At least 15 UK women have been killed by men (or where a man is the principal suspect) so far in 2021:
- 4 January 2021: Eileen Dean, 93, was found badly injured on her bed in a care home in South London. She had suffered injuries to her head and neck, some of which, it is reported, were inflicted with her walking stick. Fellow care home resident Alexander Rawson, 62, has been charged with her murder.
- 7 January 2021: Sue Addis, 69, died after being stabbed in her home near Brighton. A 17-year-old male who cannot be named for legal reasons but is said to be known to her, has been charged with her murder.
- 24 January 2021: Tiprat Argatu, 43, was found dead with head and neck injuries in a property in Whitechapel, London by police responding to calls of concern for her welfare. David Cheres, 19, has been charged with her murder.
- 29 January 2021: Ann Turner, 82, was found dead in her home in Herefordshire. A 56-year-old man, arrested on suspicion of murder, has been detained under the Mental Health Act. The police are not looking for anyone else in connection to the incident.
- 29 January 2021: N’Taya Elliott-Cleverley, 20, was found dead in a property in Liverpool. 19-year-old Mohammed Diakite, also known as Nigel Diakite, has been charged with her murder.
- 29 January 2021: Rose Marie Tinton, 77, known as Marie, was found dead at her home in Southport who were following enquiries after a man was hit by a train some hours earlier. He remains in hospital, under arrest for suspicion of murder.
- 31 January 2021: Ranjit Gill, 43, was found dead at home in Milton Keynes with significant injuries. Her husband Anil Gill, 46, has been charged with murder.
- 1 February 2021: Helen Joy, 54, was found dead in Wirral. Kevin Ashton, has been charged with her murder.
- 4 February 2021: Emma Robertson, 39, was stabbed to death, shortly before her daughter Nicole Anderson, 24, was also killed. Her estranged husband, Steven Robertson, 40, is thought to have killed them both before killing himself.
- 4 February 2021: Nicole Anderson, 24, was stabbed to death, shortly after her mother, Emma Robertson, 29, had also been killed. Steven Robertson, 40, her mother’s estranged husband, is thought to have killed them both before killing himself.
- 6 February 2021: Linda Maggs, 74, was found unresponsive and declared dead by ambulance staff in Pontypool. Her husband, David Maggs, 70, has been charged with her murder.
- 6 February 2021: Carol Smith, 75, was found dead by police who had been called to a home in Bexhill, Sussex. She had been shot. A 78-year-old man who was found with a serious injury, remains arrested on suspicion of murder.
- 11 February 2021: Christina Rowe, 28, was found dead in the River Severn in Worcester. Charles Byrne, 24, has been charged with her murder and the attempted murder of another person.
- 11 February 2021: Susan Hannaby, 69, was found dead by emergency services attending a house fire in Wrexham, Wales. Her grandson, Kyle Ellis, 25, has been charged with her murder.
- 13 February 2021: Michelle Lizanec, 44, was found dead by police, in a house in Dundee after what has been described as a day-long stand-off. A 46-year-old man, thought to be her partner, has been charged with murder.
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 2020
For many women and girls, the boundaries between domestic and sexual violence and abuse, are very much blurred. For some this abuse includes prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation too.
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, particularly with regards to sexual violence, though sometimes it can develop 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 – who may have been physically, sexually or emotionally violent, abusive and controlling or a mixture of them all – all their lives.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop in response to trauma that may have occurred recently or in the distant past. Those who have experienced sexual trauma, especially whilst young are at greater risk, with victims of multiple forms of childhood abuse and neglect most at risk of lifetime trauma[i] Women victim-survivors of child sexual abuse are at least twice as likely to experience adult sexual victimisation[ii]. 51% of adults who were abused as children experienced domestic abuse in later life and approximately one in six adults who were abused as a child had been subjected to domestic violence and abuse in the previous year[iii].
Studies of women involved in prostitution found that between 63-80% reported being subjected violence in the course of being prostituted[iv]. One study found that women in prostitution were murdered at a rate 12 times above that of non-prostituted women[v]. Many women in prostitution describe sexual encounters as non-consensual, coerced or economically coerced rape. Two-Thirds of women in prostitution suffer PTSD.[vi]
After trauma, the brain can be triggered by something that would barely register for someone else, interpreting something that for many people would be unthreatening as a serious threat or danger, for example the presence of a man, particularly where not expected.
PTSD/trauma responses happen in a part of the brain called the amygdala. The amygdala detects a threat or perceived threat and can activate a “fight or flight” response. This releases adrenaline, norepinephrine, and glucose into the body, and if the threat continues, cortisol. A part of the prefrontal cortex (an area in the front of the brain that processes emotions and behavioural reactions) assesses the threat and can either calm or reinforce the fight or flight response. People suffering trauma/PTSD have a hyper reactive amygdala and a less effective calming prefrontal cortex reaction. The brain becomes overwhelmed by the trauma (pre-frontal cortex shutdown) leading to disorientation and confusion as the higher brain functions of reasoning and language are disrupted. Thinking and reasoning can be drowned out by feeling and being. Prolonged stress can lead to permanent change in the prefrontal cortex.
