single sex spaces. This is from Stonewall’s  submission to Women & Equalities Select Committee Inquiry on Transgender Equality submitted on 27 August 2015. Stonewall’s recommendations included:

“A review of the Equality Act 2010 to include ‘gender identity’ rather than ‘gender reassignment’ as a protected characteristic and to remove exemptions, such as access to single-sex spaces”


(Source Woman’s Place UK, Evidence of calls to remove single sex exemptions from Equality Act:

Saying that Stonewall hasn’t campaigned for the removal of women’s single-sex spaces looks a lot like misinformation being spread by a media that doesn’t acknowledge the need for women’s single sex spaces to me. Your move, Benjamin.

Can we talk about the claim that since lockdown, five women a week have been killed by men in the UK, because I don’t think it’s true

I’ve been Counting Dead Women, women killed by men in the UK since January 2012 and as one of the founders of the Femicide Census have access to records of women killed by men in the UK going back to 2009. From this, I can say that we know that on average since 2009, a woman has been killed by a man in the UK every three days. Because that’s an average, sometimes it is more frequently than that, and sometimes it’s less. It means that we know that the oft quoted statistic, that two women a week are killed in England and Wales by their partner or ex, is inaccurate. My work on this issue means I’m often well placed to have a sense when something unusual is happening, and as importantly, I have access to information to check out my hunches, The Femicide Census.

This – noticing something unusual was going on – happened last March, just after the first national lockdown.  In the first week of lockdown, 10 women (and two children) were killed by men. That’s not one woman every 3 days, it’s one woman every 16.8 hours. It wasn’t two women a week, it was ten in a week. The oldest was 80, the youngest was 24 years old. For seven women, the suspect was her husband, partner or lover, for one he was her son, for another he was her father and one woman was killed by a stranger.  The next week, three women were killed by men, and the same the following week. 3 weeks into lockdown, 15 women had been killed by men. So, it’s true, for the first three weeks of lockdown, on average, five women a week had been killed by men, through this was largely driven by the 10 women killed in the first week. This was the snapshot for a specific period in time, 23 March – 12 April 2020.  This was three times higher than the average for the same three weeks since 2009 (five), though the actual numbers had varied between nine women in 2009 and two women in 2013, 2018 and 2019. It’s not the only time when for a short period of time there has been an atypically high number of women killed. Another example is January 2012, when in the first three days of the year, eight women were killed by men and don’t know if I’d have even started Counting Dead Women if that hadn’t coincided with the murder of Kirsty Treloar.

I shared this information at the time, there was a lot of interest. If I’m honest, I will say it pissed me off, why was one woman every three days barely worthy of mention? I wasn’t impressed by attempts to frame the killings of women in 2020 as ‘due to COVID-19’ and wrote this piece, Coronavirus Doesn’t Cause Men’s Violence Against Women about the suspected levels of men’s fatal violence against women  and what might or might not be causing an apparent increase.

But the things I’m hearing now are at best: ‘it was five women a week during lockdown’, and at the most inaccurate: ‘it’s been five women a week killed by current or former partners since lockdown.’

Because of the work by The Femicide Census, we know that there have been patterns in the numbers of women killed by men over time. Between 2009 and 2018, on average, more women tended to be killed in April than in any other month, followed by December. I was able to use information from the Femicide Census database to compare how many women had been killed in the same time period (week beginning, 23 March, week beginning 30 March, week beginning 6 April and so on) for every week since 2009.  I did that for every week of the initial national lockdown, or until 31 May.

By 31 May 2020, I was aware of 26 women who were suspected of having been killed by men in the 10 weeks since 23 March. The average for those same 10 weeks between 2009 and 2019 was 24.7 women, the highest was 30 women in 2010, the lowest was 17 women in 2013. In other words, the rates of women being killed by men had returned to pretty much an average level of unacceptable for the time of year and that continues for the rest of 2020.

I should mention that the numbers I used from 2019 and 2020 were based on media searches alone, we hadn’t analysed the Freedom of Information requests for the Femicide Census for 2019 at that point and we wouldn’t be sending those for 2020 out until 2021.  I am expecting that the real numbers for 2019 and 2020 will be a bit higher.  I am also worried about what might happen as we move on from the pandemic, if we move on from the pandemic, because another of the findings of the Femicide Census, is that 43% of women killed by their partners do so at some point during or after the process of separation. Will more women leave abusive partners as lockdown eases again? Will we see this reflected in lethal violence from jealous, possessive and controlling men?  

