Speech to Scottish Parliament – January 14th 2020
nia is a charity based in north east London run by women, for women, girls and children who have been subjected to men’s violence– primarily sexual and domestic violence and abuse, including prostitution. nia has been operating for 45 years, We provide advocacy and counselling through East London Rape Crisis for women and girls aged 11 and above, regardless of when they were subjected to sexual violence, who perpetrated it and how long ago it happened, we have two refuges, one for women with problematic substance use and one for women who have been involved in prostitution and we were provide a range of community based services for women subjected to domestic violence and abuse and prostitution. I’ve been CEO of nia for the last 10 and altogether I’ve been working in specialist women’s services for almost 30 years. Last year, across nia’s various projects, we provided one-to-one face-to-face support to just over 1,500 women and girls, 8 men – and 5 people who identified as transgender, all male. We haven’t yet been approached by a trans-identified female, but given the changing profile of the trans population, we know this is just a matter of time. Then again, because they don’t consider themselves to be women and we are a women’s charity, perhaps they’ll choose not to access us; perhaps, we can expect to be contacted by them if they need us if they join the growing number of de-transitioners.
Where contracts require us to support men and some do, we do so; and male victims are treated with the same levels of skill, respect and dignity as women and girls. We do not support men in venues that we use to support women and we do not support men at all in our refuges or our therapeutic groups. We do not employ males.
A couple of years ago, nia’s board of trustees, in the latter stages of finalising the charity’s strategic plan, took the decision to identify supporting the preservation of women-only services as one of our strategic objectives. We agreed that if we did not speak out, we were being complicit in the erosion of women-led specialist services for survivors of men’s violence. We have developed a ‘Prioritising Women Policy’ which meets our obligations under the Equality Act and uses the single sex exemptions permitted therein.
We knew that this decision was not without risks. Like many small and medium sized charities, nia cannot take financial security for granted. We’re run on a handful of 2-3 year contracts. Each winter, as we look at the financial forecast for the coming year, there is a deficit. We carefully balance spending requirements, contracts that are still running, looking at those that are ending and asking ourselves whether we have a chance of retaining them, and how much we have in reserves just in case, and we hold our breath and tentatively continue. I’ve been doing this for 10 years now with nia and it doesn’t get any easier, and some years are definitely worse than others. Anyway, despite this, nia’s board bravely decided to focus on the bigger picture of what is best for women, in particular those subjected to men’s violence – and agreed that if, as a charity, this was going to be the hill we died on, we would go down fighting. We would go down fighting and prioritising women.
One of the most important ways that we can contribute to creating a ‘safe space’ for women who have experienced men’s violence ……. is quite simply by keeping men out. Men are far more likely to commit violence than women. Exclude men and you are very significantly reducing the prevalence of violence.
Over the last 10 years, 85% of those found guilty of domestic homicide in Scotland were males. Also in Scotland, in the year ending March 2017:
- 86% of homicide suspects were male
- 79% of prosecutions for common assault were of males
- 91% of prosecutions for serious assault were of males
- 98% of prosecutions for sexual violence were against males.
I’m not naive or dishonest enough to claim that women are never violent – of course some women are. But when women are violent – and remember it’s statistically way less frequent – when we are – we generally cause less harm than violent men. And, there is no credible evidence suggesting that males who identify as trans commit violence against women at lower rates than those who do not. I’m not saying that men who identify as transgender are inherently violent or that all trans identified males are violent – just that they are no less violent that other males. And they are males.
In addition, but just as importantly, we know -– and independent research confirms – that women subjected to men’s violence feel safer and fare better in women only spaces and value those run by independent women-led charities most of all.
Some say that ‘we’ – those of us working is specialist women’s services – can use risk assessments to assess whether a male who says he is trans poses a risk to women. Let’s look at this in relation to women’s refuges:
When a risk assessment is completed with a woman looking to move in to a refuge, time is usually critical. You need to help her to get to a place of safety and quickly. She’s either already left her home or is planning to do so urgently because she is in danger. Maybe she’s called and needs to get out whilst her partner is due to be out of the house for a few hours. You’re also looking at whether the location of the refuge offers safety and can meet the woman’s needs and those of her children if she has them, and whether she herself might pose a risk to others living in the refuge. With risk assessment, you’re assessing the risk she is facing from her partner and planning how you can help her to reduce the often intensified risks associated with actually leaving an abusive man. The Femicide Census, a project I co-founded, told us that a third of women who are killed by a partner/ex-partner, are killed after they have left him. Of these about a third are killed within the first month and two-thirds within the first year. Leaving an abusive man is dangerous and difficult. Risk assessment with safety planning can help save lives. Risk assessment is not about assessing whether or not a woman is, in reality, a violent male.
If you expect refuges to accommodate males who identify as trans, you’re asking staff in already under-resourced women’s refuges (Scottish Women’s Aid report that cuts to Scottish refuges have increased from 14% to 41% between 2009 and 2016. Their annual survey reported that 30% of survivors who sought refuge in Scotland had to be turned away), you’re asking staff in already under-resourced women’s refuges, to differentiate between:
- Transgender people born male who have genuinely experienced men’s violence and have managed to unpick their male socialisation and who will not use their sense of male entitlement or sexism or misogyny to harm, reduce and control women in the refuge and
- those transgender people born male who have genuinely experienced violence but are still dripping in male privilege and advantage and who hate or resent women; and
- those transgender people born male who are narcissistic perpetrators who have managed to convince themselves (and others) that they are victims , and
- those transgender people born male who are seeking validation, which some, if they were self-aware and able to be honest, would recognise as a need that can never be satisfied, and who might prioritise their validation above the needs of women, and
- those transgender people born male who are autogynophiles (that’s a male who is sexually aroused by the thought of himself as a female) or other fetishists, and,
- finally other men who are pretending to be trans in order to track down a particular woman or predatory men trying to access women in general. And we do know that violent and abusive men lie and manipulate. Violent and abusive men stand up in court, swear to tell the truth and lie and manipulate.
No one’s yet explained to me how risk assessment is supposed to screen out most of those men – let alone convinced me of the wisdom of trying to make a bedroom for a fox in a henhouse. Risk assessment is about identifying risks posed by violent men and mitigating against them, not chucking in a few extra because you can.
But …. let’s set that small matter aside. Let’s imagine for a moment that you could, as some claim, risk assess trans-identified males for their suitability and safety to inhabit your space or attend your service, which of course is now no-longer women-only. What you’re ignoring if you do this is the impact of men’s presence on women who’ve been subjected to men’s violence.