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. The trauma response described earlier is the antithesis of a space for action and recovery, so a trauma informed approach is based on understanding the physical, social, and emotional impact of trauma caused by experiencing violence and abuse. A trauma-informed service for women understands the importance of creating an environment – physical and relational – that feels safe to victims-survivors in all the ways I’ve just mentioned. For many women this means excluding men from their recovery space, and yes, this includes those who don’t identify as men. Their behaviour, the likelihood that they themselves may be abusive, is not relevant. If it is not women-only, it is not trauma informed for women who have been subjected to men’s violence.
We know that at least 80% of males who hold a gender recognition certificate retain their penis, but anyway, in almost every case, 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 a debilitating trauma response as a result. It’s not their fault, it’s not a choice and it’s not something they can be educated out of. It’s not hate. It’s not bigotry. It’s not transphobia. It is an impact of abuse and they need space, support and sometimes therapy – not increased confrontation with a trauma inducing trigger; not nowhere to go that offers a woman-only space.
To properly heal from trauma, in particular that caused by sexual violence, a course of counselling/therapy from a counsellor/therapist specially trained to deal with trauma/PTSD from sexual or domestic violence and abuse is often needed. Unfortunately, far too few women are offered this opportunity. Specialist women-led women-only organisations supporting victim-survivors of men’s violence are rarely funded to the extent that we can meet the levels of need that exist. All too often we’re contracted to do what commissioners value, this isn’t always what women want and need.
Women should not need to justify our desire for or the benefits of women-only space on the basis of violence perpetrated upon us or our sisters but we should recognise that some women need or benefit from it more than others. Not all women who are subjected to men’s violence and abuse will develop a trauma response. Not all women will be subjected to men’s violence and abuse, though globally one in three are at some point during our lifetime. Not all women who have been abused by men want women-only spaces but should they then take away the right of that space from those who do?
Of course, women who experience trauma/PTSD as a result of men’s violence are required to function in a world where men are present and for the most part, do. But women-only spaces in Rape Crisis Centres, refuges, women’s centres or women-only buildings or events, etc are spaces where women are not required to make all the mental self-adjustments to function in the presence of men. Women survivors and feminists (many of us both) created these spaces because we know how important this is. Somewhere we can function and feel OK, safe, maybe even relaxed and with our defences down and our vigilance switch turned low. Women who have been subjected to men’s violence deserve this down time, this head space. Women-only space for women who have been subjected to men’s violence and abuse is something that must be protected by those of us who don’t need it, for those of us who do.
I was devastated by the results of the general election in December 2019. I’d voted for Labour, of course. I was barely interested in the furore around Corbyn. Labour are a political party, not a cult, and it has always been the party’s principles and their manifesto that mattered to me more than the leader; and the 2019 manifesto set out objectives that I would want to see underpinning society. It seemed to me – as it still does – that a Labour Party that didn’t meet my feminist ideals offered better opportunities for ordinary women than any other party. I was gutted at the thought of another five-years of Tory rule, let alone the prospect of ten, so I applied to re-join within days of the defeat.
Just over three months after I had applied to join the Labour Party, I received a letter (carrying the Stonewall logo) by email saying my membership had been rejected because: “information brought to our attention is that you have engaged in conduct online that may reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility based on gender identity.” The letter contained no evidence to back this assertion, so I appealed against the decision and submitted a subject access request. 12 weeks later, I received an email with an attachment to a document containing 14 tweets that, I must conclude, illustrate my on-line crimes. I was invited to make a “statement giving your reasons why you should be accepted into membership of the Labour Party and your reply to the decision to reject your application.” I’ve decided to make my reply – and the reasons for their rejection – open. The tweets cover these eight issues:
- Men’s fatal violence against women
- Not all feminists are the same
- Fantasies of totalitarian regimes
- Women’s sport and human rights
- Jess Phillips and the smell of sexism
- Non sequiturs
- Lesbians’ right to set their own sexual boundaries
- Poodle kitten extermination and probable extinction
- Men’s Fatal Violence Against Women
The case against me
I spend a lot of time working on men’s fatal violence against women. I calculated that number for a blog that I wrote in 2018, available here. I updated that figure in 2019, see here . So as far as I am able to find, the most recent data for the UK suggests that between 2007 and 2019, there were 62% more homicides perpetrated by trans-identified males than there were homicides of people (who were all male) who identified as transgender.
I happen to think that knowing the truth about sex differences and fatal violence is an essential step towards ending men’s fatal violence against women. I would also say that the truth is also an important step in addressing violence against those who identify as transgender, or indeed men’s violence against other men.