It’s also important to mention that at both Counting Dead Women and the Femicide Census include all women killed by men. There are some important differences in the characteristics between women killed by current and former partners, for example the presence of coercive control, or, what would good support services look like? But there are some commonalities too. What’s the impact of the status of women? What’s the impact of the sexual objectification of women? What’s the impact of male entitlement? I believe that we can learn something about the role of such issues if we look at the killing of women by men, rather than restricting ourselves to current and former partners only, even though the latter make up the greatest proportion of femicides in the UK (on average 62%).

Data matters, but it’s important that we use it correctly. It’s important that we don’t extrapolate what was happening at a moment in time to what happens all the time. We should not need to exaggerate the numbers of women being killed by men to make people with influence address men’s violence against women. If we think 15 women in three weeks is unacceptable and worthy of outrage, surely, we’re not saying that the average number for three weeks, seven women, (one woman every 3 days) is fine and nothing to rise up against?

Am I naive – obviously I am – in the belief I had that facts were checked before use in the national media? Can those with editorial roles stop the use of ‘two women a week’ and respect the work of those of us who have tried to get accurate data?  How does a claim that five women a week have been killed by current or former partners since lockdown, get through whatever editorial process is supposed to happen?

Most importantly though and as always, we must remember that dead women are never merely numbers, data or statistics. They were real living women once, most of them leaving family and friends who loved them shocked and in mourning, so many people left with a gap that they’ll feel the pain of for the rest of their lives.  We should try to do the right thing by these women and try to make changes that will protect the women and girls of the future. What are we going to do to end men’s violence against women and girls?

Counting Dead Trans People

No, Angela Crawley, in the UK, it’s not the same and it’s not a greater risk

In the Women and Equalities Select Committee on reform of the Gender Recognition Act on 21 April 2021, Angela Crawley, Scottish National Party MP for Lanark and Hamilton East and the SNP Shadow Attorney General asked

” Would you agree, and I think we can all agree on the prevalence of male violence, and the instance of how often this occurs and often it is a male perpetrator against a female individual, would you agree that individuals who perhaps, perhaps a trans female has transitioned*, they are also at equally and perhaps greater risk of the same violence and the same issues that you’ve expressed around patriarchy. Would it be possible for a women’s refuge to have a policy that is both inclusive provides that safety that provides those single sex spaces built also is able to provide a service that recognises that individuals who are transgender may also be the victims of the very same violence and they might also need protection from those very similar services that we’re discussing.”

(*It’s anyone’s guess who she means here? A trans female who has transitioned surely means female to ‘transman’, but I think she is so determined not to use words referring to maleness for ‘transwomen’ that she means a male who has so-called transitioned to ‘transwoman.’)

Firstly, let’s get this out of the way, you cannot be both single sex and trans inclusive, unless you mean women and ‘transmen’ together or men with ‘transwomen’. If you have transwomen in a women’s refuge it is not single sex. It cannot be.

Angela Crawley seemed to be trying to say that trans people are perhaps more at risk from the same men’s violence as women are.  This isn’t true with regards to fatal violence. Men’s fatal violence against males who identify as transgender does not follow the same pattern as men’s fatal violence against women.

As far as I know, nine males who fall under the trans umbrella have been killed in the UK since 2009. I don’t know which of them would have described themselves as cross-dressers, transsexuals, transwomen, trans women, or even say that they are women but using Stonewall’s concept of the trans umbrella, there are nine and I don’t want to open myself to accusations of undercounting. There have been over 1,800 women killed by men in the UK in the same time.  These 9 people are