It’s not unusual for women who’ve been subjected to men’s violence to develop a trauma response. These sometimes develop after a single incident of violence, especially with sexual violence, but also sometimes after years or months of living in fear, walking on egg-shells, recognising that tone of voice, that look in the eyes, that sigh, that pause, that silence, that change in his breathing. Some women have lived this, with a succession of perpetrators starting from their dad, all their lives.
A trauma informed approach is based on understanding the physical, social, and emotional impact of trauma caused by experiencing sexual and domestic violence and abuse. A trauma-informed service understands the importance of creating an environment – physical and relational – that feels safe to victims-survivors in all the ways I’ve just mentioned. A trauma-informed safe space creates space for action and recovery from violence and abuse and places the woman victim-survivor in control and in the centre. For many women this absolutely means excluding men from that space, including those who don’t identify as men.
Women are gas-lighted (manipulated to question their own judgement or even sanity) by their abusive male partners all the time. It is a cornerstone of coercive control. As a service provider you are in a position of power, no matter how you try to balance this out, and of course we do as much as possible to balance this out, but ultimately it is inescapable. You are not offering a trauma informed environment if you, in your position of power, gaslight traumatised women and pretend that someone that you both really know is a man, is actually a woman. It is furthering the abuse to then expect women to share what you say is women-only space with males who say that they are women, because you and they know are not. Part of your role is to help women to learn to trust themselves again, not replace the batshit that their abuser has filled their head with, with a new version. All this is on top of what I looked at earlier, that statistically women are safer in women only environments – because men commit violence at significantly higher rates.
It isn’t just women experiencing serious and debilitating trauma who benefit from women-only spaces and services. Women tell us that they want and value women-only space for safety, empathy, trust, comfort, a focus on women’s needs, the expertise of female staff often themselves survivors. They tell us they feel more confident and find them less intimidating. Women-only spaces offer not only a space away from the specific man that women are escaping or who has violated them but away from men in general; away from men’s control and demands for attention; away from men taking physical and mental space; away from the male gaze and men’s constant appraisal of women; away from men’s expectations to be cared for and, just as importantly, a space where women share in common experiences of abuse despite how these differ and despite all the other differences between us. A space with others who understand, to whom you don’t have to explain why you didn’t leave earlier and who know how easy it is to feel guilty or stupid because you didn’t.
We know that at least 80% of males who hold a gender recognition certificate retain their penis, but anyway, we don’t need to know what’s in their pants to know they are a man. Women experiencing trauma after violence and abuse will, like most of us – almost always instantly read someone who might be the most kind and gentle trans identified male in the world – as male; and they may experience debilitating terror immediately and involuntarily, they will modify their behaviour, their actions and expectations in countless ways, many that they are not consciously aware off. They need and deserve a break, don’t they?
Since I’ve spoken out to defend women-only services, I’ve lost count of the number of victim-survivors of men’s violence who have told me how important a women only service was to them. They’re often upset and emotional when they start to talk about this.
That any woman working in, but most of all those in leadership positions which are connected to women’s welfare, are prepared to sit on the fence about the importance of women-only spaces for victim survivors of men’s violence, and whether men can magically become women, makes me want to both rage – and weep. You cannot opt of this. You cannot sit back. You cannot, especially if you are happy to accept the salary and other perks of a leadership position claim to ‘have an opinion on this’ but in the next breath say it ‘isn’t safe for me to speak out’. None of women’s political gains were achieved by well-paid women who played safe and put themselves first rather than women as a class. How dare any woman take a leadership position and leave it to others, many of them victim-survivors, to do this? How dare they claim to care about women’s safety and look away, pretending that there is nothing to see here? Please don’t look away.
This not about hate. It’s not about bigotry. It is not anti-trans. It’s about women and children who have been subjected to men’s violence. Can we please just sometimes – sometime like now – put them first?
Total number of female homicide victims aged 16 years and over = 1,816
Total number of female homicide suspects = 445
There are 75% fewer female homicide suspects than there are victims.
Total number of male homicide victims aged 16 years and over = 4,288
Total number of male homicide suspects = 4,696
There are 10% more male homicide suspects than there are victims.
- Trans people (all male)[iii]
Total number of male homicide victims aged 16 years and over = 8
Total number of male homicide suspects = 12
There are 50% more trans-identified male homicide suspects than there are victims.
Updated 21 November 2019 to include deaths in 2019
Trans people (all male)[iii]
Total number of male homicide victims aged 16 years and over = 8
Total number of male homicide suspects = 13
There are 62.5% more trans-identified male homicide suspects than there are victims.
N.B. As far as I know, the ONS don’t state whether or not they include data from trans perpetrators and suspects by their sex or (assumed) trans gender identity, therefore trans victims and murders are also included in the data for women and/or men.
I’ve been challenged both for not including trans-identified males in my work on Counting Dead Women and for commemorating males who identify as transgender from Counting Dead Women on Trans Day of Remembrance.
This is a brief summary of my position so that I can refer people to it rather than rehash the same thing or ignore them.
Since I started @CountDeadWomen in January 2012, I’ve recorded the names of 1,063 UK women killed by men:
- 2012 -141 women
- 2013 -151 women
- 2014 -156 women
- 2015 -138 women
- 2016 – 125 women
- 2017 – 147 women
- 2018 – 146 women
- 2019 – at least 59 women up to 21 July
I haven’t tweeted then all from @CountDeadWomen because I didn’t plan this as a campaign, it evolved naturally.
On the 20th November- Trans Day of Remembrance 2018, I tweeted to commemorate a trans-identified male, Naomi Hersi. According to some, this makes me a sell-out.
I do not believe that ‘transwomen’ are women but I have no problem whatsoever recognising the humanity of people who identify as transgender. I have no problem acknowledging the humanity of all males. I observe the minute’s silence on Armistice Day in memory of all victims of all wars.
I recognise that many people who identify as transgender are subjected to violence, abuse, discrimination and even death because they adopt so-called gender norms that are not those stereotypically associated with their sex. I think this is deplorable. I do not believe people can change sex and I think ‘gender’ functions to maintain male supremacy and female subordination.
I can and do recognise that many males who identify as transgender are killed in circumstances related to prostitution and drug use, situations that some would call ‘high risk’. I do not see that as a reason to excuse those murders any more than I think involvement in prostitution and/or drugs is an excuse for killing women.