2. Not all feminists are the same
The case against me
There are variations on an allegation regularly made by trans extremist ‘activists’ that UK feminist groups are allied to and indeed funded by the religious Right in the USA. It may be true of some women who consider themselves to be ‘gender critical’, some but not all of whom also consider themselves to be feminists. It isn’t true of any groups I’m involved with, any women I’m friends with and it isn’t true of me. It pisses me off. Don’t generalise from the beliefs or actions of some (and make) an assumption about the beliefs or actions of all of any demographic. I thought that was a pretty basic principle. Evidently not one that the Labour Party thinks is important.
3. Fantasies of totalitarian regimes
The evidence against me
My (partial) defence
1) I sincerely promise that I do not want to overthrow this fragile constitutional monarchy with a totalitarian regime that bans words. Actually, I’d love to get rid of the embarrassment that is the ‘royal family’, but it wasn’t what I was thinking about when I wrote this tweet;
2) Language is important, it shapes understanding as well as is shaped by it. Language is a propaganda tool and the word ‘transwoman’ needs unpicking on that basis.
3) I will admit that I think the phrase ‘gender-neutral’ is an oxymoron.There’s nothing neutral about gender, it’s a primary weapon of patriarchy functioning to enforce women’s sex-based oppression.
4) Who, over 50, isn’t irritated by the over generous peppering of ‘like’ in youth parlance, or ‘Best’ instead of ‘Best wishes’? That’s a rhetorical question by the way.
4. Women’s sport and human rights
The case against me
I absolutely stand by every word.
5. Jess Phillips and the smell of sexism
The case against me
Jess Phillips does important work on domestic violence and abuse though her role as an MP. I am particularly grateful to her for reading the names of all women killed by men (collected by me), on International Women’s Day every year for the last four years. I know this means a lot to many of the friends and families of women killed and I feel so very honoured to have played a role in getting their names recorded in Hansard. However, I strongly disagree with the opinions she expressed in Mumsnet and Penis News interviews. I also believe that some of the critique (at best), trolling and the death threats she has received are rooted in sexism and misogyny. It reeks. I can disagree with her on this issue (and others) and still respect and feel grateful for her work on men’s violence against women.
6. Non sequiturs
The case against me
I take full responsibility for this appalling non sequitur. What was I thinking? I’m sorry. Maybe it made sense at the time but it doesn’t now.
7. Lesbians’ right to set their own sexual boundaries
The case against me
I stand by every word. Lesbians are same-sex attracted women and I will defend their right to set their sexual boundaries on this basis. To require otherwise is lesbophobia. Can someone in the Labour Party or anywhere else justify this?
8. Poodle kitten extermination and probable extinction
The case against me
I really, really, really do not wish death upon poodle kittens. They’re such gorgeous little grumpy faced gremlins. I would never knowingly bring one to harm. Save the poodle kittens!
Sex and gender aren’t the same though. In the context that I was using the words, one refers to whether a human being is female or male. The other (as I have mentioned above) is a primary weapon of patriarchy functioning to enforce women’s sex-based oppression. It isn’t helpful to confuse the two.
Apparently, these tweets (and to be honest plenty more where they came from) make me unworthy of the Labour Party. From where I stand though, if the Labour Party defends the positions in opposition to them, I don’t think it is worthy of my support. I will, with reluctance accept eptance that we are mutually incompatible.
I would love to see a government based on socialist, anti-sexist and anti-racist principles in my lifetime. None of the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats or Green Party are good for women, or poor people, or people of African, Caribbean, Asian or Arabic heritage. Labour, at the very least, is the least bad option. I’ll never vote for the Conservatives as long as I can draw breath. I can’t imagine voting Lib Dem cos their libertarianism is too often at the expense of women’s rights and dignity, and the Greens (as they are) are a lost cause. I’ll probably always vote Labour but where my vote could be seen as for a safe seat, I might be tempted to spoil my vote.
You win Labour. Good luck with the next general election – but I’m interested to see what you plan to do to end male supremacy and women’s sex-based oppression.
I’ve been tracking men’s fatal violence against women and commemorating the UK women killed by men for 9 ½ years through my work on Counting Dead Women and for The Femicide Census, the team I work with have submitted Freedom of Information Requests to the police about men’s fatal violence against women in the UK going back to 2009. From the work of the Femicide Census, we know that over the last decade, on average a woman has been killed by a man in the UK every 3 days. So, using the average over the last 10 years, we might expect to see 7 women killed by men in 21 days, but 14 women and two children have been killed by men in the first three weeks of coronavirus lockdown in the UK.
We have to be cautious about talking about increases in men killing women. Reality is more complex than 11-year averages, there are always times when the numbers are higher or times when they are lower, there might be a week or longer where no man kills a woman. But we can say that the number of women killed by men in the three weeks between 23 March and 12 April is the highest it has been for at least 11 years and is double that of a hypothetical average 21 days over the last 10 years. We don’t know yet whether this inflated rate will continue, it is possible that we will see a lower rate over the next few weeks.