  1. Andrea Waddel, 29, killed by a punter (sex buyer), Neil McMillan, in Brighton in October 2009
  2. Destiny Lauren, 29, killed by a punter (sex buyer) Leon Fyle, in London in November 2009
  3. David/Sonia Burgess, 63, killed by Senthooran (Nina) Kanagasingham, a trans friend/associate (male who identified as trans at the time), in London in October 2010
  4. Lionel/Suzie Morl, 49, referred to in the press as a transvestite, who was killed by a couple with drug problems and who appear to have been exploiting him:  David Hardman, 51, and Tracey Hurrell,  32, in Manchester in July or August 2011. Note the age difference between this couple, which is often (not always) an indicator of an abusive relationship
  5. Chrissie Azzopardi, 22, who was killed by a neighbour, Romy Maynard, possibly over drug debts, in London in April 2012
  6. Vanessa Santillan, 33, who was killed by husband Joaquin Hernandez in London in March 2015
  7. William Lound, 30, a gay man who occasionally wore clothes that have been described as women’s clothes, was killed by Lee Arnold. Arnold killed Lound after the two had had sex, in Salford in August 2016. The murder of William Lound has been described both as a homophobic murder and an anti-trans one
  8. Naomi Hersi, 36, who was killed by punter (sex buyer) Jesse McDonald after a drugs and sex hook-up in London in March 2018
  9. Amy Griffiths, 51, was killed by Martin Saberi, in Worcestershire on 11 January 2019. The two have been described as friends.

None of those above were killed in Scotland, where Angela Crawley is an MP. None. Since 2009, at least 129 women have been killed by men in Scotland. 17 women have been killed by men in Scotland since the last known murder of a trans person in the UK. Why can’t you see or why do you turn your back on the violence done to women by men, Angela?

We know from the Femicide Census that 62% of women who were killed by men between 2009 and 2018 were killed by a current or former partner.  In the year ending March 2020, the Office for National Statistics says that 46% of adult females and 7% of males were killed in domestic homicides. The ONS also said that 29% of female homicide victims recorded no suspect had been charged for the offence at the time of analysis. This will decrease as investigations proceed and the percentage of cases where a woman’s current or former partner is identified as being responsible for her death is likely to increase.  The proportion of males killed by current or former partners is consistent with previous years. 8% of male homicide victims were killed by a partner in the year ending March 2019, 1% in the year ending March 2018 and 3% in the year ending March 2017. Note also that males are much more likely to be killed by a same sex partner, fatal violence is very rare in lesbian relationships.

Given the number of trans people killed in the UK, annual trends in the composition of their relationships with their killer isn’t possible. There have been nine over eleven years and none since Amy Griffiths in 2019. Only one was killed by their partner.  Most women’s refuges work exclusively with women who are fleeing partners, ex-partners and in some cases, family members. That doesn’t mean other people don’t need places of safety or support but it does mean that their experiences are different and their needs are too. Women in refuges benefit from being able to place what was done to them in the context of the abuse that other women have been subjected to by men they loved. Sometimes it is through seeing that another woman was not to blame for what was done to her that they are able to begin to stop blaming themselves. Sharing with and listening to other women is a huge part of healing and moving on. Women don’t enter refuges for fun. For most there is no other choice and many are in fear of their life. The number of men who kill or attempt to kill their female partners shows that women’s fears are well grounded. I’ve written in other places about the importance of single-sex spaces for women who have been subjected to men’s violence, for example here, about the necessity of trauma informed services for women being single sex and here, more generally in a speech I delivered in Scottish Parliament in January 2020.

Looking beyond fatal violence and at childhood sexual abuse, prevalence is not equal or greater for males who identify as transgender than it is for females. We know that both girls and boys can be subjected to child sexual abuse and that grooming of younger gay males by older men is an established form of abuse normalised by some men. Prevalence studies for England and Wales suggests that approximately 15% of girls/young women and 5% boys/young men are subjected to some form of sexual abuse before they are 16 years old and that the majority of perpetrators – prevalence studies always indicate over 90% – are male.[1] For women and girls, single sex space to address what has been done to them is vital. For males, who are far more likely to have been abused by someone of the same sex, the preferred or most beneficial sex of their therapist, counsellor, support worker or fellow therapeutic group members can be less clear. Sometimes but not always depending on the sex of their abuser, they may or may not have a preference for or therapeutic issues with the sex of who supports them.[2] The needs of these men should be addressed but this necessary provision should not affect the needs of the majority of female victim-survivors and provision of single sex services to meet their needs; neither should the support and therapeutic needs of males survivors of childhood sexual violence and abuse who come to identify as transgender.

It should not be seen as, and it is not, an indication of disrespect to Andrea Waddel, Destiny Lauren, Sonia Burgess, Suzie Morl, Chrissie Azzopardi, Vanessa Santilan, William Lound, Naomi Hersi and Amy Griffiths to say that with regards to intimate partner homicide, the pattern of their relationships with the person who killed them is far closer to that of male-on-male fatal violence than that of men’s lethal violence against women. Of course what was done to them is abhorrent. But, the evidence suggests that the same services as those under short supply for women would not have saved the lives of most of these trans people.