There is an international Trans Day of Remembrance. I am happy to acknowledge this day. There is no equivalence for the far greater numbers of women who are killed by men, killed in most cases because they are women. I think this reflects the subordination of women and the acceptance and normalisation of men’s violence against women as natural and inevitable. I believe it is neither. Counting Dead Women is a way I have chosen to address this for myself.
I believe 7 males who identify as transgender have been killed in the the UK since 2012, that is 7 people too many and 7 people who are missed and mourned by those who loved them. I have not included them in Counting Dead Women and I don’t plan to do so in the future. As I stated above, more than 1,063 women have been killed by men in the same period. That is more than 1,063 women who are missed and mourned by those who loved them.
I firmly believe in our right to women-only spaces, services and organising. I believe in that women who have been subjected to men’s violence are best served by specialist independent women-only organisations running women-only services.
I have worked in services supporting women who have been subjected to sexual and domestic violence, exploited in prostitution and/or experiencing homelessness all my adult life, for 29 years. Last year, nia, the charity where I work gave face-to-face support to over 1,500 women and girls and, where our contracts require it, a small handful of males, some of whom identify as transgender. All people we support are treated with respect and dignity.
If you think acknowledging the murder of Naomi Hersi makes me a sell-out, so be it. You do your thing, I’ll do mine. If you think I’m denying the humanity of people who identify as transgender by not including males in Counting Dead Women, so be it. You do your thing, I’ll do mine
On 6 June, scrolling through twitter, I came across the news that Munroe Bergdorf had been chosen to be an ‘influencer’ for the child protection and safeguarding charity, the NSPCC. This struck me as somewhat surprising. Like many child safeguarding charities, the NSPCC has rightly acknowledged the sexualisation of children as being both directly and indirectly harmful to children’s wellbeing; and surely recognises valuing people based on their appearance, is not something that those with an interest in children’s mental health would encourage. My limited knowledge of Bergdorf, is of someone who trades on their appearance, often highly sexualised and who is ‘famous for being famous’. So, I googled ‘NSPCC child sexualisation’ and came across guidance that they had published in February this year on protecting children from harmful sexual behaviour, and then googling Bergdorf and one of the first images I found was them sitting on a tyre, legs akimbo, mouth agape, naked except for yellow tape with matching gloves and boots.
My concerns about this apparent contradiction confirmed, I juxtaposed an image of a screenshot of the NSPCC document next to the image of Bergdorf and tweeted the following comment:
“February 2019 – NSPCC: Here’s our guidance on protecting children from harmful sexual behaviour
May 2019 – @NSPCC: Heeyyy, meet our new ‘influencer’ Munroe Bergdorf”
I assumed that people would read the image as illustrating what I saw as the contradictory positions of the two statements. Neither were screen caps (as far as I’m aware) directly from NSPCC publicity and I did not intend to imply that they were. However, one or two people interpreted the tweet in that way and seemed to think that the NSPCC had used the image, so I deleted it.
A couple of days later, someone brought to my attention that Bergdorf had commented on the tweet on Instagram. Since then, the issue and tweet has attracted attention and rather than continue to repeat myself on twitter, I’ve decided to summarise some of my responses to issues raised here:
1) The suggestion (from Bergdorf) that the shot is no more risky than anything shot by Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Rihanna, Britney or Madonna – and no one’s trying to stop them working to empower younger generation
I agree. However, these women are world famous because of a perceived musical or performing talent – not just for being photographed. I apologised to Bergdorf if my lack of knowledge of what’s going down musically with young people meant I was missing their world famous musical back catalogue. It’s also true that I wish that women’s musical output didn’t need to be illustrated with sexualised imagery – what’s wrong with a nice pair of dungarees and a cardigan?
2) The accusation that I hadn’t complained about other people associated with NSPCC who had been photographed in various states of undress and therefore I’m a bigoted cishet transphobic white definitely-not-feminist
It’s true that I haven’t, but that doesn’t mean that I think these women have anything more to offer than Bergdorf and I would probably find some of the images of them equally objectionable – but they weren’t the ones I saw being announced on twitter. It’s a common logical fallacy, sometimes known as ‘whatabouterry’ to suggest that because a person makes a comment in response to a specific issue, their response to a similar issue would be different.
To be clear, I don’t think images of any woman airbrushed within an inch of Barbie are those which should confront children and Berdorf’s so-called ‘gender identity’ is of no interest or relevance in this respect.
I’m happy to admit that I want a world where children aspire to be more than what they look like. I want role models who offer this.
I don’t want people to stop supporting the NSPCC. I do want the NSPCC to have the broadest understanding of the harms to children, and these include sexualisation and sex role stereotypes., and that gender is a hierarchy with women and girls at the bottom.
3) The accusation that I’m anti-LGBT
I’m not. To suggest otherwise ignores the concerns that many, including lesbians and gay men, have identified regarding the homophobia inherent in transgender ideology, and the increasing abuse of lesbians who defend the boundaries of same-sex attraction. On the other-hand, Bergdorf has made some reprehensible comments about lesbians.
4) The suggestion that I have said that “women – particularly queer and trans women – who have engaged in any kind of sexual or pornographic work are a danger to children.”
I haven’t said this and to state that I have is libellous.
However, the sexualisation of children is a huge and harmful global problem. It is not only absurd to obfuscate the harms to children – by males – through pornography and the sex trade, it is grossly irresponsible. Men pay to rape children and get their sexual kicks from watching images of child sexual abuse. The sexualisation of children normalises child sex abuse. This indeed is a danger to children.
5) The accusation that the image I used was ‘doctored’
It wasn’t, it was two images juxtaposed, to illustrate a contradiction. There’s an irony though, isn’t there? As one might struggle to find an image of Bergdorf that isn’t doctored.
After reflecting on the silencing of women, feminists in particular, I’ve regretted deleting my tweet but I also acknowledge that some people really might mis-read the image so I’ve shared it again here, with a few words of explanation.
Accusations of transphobia are used to silence women, whether we’re objecting to the sexualisation of children, men’s fatal violence against women or men’s attempts to coerce/ force lesbians to have sex with them. Twitter and other social media platforms are actively silencing feminists and now gay men too. It isn’t going to work. If you try to silence some of us, others will ensure that their voices are heard and add their own. We will identify, name and resist the sexual exploitation of women and children. We will fight to maintain sex based rights and protections. You can bully, threaten and assault us. We are not going away. You will not shut us up.
(This is primarily about learning to live with infertility.)