The table below shows the actual numbers of women killed by men in the three weeks between 23 March and 12 April since 2009, and the relationship between the perpetrator and the woman he killed. [i]
Women killed by men 2009-2019 and alleged killings of women by men in 2020
If the two children killed by Robert Needham were included, we’d see 3 females killed by their fathers in 2020 and a total of 16 women and girls dead at the hands of a man.[ii]
We can see that over the same three-week period, annually the numbers of women killed by men ranged from 2 women (in 2013, 2018 and 2019) and was as high as 11 women in 2009, averaging at 5 women in this three week period between 2009 and 2019; but that in 2020, at least 14 women and two children have been killed. The reality may even be higher,for example, a man has been questioned regarding the killing of Natasha Melendez in N. Ireland on 1st April but as far as I know, no-one’s been charged yet, so I haven’t included her in the figures.
Looking back over pre-lockdown 2020, 32 days passed as 14 women’s lives were taken. [iii] So it isn’t that 2020 in general has seen higher levels of men’s fatal violence against women.
Lazy reporting mixed with a lack of understanding of the dynamics of abuse have led to stories about increases in the domestic abuse, with headlines about men’s fatal violence reported as being due to a man being pushed to kill because of financial concerns. Another report said that a man claimed he bludgeoned ‘his wife’ to death because she asked him to move out because he had the virus. I don’t believe coronavirus creates violent men. What we’re seeing is a window into the levels of abuse that women live with all the time. Coronavirus may exacerbate triggers, though I might prefer to call them excuses, lockdown may restrict some women’s access to support or escape and it may even curtail measures some men take to keep their own violence under control. But coronavirus doesn’t make a killer out of a man who has never been controlling, abusive and/or violent to the woman he is in a relationship with. And we must surely extend our concerns to the women and children who will live through the coronavirus lockdown with an abuser and survive. I am counting dead women, but I would never say that it is only the dead women who count.
We need to ask why it seems that only or mainly men are pushed to kill because of frustrations or fears triggered by coronavirus or related restrictions. When we do, we come to the same answers that we’d arrive at by asking why men kill women at rates way above those at which women kill men: sex inequality as expressed through male control and dominance both in society as a whole and in individual relationships, men’s entitlement and their expectations to be served and serviced by women, masculine sex-stereotypes and gender norms, the objectification of women, and so on.
It’s also important to remember that men’s violence against women is not restricted to women that they are in a relationship with. Most people have no idea about the levels of child sex abuse that happens within families, we don’t know whether lockdown may be giving men increased or decreased opportunities to rape and sexually abuse the children in their household, but if it is the former, these children and society as a whole will be paying the price and seeing the impacts for decades.
Perhaps, despite the far greater numbers of people being killed by the virus including the failure to provide adequate protection to those exposed through efforts to treat the sick and dying, and the failure of the state to listen and act on the advice of experts, we will somehow see the extent of men’s violence against women and children more clearly. Perhaps also, we will say that this, men’s violence against women, girls and children, is not inevitable, it is not acceptable and the authorities, or someone – or we – can and should do more. Perhaps we will get angry that the state does not pay heed to the voices of experts and take the actions that feminists have been calling for, for decades.
If we’re alarmed at an apparent increase in men’s fatal violence against women, why aren’t we equally alarmed at the numbers of women being killed by men all the time? We surely cannot say that the average number of women killed by men is acceptable. If 14 women and two children dead in 21 days at the hands of a man who chose not to curb his violence and aggression is too much, would seven dead women be fine? No, no it wouldn’t. Let’s recognise the ways that women’s lives are limited, diminished and controlled by men’s dominance. Let’s demand better for women and children. Let’s aim to end men’s sex-based violence against women. Let’s hold the state to account. Let us recognise that together, taking responsibility, we could do more and we could make a difference.
[i]The data for 2009 – 2018 is from the Femicide Census, 2019 is from Counting Dead Women. We collect data differently on the two projects, I do Counting Dead Women from internet searches (and people contacting my twitter account for the project) but the Femicide Census data is collected via annual FOI requests to all the UK police services. We haven’t completed the FOIs for 2019 yet so it’s possible that there are more women in the equivalent period in 2019 that I didn’t find with my internet searches.
|Name||Age||Date of death (2020)|
|15||Daneilla Espirito Santo||23||08-Apr|
At least 106 UK women have been killed by men (or where a man is the principal suspect) so far in 2020:
- 1 January 2020: Helen Almay, 39, was stabbed to death along with her partner. Helen’s estranged husband, Rhys Hancock, 39, has been charged with their murders.
- 1 January 2020: Magdalena Pacault, 46, was strangled and beaten to death in her home in Liverpool. Her partner, Piotr Cichy, 48, has been charged with her murder.
- 3 January 2020: Katherine Bevan, 53, was found dead in an animal pen on at farm in Devon where she volunteered. Luigi Palmas, 26, was charged with her murder and a further count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on 20th January.
- 16 January 2020: Claire Nash, 33, died in Newmarket, Suffolk. She had been strangled and stabbed 10 times. Charles Jessop, 33, has been charged with her murder.
- 16 January 2020: Kelly Price, 39 was found dead at her home in Gillingham, Kent. Her partner, Benjamin Bowler, 40, had strangled her to death.