By identifying the context of the sex industry, which inherently abusive; or substance use, I am not excusing what was done to these people any more than I would consider involvement in prostitution or drug use as an excuse for killing women, or any more than I would hold any woman responsible for abuse perpetrated against her. Prostitution turns people into products and abusive, predatory men who fully recognise the power imbalance in the transaction, into consumers. Prostitution puts people, mainly women, in situations where they are easy prey to murderous men. It is the twisted logic of sex trade advocates that creates a space for victim blaming and denies that prostitution is abuse.

Where fatal violence is concerned, the evidence is that the violence perpetrated against trans people, is not the same violence as that which is perpetrated against women. It’s not the same, it might be proportionate, there aren’t reliable statistics on the number of trans identifying people in the UK so we can’t calculate. Of course not all violence and abuse is fatal, but we can still learn a lot about violence from that which is. It is possible that rates of fatal violence against trans people by men are higher than those of males against women if we take population sizes into account, but this would make that violence more in line with men’s violence against other men, after all men kill more men every year than they kill women. This does not justify removing the single sex exemptions permissible under the Equality Act in the provision of services for women who have been subjected to men’s violence and more than any other form of men’s violence against other men.

Like most people, I do not want to see trans people suffering violence, harassment and discrimination. Universal human rights are an important principle. If we want to stop violence, including fatal violence against trans people, we would be better placed addressing the drivers of violence and abuse of people who do not conform to the gender stereotypes associated with their sex. As a feminist, I would say that we would be better placed dismantling sex-role or gendered stereotypes. Being abused and/or killed as or because you are a gender non-conforming man is not the same as being abused and/or killed as or because you are a women. We help no one if we don’t acknowledge who is doing what to whom and why, or by falsely claiming that that violence against trans people is the same as men’s violence against women.

Is it enough if a person in a position of responsibility apologises for an offensive joke?

Steve Reddy Liverpool Domestic Abuse Strategic Lead and mother-in-law jokes about women’s suspicious deaths

Steve Reddy, Director of Liverpool City Council Children & Young People Services and Domestic Abuse Strategic Lead tweeted the following ‘joke’:

“Friday [clown face emoji]. Mrs R still angry with me because I didn’t open the car door to help her mother out. But as I’ve said – I just panicked and swam to the surface! Compounded this somewhat by the wreath I ordered in the shape of a lifebelt – but it’s what she would have wanted…” (9 April 2021)

Angela Clarke, on twitter Angela Madigan, Liverpool City Council Domestic Abuse and Domestic Homicide Review Commissioner doesn’t seem to think so, if her response: “Back with a vengeance“ is anything to go by. And to which Reddy ‘oh-so-humorously’ responded “Cheers mate, I did it again.”

Liverpool’s independent specialist domestic abuse service, (LDAS), didn’t share the amusement and asked the Chair of the domestic abuse strategy group why he was using Bernard Manning humour about women dying.

After trying to justify himself, Reddy replaced the subject of his joke with his father-in-law, before also deleting this second version, shortly after he said that he apologised unreservedly for any offence caused, it was absolutely not his intention.

Mother-in-law jokes are or were a misogynistic trope of the UK mainstream cultural fabric. They position younger men as normative and socially valuable, whilst positioning older women as the antithesis to this, disdainful and other, whilst reminding younger women of their destiny as disposable objects of ridicule with patriarchal best-before dates and signalling to younger heterosexual men that they should be wary of what their female partner may become. As LDAS pointed out, mother-in-law jokes belong in the dustbin of entertainment from the 1970s when sexist, racist humour was a lazy prop for sexist racist comedians like Manning.  But the stereotype endures.

The Femicide Census found that 13 women in the UK had been killed by the partner or ex-partner of their daughter between 2009 and 2018, (in other words, 13 men killed women who were or had been their mother-in-law or equivalent), just over one percent of all women killed by men in the UK. More extreme than mother-in-law jokes, certainly, but not unconnected. Societal norms and values can either create a conducive context for men’s violence against women or they can challenge and deconstruct. Mother-in-law jokes in particular and the normalisation of men’s violence against women and the perceived different social value of women and men (sex inequality) are the backdrop of these men’s murderous intent and actions.