Happy 40th birthday. Except it really isn’t. The phone call yesterday took away that possibility. The phone call that was the endpoint of weeks and months of tests and drugs and gynecological examinations and surgery. First the pathway to IVF treatment of heavy duty hormones to regulate your periods which were never irregular anyway and which made you emotionally unstable for months. Though that wasn’t really first, because it followed years of trying to get pregnant the way that most people do – sex whether either or both of you wanted it or not because it was that time of the month and the tests said fertile window. Then the follicle stimulating drugs that you had to inject into your stomach to force your body to produce extra eggs where you were dangerously over-treated to the point that your abdomen hurt when you walked. Then the euphemistically named ‘eggs harvesting’ when they didn’t give you enough sedative so you partly came round mid-surgery, aware of the blood and in terrible pain but unable to move or speak on the operating table, desperately trying to let them know you were conscious. But – great news – your body had produced 28 eggs (way more than it safely should have) and at least seven were suitable for fertilisation. Might you want two or three to be implanted when they fertilised? Sure, twins would be a challenge but how exciting. Might you want to freeze some, just in case? ‘We’ll ring you tomorrow to tell you how many have fertilised.’
I can still see you answering the phone. ‘We’re sorry, zero fertilisation.’ That’s it. Done. No return to the clinic for the embryos to be put in your womb. No ‘two-week wait’ to see if they implanted, to see if you will be pregnant. You’ll call your partner, hardly able to speak with the grief and ask him to come home to be with you.
That was your one and only shot on the NHS. What will follow is three more privately funded attempts. You will know that you are ‘lucky’ to be able to do this, to have some paltry savings to plunder, a home to remortgage and a job and credit history that permitted you to get into debt.
You will become pregnant once. Elated you will buy a ‘you and your pregnancy’ book. You will never get beyond the stage when the foetus is as big as a kidney bean. You will sit in the sunshine on the stone steps to the office, sobbing after you’ve seen the blood in your pants. You will hit lows that you have not anticipated. You will become depressed, but you won’t take medication because it might affect a pregnancy. You will forever hate the acronym PMA and the phrase it stands for: ‘positive mental attitude.’ The book will go in the bin. You will come to believe that hope is the most cruel of emotions.
The fourth time will be the last. You don’t expect it to work but you want to know that you took it as far as you could. You need to stop hoping.
You are the oldest of six half-siblings with two step-siblings and six parents between you (it’s complicated); the oldest cousin of 25 from one set of grandparents alone. You have worked in busy women’s refuges bulging with women and their children. You’ve always been surrounded by children and always been remarked upon as ‘a natural’, you knew you weren’t, you’d just been trained since birth. You have always enjoyed children but will come to find their presence unbearably painful. Nothing more than a reminder of what you cannot have. You’ll feel stuck – what’s the template for long-term relationships, where is the evolution when you don’t become parents?
You will not be supported at work, in fact your line manager will use your vulnerability against you. You will walk out of your job with nothing to go to next. And it will be a blessed relief. You will be able to burn your fertility medical notes in the garden incinerator before you are able to burn your work supervision and appraisal notes. You will tell yourself that the break will be a chance to re-evaluate and decide if working in organisations supporting women subjected to men’s violence is what you really want to do. You will find that it is, that nothing else feels right. You will get a job as CEO of a fantastic organisation. It will be wonderful and sometimes hellish as funding crises threaten its viability, there will be times when you really don’t think there’s a way out, but with the board, and the senior management team, you will manage to find a way through. The commitment of the staff team and the horrors that they face in their day to day work will humble you. The strength of women subjected to men’s violence will inspire and motivate you. A young woman that you have never met will be killed by the ex- boyfriend she was trying to leave and she will change your life. You will start to count dead women and you will record their names.
You will struggle with the concept of ‘mother privilege’. You know that reproduction has been weaponised as one of the main tools of the oppression of women, you can clearly see the many and wide-ranging negative impacts on other women. You can even empathise when they describe the difficulties the endure, but you are deeply jealous and wish that you faced some of those difficulties. You watch other women battle over the concept. You mainly keep quiet. You can see both sides and admitting to either feels like a betrayal of the other.
One day, a Saturday morning just over four years after that phone call, you will read an article in the paper about a woman who has recently set up a support group for women who are struggling to come to terms with childlessness. You’re probably still sobbing when you send the email trying to find out how and whether you can take part. A few weeks later you will find yourself one of a small group of involuntarily childless women about to undertake a 10-week one-evening-a-week set of group work sessions. You will feel surprised when you hear yourself tell the group that being passed a baby feels like being passed poison to you, that you automatically recoil, that this is who you have become. You’ll go to the group and you will struggle with the concept of finding a ‘Plan B’, because your life is okay, your ‘Plan A’, which was never really a plan but just what happened is fine, except you’re not raising a family. One session, you are asked to think about the things you used to say to yourself that might have stopped you doing or achieving what you wanted. You realise that you still do this. You say no to things that you think are not for someone like you, that someone else can probably do better. You recognise that these are bound in your social and sex class socialisation. You resolve to start to say yes. Outside of this, you won’t be able to pin down how or why the group helped you, except it is very clear that it did. Something shifts.
People will continue to say thoughtless things. They’ll ask if you’ve thought of adoption or tell you that they understand because it took them some time to conceive, but it stops being so painful. The people who do will sometimes surprise you, as will those who show empathy and support that you would not have expected. You will lose friends, sometimes because they can’t be there for you, sometimes because you can’t be there for them. You will let them go, sometimes with sadness but always with acceptance and you will wish them well. Some will stay with you and you will make new ones and they will become a genuine source of joy, love and sustenance in your life. Your relationship with your partner will adapt and grow. The notion of ‘once in a lifetime holidays’ loses meaning as you get opportunities to visit places you thought that you never would and places that you’d never even heard of before. You’ll begin to love to travel and your partner will be the perfect travelling companion and much more.
You will start a PhD. Haha, yes, really. I still don’t know whether you’ll complete or pass it – but you might. One of the reasons that you started was because you were worried that what you said wouldn’t have any validity without it, but you will also come to see that academic tail-chasing can stop people from taking action. You will realise that you have something to say about men’s violence against women. Women and feminism will bring so much to your life.
You will see your brothers and sisters and many cousins many photos of their many children on facebook and you will no longer need to hide or unfollow them. You’ll feel the joy of being part of a big family again but you will regret that they are so far away. You will see your contemporaries become grandmothers and though it will be bittersweet, your smiles for them will be genuine. You will still wonder what old age will hold when you don’t have a family of your own to accompany you through it.