- 20 February 2020: Tahereh Pirali-Dashti, 40, died in hospital after police had been called to A406, in London to attend to reports of an altercation between the occupants of two vehicles. Robert Barrow 54, was charged with her murder on 17 April and also with assault of a 56-year-old man.
- 22 January 2020: Beverley Denahy, 61, was found with serious head injuries in her home in N.E. London after her husband called the police concerned for her welfare. Their 24-year-old son, Mitchell Denahy, has been charged in relation to her death.
- 23 January 2020: Gian Kaur Bhandal, 83, wasfound dead at home in Stourbridge by paramedics, after her son called an ambulance. She she had suffered a fractured sternum, a broken arm and several broken ribs. Her husband, Pargan Singh Bhandal, 83,has been charged with her murder.
- 24 January 2020: Margaret Grant, 79, died in hospital after being assaulted in her home in Edinburgh. Police are looking for a white male.
- 1 February 2020: Kymberli Sweeney, 27, was found dead by ambulance crew in Paisley . Shaun Wilson, 27, has been charged in relation to her death.
- 9 February 2020: Mary Haley, 75, was found dead in her home in Hamilton, Lanarkshire. Her son Craig Haley, 35, has been charged in relation to her death.
- 15 February 2020: Cherith Van Der Ploeg, 60, was found dead in her home in Norwich. Her estranged husband Cornelius Van Der Ploeg, 63, has been charged with her murder.
- 15 February 2020: Ann Mowbray, 80, was found dead with multiple stab injuries at home in Studley, Warwickshire. Her husband Ronald Mowbray, 82, has been charged with her murder.
- 22 February 2020: Debbie Zurick, 56, was shot dead by her husband John Zurick, 67; he later died of self inflicted injuries.
- 25 February 2020: Jasbir Kaur, 54, and her husband were found dead at home. Her son, Anmol Chana, 25, had been charged in relation to their deaths.
- 25 Febrary 2020: Li Qing Wang, 35, was found stabbed to death in Leyton, East London. Yixing Song, 54, has been charged with her murder.
- 26 February 2020: Janice Woolford, 68, was stabbed to death in a home in Sunderland. Police believe she was killed by her son, Michael Woolford, 44, who is thought to have killed himself.
- 2 March 2020: Bhavini Pravin, 21, was stabbed and found seriously injured at a property in Leicestershire, she was pronounced dead by ambulance staff. Jigukumar Sorthi, 23, has been charged with her murder.
- 2 March 2020: Valerie Jozunas, 78, was found dead in a house in Safron Walsen, Essex when emergency services were called to attend to her welfare. Mark Jozunas, 49, has been charged with her murder.
- 6 March 2020: Janice Child, 64, was found dead at a property in Liverpool. A post mortem found she died of severe blunt force injuries to the head. Her son, Robert Children, 37, has been charged with her murder.
- 13 March 2020: Vanita Nowell, 68, was found dead at home in London by emergency services. She had died of head injuries and respiratory failure. Her son, Andrew Sheperd, has been charged with her murder.
- 15 March 2020: Tracey Kidd, 57, was found dead with head injuries by police responding to a call about concern for her welfare at a property in London. Paul Vissers, 40, has been charged with her murder.
- 16 March 2020: Nelly Mustafa, 43, and her neighbour Zahida Bi, 52, were stabbed to death in Birmingham. Tamer Mustafa, 40, Nelly’s husband, has been charged with their murders.
- 16 March 2020: Zahida Bi, 52, was stabbed to death along with her neighbour, Nelly Mustafa, 43. The husband of her neighbour, Tamer Mustafa, 40, has been charged with their murders.
- 17 March 202: Josephine Kaye, 88, died in hospital, 19 days after being pushed to the ground in her home in Staffordshire, by a man posing a gas engineer.
- 19 March 2020: Shadika Mohsin Patel, 40, was found with stabbing injuries in the street in East London and later died in hospital. So far, three men have been arrested in relation to her death.
- 19 March 2020: Maureen Kidd, 74, was stabbed and suffered blunt force trauma to the head by means unknown and was found dead in a property in Kirkaldy, Scotland. Her son, Trevor Kidd, 41, was charged in relation to her death and later aquitted on mental health grounds..
- 22 March 2020: Wendy Morse, 71, was found dead at her home in Staffordshire. Kenneth Andrew McDermid, 42, was extradited from Sweden where he had been detained in custody, and has been charged with her murder.
- 23 March 2020: Nageeba Alariqy, 47, was found dead at home in Birmingham, the cause of her death has been given at pressure to the neck. Abeen Thabet, 49, has been charged with her murder.
- 25 March 2020: Elsie Smith,71, was found dead at home with stab wounds to her head and neck. [police believe she was lkilled by her husband Alan Smith, 71, before he killed himself.
- 26 March 2020: Kelly Stewart, 41, died of impact injuries to her head. She was found dead in a churchyard, in Newham, E. London. Kieran Rifat, 21, has been charged wth her murder.