Between 2009 and 2018, 43 women in Merseyside were killed by men. They include 28-year-old Jade Hales and her mum, Karen Hales, 53, making Karen one of the 13 women who were mother-in-laws noted above. In 2016, Anthony Showers, 42, broke into his ex-partner Jade’s home and killed and raped her and killed her mother, his ex-mother-in-law, Karen, who was disabled and needed a frame to walk, by bludgeoning both women to death with a hammer. This year, Merseyside MPs held an emergency meeting called by Labour MP Paula Barker, after three women, Helen Joy, Rose Marie Tinton and N’Taya Elliott Cleverley, were killed in one weekend in January. Surely, this alone should mean that Liverpool’s senior council officials recognised – for themselves – that women’s suspicious deaths were not an appropriate subject matter for humour. It is inconceivable that the person who commissions domestic homicide reviews in the city was unaware of this.

Merseyside police reported an increase in reports of domestic abuse of 10.4 per cent – equivalent to 18,782 victims – between April 1 and November 30 2020, compared to the same period the year before.Yvonne Roberts, writing for the Observer, reported that in the last year LDAS, Liverpool’s specialist independent service for women,  has seen a 145% increase in demand for counselling and group-based support and the highest number of self-referrals in its 15-year history. Yet this specialist independent service of experts has increasingly found themselves frozen out by Liverpool City Council and council funded services for women victims of domestic violence and abuse in the city are provided by a national provider that does not have a specific focus on women victims of men’s violence. YSadly this commissioning pattern, ignoring decades of research that show that women victim-survivors of men’s violence are best served and feel safer using  specialist independent local women-led services and moreover, ignoring that women are the vast majority of victims of domestic and sexual violence, has been seen across the UK for more than a decade.  If a woman in Liverpool looks for domestic abuse support on Liverpool City Council’s website, the first ‘service’ she will see is that for ‘Ask Ani’, a national scheme much vaunted by the government, whereby women can approach any one of 2,500 pharmacies and ask for Ani. In contrast to the experience of Liverpool’s specialist service and those of specialist independent women’s charities across the country, the Ask Ani scheme, with its 2,500 access points, has attracted less that one woman a week across the entire country since its launch in January. Women who are subjected to men’s violence reach out to those they trust. It doesn’t look to me like Ask Ani is it. When abused women don’t access services, it doesn’t mean that abuse isn’t happening, it’s much more likely to mean that  (if they know about the service) they don’t think it can or will help.  

Men’s fatal violence against women isn’t the only reason that Liverpool has made the national news this year. Girls at Broughton Hall Catholic High School, in West Derby, Liverpool, were advised to wear shorts under their skirts after male pupils were allegedly caught taking photos up their skirts as they used a transparent glass staircase. The school had previously taken swift action to address its concerns that females were wearing inappropriate pencil skirts by sending them home. Evidently the school expects females to take responsibility for the male gaze and sexual harassment.

Steve Reddy, Director of Liverpool City Council Children & Young People Services and Domestic Abuse Strategic Lead, also has form with his regard to his antipathy to recognising the critical importance of sex differences with regards to sexual and domestic violence and abuse. In 2018, Steve Reddy’s first act, as Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy Lead was to propose that the VAWG strategic group was renamed because  (to quote from his own email)  the “remit and scope did not sufficiently capture the breadth of issues involved in domestic abuse – particularly in terms of male victims.”

The United Nations recognises that (men’s) violence against women in public and private life impedes the ability of women and girls to claim, realize [SIC] and enjoy their human rights on an equal foot with men. Is it enough if someone in a position of responsibility apologises for an offensive joke? One of the things I’d want to know is whether ‘the joke’ chimes or contrasts with their track record. We can all say or do things that we regret and don’t really mean when we reflect on them later. But it’s not the only question. What if that person has a lead role with regards to the protection of the demographic that is the subject of said joke? What if violence – including fatal violence – against that demographic has reached unprecedented levels? What if that person’s track record is one of undermining the human rights abuses of and specialist provision for that subjugated demographic? Then, no, whether causing offence was the intention or not, I don’t think it is good enough.

On 13 April, Reddy announced that he was standing down as chair of Liverpool Domestic Abuse Strategy Group.