Your unconscious mind will remind you every year of that phone call and the miscarriage, you’ll feel a strange cold hollow that you can’t explain until you remember, but it gets easier. You won’t remember the last time you cried about your childlessness and even though you know it will not have been the last time, that will be okay.
You will notice that you have slowly begun to accept that the ‘surprise pregnancy when you had stopped trying’ is not going to happen to you. You are too old. You will not be defined by your infertility, even though it will always be part of you.
You will never know why.
You will love your mardy cat too much. You will enjoy and value your life. It will feel full and fulfilling. You will be happy. Sometimes you will even wonder whether it’s better this way. It’s fine not knowing.
At least 111 UK women have been killed by men (or where a man is the principal suspect) in 2019.
- 1 January 2019: Charlotte Huggins, 33 was stabbed in the early hours of New Year’s Day in London by her ex-partner Michael Rolle, 34.
- 1 January 2019: Jay Edmunds, 27, was killed in a house fire in Kirton, Lincolnshire, which was deliberately started by her ex-partner Ashley Martin, 32. Martin was also one of three people left dead.
- 4 January 2019: Simbiso Aretha Moula, 39, was found dead with her husband Garikayi Moula, 51 in Rainham, Essex. Police believe she was strangled by him after which he hanged himself.
- 5 January 2019: Sarah Ashraf, 35, was found dead at home in London. Her brother, Khalid Ashraf, 32, has been charged with her murder.
- 11 January 2019: Asma Begum, 31, was stabbed more than 60 times, mainly in her head and neck by her husband Jalal Uddin, 46, in their home in East London.
- 13 January 2019: Luz Margory Isaza Villegas, 50, strangled by her husband Rodrigo Tascon, 55. Her shoved her body into a suitcase and set charred remains in a shallow grave in Hertfordshire.
- 14 January 2019: Leanne Unsworth, 40, died of head injuries inflicted by Shaun Sanders, 39, in Lancashire.
- 15 January 2019: Christy Walshe, 40, was shot in the face at point-blank range by her partner Michael Strudwick, 33, in Southend, Essex.
- 16 January 2019: Alison Hunt, 42, was stabbed 18 times on the doorstep of her home in Swinton by her ex-partner Vernon Holmes, 47.
- 22 January 2019: Mary Annie Sowerby, 69, known as Annie, was stabbed repeatedly in her chest and neck by her son, Lee Sowerby, 40, as she sat watching TV in her home in Cumbria.
- 27 January 2019: Margaret Smyth, 29, known as Maggie, was missing for six days before police found parts of her body under rubble at a former pub in Bolton where her ex-partner Christopher Taylor, 39, had been working. Her leg was found in a park by a dog walker, her head has not been found.
- 1 February 2019: Mary Page, 68, was kicked and punched by her son, Mathew Page, 40, before he killed her by hitting her over the head with a bedside table at her home in Wolverhampton. He made a plea of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility and was jailed for 6-years.
- 1 February 2019: Libby Squire, 21, disappeared after a night out in Hull, her body was found in the Humber estuary 7-weeks later. Pawel Relowicz, 25, with rape and murder in October.
- 1-2 February 2019: Antoinette Donnegan, 52, was found strangled in a flat in London on 7 March but it is believed she had been killed 5 weeks before. A post-mortem found she had seven broken ribs, a deep gash to her head, and had been strangled by clothing. Kristian Smith, 41, has been charged with her murder.
- 7 February 2019: Rosie Derbyshire, 27, was found dead in the street in Preston, Lancashire with serious head injuries. Benjamin Topping, 25, said to be her boyfriend, has been charged with her murder.
- 8 February 2019: Aliny Mendes, 39, was stabbed multiple times in the street by her ex-husband Ricardo Godinho, 41, as she went to collect her children from school in Surrey.
- 11 February 2019: Sarah Henshaw, 40, was attacked with a hammer and then strangled with a vacuum cord whilst in bed in her home in Leeds, by her ex-partner Kileo Mbega, 32.
- 14 February 2019: Dorothy Bowyer, 77, was stabbed to death by her grandson William Blundson, 23, in Derbyshire.
- 15 February 2019: A 73-year old woman who has not yet been named died 11 days after being mugged in Birmingham. A 15-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons has been charged. Two other women were also attacked.
- 25 February 2019: Jodi Miller, 21, was kicked and stabbed by Kahar Ali, 29, who had repeatedly accosted her and demanded to pay her for sex which she refused, in Leeds.
- 1 March 2019: Jodie Chesney, 17, was stabbed in the back whilst walking through a park with friends in East London. Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, 19, has been charged with murder, along with Manuel Petrovic, 20 and two other males aged 16 and 17.
- 2 March 2019: Elize Stevens, 50, was stabbed 86 times in London, by her partner, Ian Levy, 54, who claimed that he feared she would leave him.
- 6 March 2019: Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, was found naked, wrapped in bin-bags in a shallow grave in her garden in west London. She had been strangled by her ex-boyfriend Kirill Belorusov, 32.
- 7 March 2019: Giselle Marimon-Herrera, 37 and her 15-year-old daughter Allison, were found dead. Police have said that Allison was strangled and there was a “strong possibility” her mother had died in the same way. Russell Steele, 38, said to be Giselle’s partner is believed to killed them before hanging himself.
- 7 March 2019: (see above) Allison Marimon-Herrera, 15 and her 37-year-old mother, Giselle, were found dead. Police have said that Allison was strangled and there was a “strong possibility” her mother had died in the same way. Russell Steele, 38, said to be Giselle’s partner is believed to killed them before hanging himself.
- 9 March 2019: Lalal Kamara, 26, was found dead in a flat in Denton, Greater Manchester. Mustapha Dia, 21, has been charged with her murder.
- 10 March 2019: Alice Morrow, 53, was found dead following an assault in Belfast. William Hutchinson, 42, has been charged with her murder.
- 17 March 2019: Rachel Evans, 46, was stabbed or slashed more than 100 times by her ex-partner, with whom she had recently ended their relationship, Carl Harrison, 42, in Liverpool.
- 20 March 2019: Alison McKenzie, 55, was killed by her son, Ian McKenzie, 34, in Middleborough. She had seven stab wounds to her head and neck and jugular vein, and three further punctures to her face and bruises to her head and body.
- 22 March 2019: Janette Dunbavand, 81, and her husband John Dunbavand, 81, were found dead in their home. It is believed that he shot her before shooting himself.