- 26 March 2020: Gwendoline Bound, 80, was shot dead by her son John Bound, 59, in their home in Camrmarthenshire, Wales,
- 27 March 2020: Ruth Williams, 67, was found unconscious at home in Wales by the police. She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead. Anthony Williams, 69, her husband of 44 years, has been charged with her murder.
- 29 March 2020: Victoria Woodhall, 31, was stabbed to death. Her former husband, Craig Woodhall, 40, has been charged with her murder.
- 29 March 2020: Kelly Fitzgibbons, 40, and her two daughters, Ava, 4 and Lexi, 2, were shot dead. It is believed that her husband, the children’s father Robert Needham, 42, killed them and the family dog before killing himself.
- 29 March 2020: Caroline Walker, 50, and her daughter, Katie Walker, 24, was stabbed to death by their husband/father Gary Waller, 57. Their bodies were discovered after a fire in which Gary Walker killed himself.
- 29 March 2020: Katie Walker, 24, and her daughter, Caroline Walker, 50, was stabbed to death by their father/husband Gary Waller, 57. Their bodies were discovered after a fire in which Gary Walker killed himself
- 29 March 2020: Zobaidah Salangy, 28, was last seen at home before, reportedly, going for a run. Her husband Nezam Salangy, 42, has been charged with her murder and Mohammed Ramin Salangy, 29, has been charged with assisting an offender.
- 30 March 2020: Betty Dobbin, 82, was discovered dead at home by police in Belfast. Her grandson, Alan Gingles, 32, who lived with her, has been charged with her murder.
- 1 April 2020: Sonia Calvi, 56, and a 59-year-old man were stabbed to death in London. Daniel Briceno-Garcia, 44, has been charged with their murders.
- 8 April 2020: Marian Ismail, 57, Police attending a call of concern about a woman’s welfare in Edmonton, London, found Marian Ismail, with serious injuries. Attending ambulance services pronounced her dead. Her husband, Hussain Yusuf Egal, 65, has been charged with her murder.
- 8 April 2020: Daneilla Espirito Santo, 23, was found dead in her flat in Grantham. Julio Jesus, 30, has been charged with manslaughter and ABH.
- 11 April 2020: Ruth Brown, 52, was found dead in a house in Bognor Regis. Wayne Morris, 47, has been charged with her murder.
- 16 April 2020: Denise Keane-Barnett-Simmon, 36, died in hospital after a fire at her home. Damion Simmons, 44, has been charged with murder, arson with intent to endanger life, criminal damage, disclosing private & sexual photographs with intent to cause distress, and voyeurism.
- 18 April 2020: Jadwiga Szczygielsk, 77, was found dead in her home in Edinburgh. A 44-year-old man has been charged with her murder.
- 22 April 2020: Emma McParland, 39, was stabbed to death in Belfast. Her son, Jordan Kennedy, 21, has been charged with her murder.
- 30 April 2020: Louise Aitchison, 33, was found dead by paramedics in her home in East Kilbride, Scotland. A 35-year-old man has been charged with her murder.
- 3 May 2020: Silke Hartshorne-Jones, 41, was shot dead at her home in Suffolk. Her husband, Peter Hartshorne-Jones, 51, has been charged with her murder.
- 7 May 2020: Hyacinth Morris, 67, was found dead in her home in Manchester. Leroy Planton, 41, said to live at the same address was located after a police search and has been detained under the mental health act.
- 8 May 2020: Louise Smith, 16, was last seen alive. Her body was found in woodland in Hampshire on 21 May. Shane lee Mays, 29, was charged with her murder on 28 May.
- 10 May 2020: Claire Parry, 41, died in hospital of a brain injury caused by strangulation the day after being found in a car park. Timothy Brehmer, 41, with whom she had reportedly been in a relationship for 10 years, has been charged with her murder.
- 17 May 2020: Aya Hachem, 19, died shortly after she was shot from a car window in Blackburn, Lancashire. Police are seeking occupants of a light-coloured, possibly metallic green, Toyota Avensis, which was seen leaving the scene of the shooting.
- 20 May 2020: Melissa Belshaw, 32, was stabbed to death at her home in Wigan. Andrew Wadsworth, 36, said to be her ex-partner. Has been charged with her murder.
- 25 May 2020: The body of Yvonne McCann, 46, was found in several parts in a park in Stockport, Greater Manchester. It is thought she had been killed between 22 and 25 May. Her husband, Thomas McCann, 48, has been charged with her murder.
- 29 May 2020: Lyndsey Alcock, 45, was found dead in a house in Liverpool. On 12 December 2020, Carl Alcock, 45, was charged with her murder. A post mortem gave the cause of her death as “mixed depressant drug toxicity with pneumonia”.
- 1 June 2020: Aneta Zdun, 40 and her daughter Nikiletta Zdun, 18, were killed at their home in Wiltshire. It has been reported that their throats were slit. Marcin Zdun, 39, their husband/father has been charged with their murders.
- 1 June 2020: Nikiletta Zdun, 18, and her mother Aneta Zdun, 40 , were killed at their home in Wiltshire. It has been reported that their throats were slit. Marcin Zdun, 39, their father/husband has been charged with their murders.
- 3 June 2020: Mandy Houghton, 58, was found dead and with head injuries in her home in Lancashre. Alan Fare, 72, has been charged with her murder.
- 5 June 2020: Amy-Leanne Stringfellow, 26, was found fatally injured at home in Doncaster, S.Yorkshire. Terence Papworth, 45, has been charged with her murder.
- 7 June 2020: Bibaa Henry, 46, and her sister Nicole Smallman, 27, had celebrated Bibaa’s 46th birthday in a park in London, with friends on 5 June. Two days later their bodies were found, they had been stabbed to death. Danyal Hussein, 18, was charged with their murders in July.
- 7 June 2020: Nicole Smallman, 27, and her sister Bibaa Henry, 46, had celebrated Bibaa’s 46th birthday in a park in London, with friends on 5 June. Two days later their bodies were found, they had been stabbed to death. Danyal Hussein, 18, was charged with their murders in July.
- 16 June 2020: Dawn Bennet, 59, died in hospital on her birthday after being stabbed in her home in Lewisham on 10th June. Her son, Jamal Sealy, 31, pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility and has been detained in a secure hospital.
- 19 June 2020: Gemma Marjoram, 38, (also known as Gemma Cowey) was stabbed to death in the grounds of a derelicy hospital in Norwich. Her husband Michael Cowey, 48, has been charged with her murder.
- 25 June 2020: Karolina Zinkeviciene, 30, was found dead at her home in Spalding. Police believe she was killed by Breshnev Ruiters, 34, who also killed himself.
- 25 June 2020: Rosemary Hill, 87, died in hospital, 4 days after being assaulted. Guy Unmack, 45, has been charged in relation to her death and detained under the Mental Health Act.
- 5 July 2020: Jackie Hoadley, 58, was found dead in her home in Eastbourne, Sussex. Her husband Raymond Hoadley, 62, who had been living apart from her for 6 months has been charged with her murder.
- 6 July 2020: Khloemae Loy, 23, was stabbed in the neck in a hotel in Greenwich, London. Taye Francis, 39, has been charged with her murder.
- 12 July 2020: Kerry Woolley, 38, was found dead in her home in Solihull with fatal neck injuries. Ian Bennett, 37, has been charged with her murder.
- 15 July 2020: Shelly Clark, 43, died in hospital, as day after being found critically injured. Trevor Green, 44, was charged with her murder and found dead in prison a week later.
- 21 July 2020: Bernadette Walker, 17, was reported missing by her parents, 3 days after last ben seen alive. A ‘no body’ murder investigation was launched in September. Her father, Scott Walker, 50, has been charged with her murder.
- 24 July 2020: Stella Frew, 38, died after being struck by a van. Police said that they believed she had been involved in a dispute with its driver and that she may have been hit deliberately. James Martin, 26, has been charged with manslaughter.
- 25 July 2020: Dawn Fletcher, 32, died when she was hit by a van in Selston, Nottinghamshire. Ashley Tinklin, 37, was charged with murder but admitted manslaughter after driving his van at and over her.
- 1 August 2020: Deborah Jones, 48, also known as Deborah Hendrick, was pronounced dead in a car park in Nottingham. Gary Parnell, 59, has been charged with murder.
- 2 August 2020: Patrycja Wyrebek, 20, was found dead in her home in Newry, N.Ireland. Her partner, Dawid Mietus, 23, has been charged with her murder.
- 6 August 2020: Therasia Gordon, 44, was found dead in woodland in Edmonton, N. London. Brian Sengendo, 25, was charged with murder, attempted murder, making threats to kill, and two counts of possession of an offensive weapon.
- 8 August 2020: Esther Egbon, 30, was found dead with a throat wound. Her estranged husband, Igie Erabor, has been charged with her murder.
- 16 August 2020: A 60-year-old woman died in a property in South Belfast. A 61-year-old man was charged in January 2021.
- 24 August 2020: Balvinder Gahir. 54, was found dead at her home with a serious head injury. Her ex-husband, Jasbinder Gahir, 57, and son, Rohan Gahir, 23, have been charged with her murder.
- 26 August 2020: Lynda Cooper, 72, was found dead in her home IN Stockport. She had been strangled. It is believed she was killed by her husband Denis Cooper, 69, before he hanged himself.
- 1 September 2020: Lorraine Cox, 32, was last seen alive in Exeter. Her body was found four weeks later. Azum Maangori, 23, also known as Christopher Mayer, 23, has been charged with murder and preventing a lawful burial.
- 8 September 2020: Susan Winnister 66, was found dead at home in London with severe head and neck injuries. Her husband Leslie Winnister, 68, has been charged with her murder.