- 27 March 2019: Barbara Heywood, 80, was stabbed to death at her home in Manchester. Her 88-year-old husband Arthur Haywood was arrested on suspicion of her murder and later detained under the Mental Health Act.
- 2 April 2019: Paula Meadows, 83, was found dead at home. Her 84-year-old husband, Tony Meadows is believed to have killed her before killing himself.
- 9 April 2019: Anna Reed, 22, from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, was found dead in Switzerland, A most mortem revealed that she died from asphyxiation and had small fractures and cuts on her body. Her boyfriend Marc Schatzle, 29, has been charged with her murder.
- 17 April 2019: Sarah Fuller, 35, was been strangled to death by her partner Jason Carr, 35 in Exeter.
- 20 April 2019: Megan Newton, 18, was found dead in a property in Stoke-on-trent. Joseph Trevor, 18, has been charged with her murder.
- 21 April 2019: Leah Fray, 27, was found dead in a burning flat in Leicester. Curtis Moyse, 18, has been charged with murder, rape and arson.
- 23 April 2019: Siama Riaz, 33, was found dead after police were called to attend to a stabbing in Rochdale. Mohammed Choudhry, 36, has been charged with murder.
- 23 April 2019: Sammy-Lee Lodwig, 22, was found stabbed with cuts to her throat, forehead and chest in Swansea. Her ‘boyfriend’ Jason Farrell, 49, who had previously been in a relationship with her mother, had tied her up on the bed before killing her.
- 26 April 2019: Amy Parsons, 35, was bludgeoned to death with a metal bar whilst in the shower causing horrific injuries to her head, face and brain. Her partner, Roderick Deakin-White, 37, has been charged with her murder.
- 29 April 2019: Emma Faulds, 39, was last seen alive. Ross Willox, 40, was charged with her murder on 10 May. Her body was found on 12 June.
- 30 April 2019: Lauren Griffiths, 21, was found dead in her flat in Cardiff. In October 2019, Madog Rowlands, 22, was charged with her murder.
- 3 May 2019: Ellie Gould, 17, was stabbed to death by school friend Thomas Griffiths, 17, in Wiltshire, after refusing to be his girlfriend.
- 6 May 219: Joanne Hamer, 48, was found dead at home in Lincolnshire when police attended due to fears for her safety. Her husband Ian Hamer, 53, has been charged with her murder.
- 10 May 2019: Mavis Long, 77, died in hospital. Her husband Frank Long, 80, has been charged with her murder, by throwing hot oil over her in the chip shop they owned.
- 12 May 2019: Julia Rawson, 42, was last seen alive, her remains were found a month later in Tipton, W.Midlands; she was identified by her dental records and DNA. Nathan Maynard-Ellis, 28, and David Leesley, 23 have been charged in relation to her murder.
- 20 May 2019: Tatiana Koudriavtsev, 68 and 69-year-old husband were stabbed to death by their son Sergey Koudriavtsev, 48, in London.
- 24 May 2019: Jayde Hall, 26, was stabbed to death by 46-year-old Carl Scott, in Stoke-on-Trent, just days after ending her relationship with him.
- 27 May 2019: Elizabeth McShane, 39, was found dead with her partner Hugh Sinclair, 33 in a flat in Glasgow. Police are treating their deaths as murder-suicide.
- 29 May 2019: Linda Treeby, 64, was found with serious head injuries after emergency services were called to a caravan site on the coast of Lincolnshire, but she died shortly afterwards. Her partner Andrew Highton, 50, has been charged with her murder.
- 5 June 2019: Regan Tierney, 27, was found stabbed to death in Salford. Her ex-partner, Daniel Patten, 31, who is suspected of having killed her died in hospital.
- 7 June 2019: Paige Gibson, 23, was stabbed to death in Halifax, W. Yorkshire by a 16-year-old male who cannot be named for legal reasons. He has been found guilty of her murder and jailed for 16 years.
- 9 June 2018: Neomi Smith, 23, was stabbed to death in Aberdeen. Keith Rizzo, 23, is alleged to have forced entry into her home, compressed her neck and then repeatedly struck her on the head and body with knives. He faces a separate charge of an earlier assault to her and allegations involving four other women – three described as ex-partners.
- 17 June 2019: Safie Xheta, 35, was killed by knife wounds to the neck. Her husband Fatos Xheta, 45, was treated for injuries and later charged with her murder. They lived in Oxford.
- 20 June 2019: Valerie Richardson, 49, was violently killed in her home in Fife by Ross Thom, 39, said to be a friend of hers, who then killed himself.
- 24 June 2018: Lucy Rushton, 30, was found with multiple injuries on 23 June and died the following day in Andover. Her estranged husband Shaun Dyson, 28, has been charged with her murder.
- 29 June 2019: Kelly Fauvrelle, 26, was stabbed at home in an attack that also killed her unborn baby. Her ex-partner Aaron McKenzie, 25, has accepted responsibility for their deaths.
- 1 July 2019: Joanna Thompson, 50, died after suffering neck injuries at her home, a teenage male was arrested and later detained under the Mental Health Act.
- 2 July 2019: Ligita Kostiajeviene, 42, died of severe head injuries following an armed siege at a house in Peterborough. Another woman and a child were injured in the attack. Andriejus Kostiajevas, 46, has been charged with murder, attempted murder, assault causing grievous bodily harm and assault on an emergency worker.
- 11 July 2019: Lesley Pearson, 74, was last seen alive. She was found dead in a shallow grave near her home in Spain on 22 July. Handyman/gardener Francisco Becerra, 45 has been charged with her murder.
- 11 July 2019: Carol Milne, 59, was found dead in her home in Aberdeen. Her 24-year-old son has been charged in relation to her death.
- 12 July 2019: Layla Arezo, 74, and her husband Akbar Arezo, 64, were stabbed to death in their home in South West London. Their son Mustafa Arezo, 31, has been charged with their murders.
- 15 July 2019: Doreen Virgo, 89, was found dead in a care home in Norfolk; she died of compression to the neck. Her husband Michael Virgo, 81, has been charged in relation to her death.
- 18 July 2019: Diane Dyer, 61, died of blunt force injury to the neck and face in South West London. David McCorkell, 54, has been charged with her murder.
- 21 July 2019: Kayleigh Hanks, 29, was strangled to death in her home in East Sussex. Ian Paton, 36, has been charged with her murder.