- 8 September 2020: Maria Howarth, 44, died in hospital in Sheffield two days after she was assaulted. David Bestwick had initially been charged with attempted murder, this became a murder charge upon her death.
- 24 September 2020: Abida Karim, 39, was found dead at home in Leeds. Her husband Sajid Pervez, 37, has been charged with her murder.
- 1 October 2020: Saman Mir Sacharvi, 49, and her daughter Vian Mangrio, 14, were found dead in the fire damaged home near Burnley. Saman Mir Sacharvi, had been assaulted and died from pressure to her neck. Shabaz Khan, 51, has been charged with rape, two counts of murder and one count of arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered.
- 1 October 2020: Vian Mangrio, 14, details above.
- 6 October 2020: Poorna Kaameshwari Sivara, 36, and her son Kailash Kuha Raj, 3, were found dead in their home in Brentford, West London. Poorna had been stabbed and Kailash had been strangled. They had been dead for over a week. Her husband Kuha Raj Sithamparanathan, 42, who is thought to be responsible for their murders, killed himself as police arrived.
- 16 October 2020: Louise Rump, 29, was found dead by firefighters who had been called to her flat due to an alarm sounding. Habib Jackson, 31, and Christopher Hayward, 30, have been charged with her murder.
- 25 October 2020: Julie Williams, 58, was found dead in her home in Coventry. Anthony Russell, 38, has been charged with her murder, that of her son and the murder of Nicole McGregor, 31.
- 26 October 32020: Rhona Humphreys, 53, was stabbed to death and found with multiple wounds at her home in Cornwall. Her partner, Thomas Whitehorn, 74, has been charged with her murder.
- 29 October 2020: Nicole McGregor, was found dead in Leamington. Anthony Russell, 38, has been charged with her murder, and those of Julie Williams, 58, and her son David, 32.
- 29 October 2020: Angela Webber, 77, was found dead after been subjected to serious injuries, at her home in Somerset. Her husband, Hugh Webber, 77, has been charged with her murder.
- 29 October 2020: Carole Wright, 62, was found dead at a National Trust beauty spot in Oxfordshire. A 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently in hospital.
- 30 October 2020: Sarah Smith, 39, was found dead by police at home in Greenwich, London. The cause of her death has been recorded as head injuries. Ricky Woodford. 41, said to be known to her, has been charged with her murder.
- 31 October 2020: Ildiko Bettison, 48, was, has found dead at home in Chessington, London. Her husband, Keith Bettison, 71, has been charged with her murder.
- 12 November 2020: Marie Gladders, 51, was stabbed to death in Birmingham. Mark Masefield, 52, was charged with her murder.
- 13 November 2020: Kimberly Deakin, 29, was stabbed to death in the street in Stoke-on-Trent whilst she held her 4-month old baby in her arms. Lewis Crofts, 39, has been charged with her murder.
- 16 November 2020: Paula Leather, 56, was stabbed to death at home in Merseyside. She was stabbed multiple times in the head and face. Her husband George leather, 60, has been charged with her murder.
- 15 November 2020: Caroline Kayll, 47, died in hospital after being attacked in Linton, Northumberland. Paul Robson, 49, has been charged with her murder and the attempted murder of a 15-year old boy.
- 20 November 2020: Lauren Mae Bloomer, 25, was stabbed and then repeatedly run over and then dumped on a doorstep in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Jake Notman, 27, has been charged with her murder.
- 25 November 2020: Hansa Patel, 62, died shortly after being found at her home in West London with severe head injuries. Her son, Shanil Patel, 31, has been charged in relation to her death.
- 1 December 2020: Helen Bannister, 48, died in hospital in Wales, 6 days after an assault for which Jonathan Campbell, 37, had been charged with grievous bodily harm. He has since been charged with her murder.
- 11 December 2020: Andreia Patricia Rodriguez Guilherme, 30, was stabbed to death in the home she shared with her partner David Xavier, 36. He has been charged with her murder.
- 18 December 2020: Marta Vento, 27, was bludgeoned to death whist working alone on a night-shift as a hotel in Bournemouth, Dorset. A 32-year-old man walked into a police station, claiming responsibility for her death. He has been detained in a secure hospital.
- 18 December 2020: Joanna Borucka, 41, was found dead in a suitcase in a hotel in West London. It has been reported that her boyfriend has gone missing.
- 27 December 2020: Azaria Williams, 26, was found dead by police attending reports of a disturbance in South London. Mark Alexander, 27, has been charged with murder.
- 29 December 2020: Catherine Granger, 50, was discovered with fatal stab wounds at a flat in Canterbury. David Creed, 52, has been charged with her murder.
Waiting for further information regarding the deaths of Natasha Melendez, Beata Lis, Tina Cartlidge, Amanda Sedgwick, Michelle Morris, Kimberley Smith, Claire Anderson, Louise Castrey, Kimberley Smith, , Sarah Louise Gibbins, Sarah Fleming, Adell Cowan and a number of women who have not been named.
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 2020
Last updated 9 January 2021.
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.