- 30 July 2019: Kelly-Anne Case, 27, was found dead after a fire at her home. Brendan Rowan-Davies, 28, has been charged with her murder.
- 3 August 2019: Dorothy Woolmer, 89, was raped and murdered in London. She died of multiple blunt force injuries. Reece Dempster, 22, has been charged with murder, rape, burglary, and two counts of sexual assault.
- 5 August 2019: Dr Leela (Premm) Monti, 51, and her partner Robert Tully, 71, were found dead in the home in Lincolnshire. Her son, Andrei-Mihai Simion Muntean, 22, has been charged in relation to the deaths.
- 6 August 2019: Natalie Critchlow, 44, of north London, died of an infection after being in a fire in a family home in Barbados. Investigations are on-going.
- 12 August 2019: Lindsey Birbeck, 47, was last seen alive. She was found dead in a graveyard in Lancashire on 22 August, she had been strangled. A 16-year-old male has been charged in relation to her death.
- 17 August 2019: Belinda Rose, 63, a care worker was stabbed to death in Birmingham in a property in which she provided support to residents. Inderjit Ram, 52, has been charged with her murder.
- 17 August 2019: Pamela Mellor, 55, was found dead in a house in Handforth, Cheshire. Mathew Bolland, 43, has been charged with her murder.
- 19 August 2019: Linda Vilika, 41, was stabbed to death in Essex. Wilfred Jacob, 42, has been charged with her murder.
- 25 August 2019: Michelle Pearson, 36, died of injuries from an arson attack at her home in Salford in December 2017. The attack had killed four of her children. Zak Bolland and David Worral had both been given four life sentences for the children’s murders in May 2018.
- 26 August 2019: Rebecca Simpson, 30, died in hospital after being found with serious head injuries in Castelford, W,Yorkshire. Ricky Knott, 32, has been charged with her murder.
- 29 August 2019: Alice Farquharson, 56, was found dead at her home in Aberdeen. Her husband, Keith Farquharson, 60, has been charged In relation to her death.
- 29 August 2019: Laura Rakstelyte, 31, was stabbed to death in the neck and chest in London. Her ex-boyfriend Rahul Malhi, 43, then fatally stabbed himself.
- 31 August 2019: Sandra Samuels, 44, was found dead in Hackey, London. Gavin Lewis, 40, has been charged with her murder.
- 6 September 2019: Marlene McCabe, 71, had suffered serious head and face injuries before she was found dead in her home in Blackpool. Conor Clarkson, 25, has been charged with her murder.
- 11 September 2019: Lana Nemceva, 33, was found dead with her husband Kirils Nemcevs, 31, in the home in Burton, Staffordshire. Police are treating her death as murder and his as suicide.
- 12 September 2019: Bethany Fields, 21, was stabbed multiple times in the street in Huddersfield. Paul Crowther, 35, has been sent to a secure hospital in relation to his role in her death.
- 18 September 2019: Serafima Mashaka, 58, was killed in Ealing, W.London. Armen Aristakesyan, 41, has been charged with murder.
- 19 September 2019: Vera Hudson, 57, was found dead in her home in Hull. Mark Jewitt, 25, has been charged with her murder.
- 19 September 2019: Keely Bunker, 20, was found dead in woodland in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Wesley Streete, 19, has been charged with her murder.
- 21 September 2019: Christina Ortiz-Lozano, 28, had suffered multiple stab wounds before being found dead at home in Southampton. Abdelaziz El Yechioui Ourzat, 29, has been charged with her murder.
- 24 September 2019: Emily Goodman, 42, was found dead with an ‘incised’ wound and other neck injuries by police investigating the death of a Rashid Hussain, 37, who had fallen from the 14th floor of a block of flats in Oxford. The police are not looking for anyone else in relation to Emily’s death.
- 27 September 2019: Margaret Robertson, 54, also known as Meg, was found dead at home in Aberdeen. Norman Duncan, 40, has been charged with her murder.
- 2 October 2019: Arlene Williams, 46, was found stabbed to death at her home in Enfield, London. Her son, Criston Preddie, 28, has been charged in relation to her death.
- 6 October 2019: Sarah Hassall, 38, was found dead in house in Pontypridd, Wales. Brian Manship, 37, has been charged with her murder.
- 8 October 2019: Suvekshya Burathoki, 32, known as Fatima, was found dead having suffered multiple stab wounds at her home in Leicester. Hafiz Sharifi, 29, has been charged with her murder.
- 10 October 2019: Niyat Berhane Teklemariam, 21, was found dead with a neck wound after police were called to in a property in N. London. Amanuel Amahatsion,38, died in a central London tube station. Police are treating the two deaths as linked and his death is believed to be suicide.
- 10 October 2019: Lesley Spearing, 55, was stabbed at her home in Rainham, East London. Her son, Jamie Burnett, 27, has been held in relation to her death.
- 21 October 2019: Zoe Orton, 46, was found dead at her home in London. Police believe she may have been dead for a month and that she was strangled. Police are appealing for witnesses.
- 26 October 2019: Beatrice Yankson, 59, died of burns and inhalation of fire/fumes in a fire at her home in London. Her son Joel Ellis, 35, has been charged with her murder.
- 3 November 2019: Levi Ogden, 26, was attacked and fatally injured in a street in Halifax, W. Yorkshire. Lloyd Birkby, 26, reported to be her boyfriend, has been charged with her murder.
- 9 November 2019: Tsegereda Gebremariam, 29, was stabbed to death. It is believed she was murdered by Michael Tesfamariam, 28, who also killed himself.
- 13 November 2019: Nicola Stevenson, 39, was found dead in a wheelie bin in Lewes, E. Sussex. She had suffered blunt force injury to her head. It is thought her body may have been undiscovered for up to a month.
- 13 November 2019: Mandeep Singh, 39, was found dead in a house in Nottingham alongside Kulvinder Singh, 57.
- 21 November 2019: Alison McBlaine, was stuck by a car that mounted a pavement. Four males have been charged in relations to her death: John Chatwood, 25, Dean Qayum, 20; Kaylib Connolly, 18; and a boy of 16 who cannot be named for legal reasons.
- 27 November 2019: Katy Sprague, 51, was found dead in Cambridgeshire, it is believed she was killed through compression to her neck. Zac Jackson, 36, has been charged with her murder.
- 27 November 2019: Saskia Jones, 23, was killed by Usman Khan, 28, in an attack identified as related to terrorism in which a man was also killed as well as the perpetrator.
- 12 December 2019: Lindsay de Feliz, 64, from Cambridgeshire but living in the Dominican Republic was found buried in a shallow grave with a plastic bag over her head. She had been strangled. Her husband, Danilo Feliz, his two sons from a previous relationship and a fourth man have been detained in relation to her murder.
- 15 December 2019: Marion Price, 63, was found dead in her car, she had been shot. Her estranged husband, Michael Reader, 69, has been charged with her murder. A second man, Stephen Welch, 60,has also been charged.
- 16 December 2019: Jolanta Jacubowska, 50, was stabbed to death in Watford. A 17-year-old male who has not been named has been charged in relation to her death.
- 17 December 2019: Kayleigh Dunning, 32, was found dead in Portsmouth. Mark Brandford, 48, has been charged with her murder.
- 18 December 2019: Nelly Myers, 58, was found dead in Sussex. Jayesh Gobar, 35, has been charged with her murder.
- 19 December 2019: Angela Tarver, 86, was described as having been almost decapitated. Her husband and son were arrested on suspicion of murder. One has been released from custody and is being spoken to as a witness, and another is being detained the Mental Health Act.
- 22 December 2019: Amy Appleton, 32, was beaten to death in the street in Sussex. Her attacker also killed Sandra Seagrove, 76, who tried to help her.
- 22 December 2019: Sandra Seagrove, 76, is believed to have been fatally injured with her own walking stick by a 37-year-old man, when she tried to intervene as he was killing Amy Appleton, 32.
- 23 December 20109: Frances Murray, 37, was found dead in Belfast with her partner Joseph Dutton, 47. AA5-year-old man has been charged with their murders.
- 25 December 2019: Vivienne Bryan, 74, was found dead in a house in Fairbourne, N.Wales. 75-year-old Thomas Bryan has been charged with her murder.
- 31 December 2019: Stacey Murray, 34, was found dead in her home in Redcar. Liam Murray, 27, has been charged wither murder.
In March 2019: A woman whose body was found in a stream in the Yorkshire Dales in 2004 was identified as Lamduan Seekanya/Armitage. She lived in the UK between 1991 and 2004. The exact cause of death has never been established as her soft tissue had started to disintegrate when she was found. Police are asking for information from anyone who knew her.
26 April 2019: Mihrican Mustapha, 38, was one of two women whose bodies were found in a freezer in East London. Mihrican had been reported missing by her family in May 2018. Zahid Younis, 35, of Newham, east London, is charged with two counts of preventing a lawful burial.
26 April 2019: Henriett Szuchs was one of two women whose bodies were found in a freezer in East London. Police were trying to establish whether she had been seen alive since a contact with someone in her native Hungary in 2016. Zahid Younis, 35, of Newham, east London, is charged with two counts of preventing a lawful burial.
On 12 July 2019: The remains of Brenda Venables in 1982, when she was 48-years-old were found in a sceptic tank. An 86-year-old man was held on suspicion of murder was been released while inquiries continue.
I’m waiting for further information regarding the deaths of Ruth Greenhough, Alem Shimeni, Susan Waring, Tracey Walker, Janet Hoskins, Tracy Bailey, Gemma Palmer, Annabelle Lancaster, Marie Gilmore, Debbie Twist, Amanda Gretton, Melanie Jane Spence, Donna Boden, and Sara Hopkins.
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 2019.
Last updated 06 January 2020
In memory of Kirsty Treloar
New Year’s Day 2019 and before dawn on the first morning of the New Year a woman in her early thirties, whose name has not yet been made public, was stabbed to death in Camberwell, South London. She will be the 1,000th woman killed by a man whose name I will record on my website Counting Dead Women.
7 years ago today, 20 year-old Kirsty Treloar received a text from Miles Williams, the 19 year-old father of her not-yet 4-week old baby. The text read
“Okay wer all gud now and my new yrs ressy is that i aint going to hit u again and i won’t hit u 4 this yr next yr the yr after that the next yr after that.”
And went on to say “But I wont u to swear on (their daughter’s) life u wont p.ss me off and do things to make me angry love you 4 eva.’
Kirsty was terrified of Miles and had been trying to extricate herself from their relationship; she told him that she didn’t want to see him. She’d spent Christmas at her family home in Hackney. The next day, Kirsty paid the price of lack of compliance. Williams broke in to the house and dragged her in to a car, stabbing and wounding her sister and brother who were trying to protect her. She was later found dead, dumped beside bins some two miles away. She had been stabbed 29 times.
A few weeks before, Kirsty had been referred to nia, the charity where I work, which supports women and girls subjected to men’s violence. I was told of Kirsty’s death and looked on the internet to see if I could find out what had happened. But Kirsty wasn’t the only woman killed by a man at the start of the year, there were multiple reports of fatalities of women and so I made a note of their names because I wanted to know how many there were. It turned out that in the first three days of 2012, eight women in the UK had been killed by men : three shot, one stabbed, one strangled with a dog lead, strangled, one – a 77 year-old woman – beaten to death with her own walking stick, and an 87 year old woman battered to death with blunt force trauma by her own grandson.
Seven years and 1000 women later, I haven’t stopped recording the names of women killed by men. In reality, the number is even higher, every year there are a number of unsolved cases where women have been killed and statistically almost all of them will have been committed by men. There are cases where men appear to have played a direct role in the death of a woman but they manage to evade prosecution. I suspect there are women whose disappearance has gone unreported, or whose absence has gone unacknowledged and whose body will never be found. There are women who die of secondary causes related to long histories of abuse by men and there are women who kill themselves because that is the only route they can see to end the pain of violence and abuse.
I continued because I cannot bring myself to say that the next woman killed isn’t important. I continue because a focus on intimate partner homicides at the exclusion of other killings disguises and diminishes the true rate of men’s fatal violence against women. I continue because the killing of women by their current and former partners is so normalised that it is not recognised as a national emergency. I continue because the need for and benefits of specialist single-sex services for women victim-survivors of men’s violence are still subjected to challenge and given insufficient regard. I continue because I want someone to bear witness and commemorate our sisters. I continue because the slaying of women by men, although it has happened at least 1,000 times in seven years, continues to be described by the police and reported in the media as an ‘isolated incident.’ I continue because I believe the more we look, the more we can learn and the more effectively we can take steps to reduce men’s violence against women. I continue because I believe a different world is possible, but it is only by consciously committing to making changes that look at the multitude of factors that support and enable men’s violence against women, that will give us a hope in hell of getting there.