Counting Dead Women

126 UK Women killed by men in 2012

144 UK  Women suspected to have been killed by men in 2013

149 UK Women suspected to have been killed by men in 2014

UK women suspected to have been killed by men in 2015


 counting dead women montage

On New Year’s Day, 2012, 20-year-old Kirsty Treloar got a text from her boyfriend Myles Williams:

“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.”

The next day he broke into her family’s home, stabbed her brother and sister as they tried to help, then he dragged her into the back of his mother’s car and drove her away. She was found dead 2 miles away, dumped behind a wheelie bin. Kirsty had been stabbed 29 times.

Michael Atherton, 42, also sent a text a New Year text.  Shortly before midnight, he sent a text to his partner, Susan McGoldrick, saying he was going out and would spend the night away because he didn’t like her sister Alison Turnbull, 44, with whom she was spending the evening.  But Susan and Alison came home before he had left. Atherton, who held a gun licence despite a history of  arrests for domestic violence dating back 10 years, shot Susan, Alison and Alison’s 24 year old daughter Tanya, before killing himself.

On New Year’s Day,  Aaron Mann, 31 repeatedly hit Claire O’Connor, 38, with a blunt object before smothering her with a pillow.  Her badly beaten body was found wrapped in her son’s sleeping bag and covered in a dirty sheet in the boot of her car on January 2.

On the 2nd January 2012, 48 year-old Stephen Farrow stabbed 77-year-old Betty Yates in the head and neck and beat her with her own walking stick.

On 3rd of January John McGrory used a dog lead to strangle 39-year-old Marie McGrory.  Garry Kane, 41, killed his 87-year-old grandmother Kathleen Milward, though 15 blunt force trauma” injuries on her head and neck.

So, in the first three days of 2012, 8 women in the UK were killed through men’s violence.  Three days, eight dead women: 3 shot, 2 stabbed, 1 strangled, 1 smothered and one beaten to death. Eight women aged between 20 and 87, their killers aged between 19 and 48 were their husbands, partners, boyfriends or ex’s, sister’s partner, aunt’s partner, robber and grandson.

Perhaps because it was the beginning of the year, I just started counting, and once I’d started, I couldn’t stop. Since then, I’ve counted over 366 women killed through suspected male violence.

At first I counted women killed through domestic violence. Then, on March 9th 2012, Ahmad Otak stabbed and killed Samantha Sykes, 18 and Kimberley Frank, 17. Otak wasn’t the boyfriend of either of them, but of Eliza Frank, Kimberley’s sister.  After killing Kimberly and Samantha in front of Eliza, he abducted Eliza and drove to Dover in an attempt to escape to France. The murders of Samantha and Kimberley don’t fit the definition of domestic violence, but they’re absolutely about a man trying to exert power, control and coercion in his relationship. Their deaths made it clear to me that concentrating on what we see as domestic violence isn’t enough. It’s wider than that.  The murders of Kimberley and Samantha  by were no less about male violence against women that they would have been if he had been the boyfriend of one of them.

Then there’s Andrew Flood, a taxi-driver who strangled and robbed Margaret Biddolph, 78 and Annie Leyland, 88. When I learned he’d also robbed a third woman it was clear  to me that there was a pattern to his actions. In fact, last year, five older women, aged between 75 and 88 were killed by much younger men, aged between 15 and 43 as they were robbed or mugged, including Irene Lawless, 68 who was raped, beaten and strangled by 26-year-old Darren Martin.  I don’t think the murders of Margaret, Annie and Irene were any less about misogyny, than those of women killed by someone they were related to.

So my list doesn’t just include women killed though domestic violence, I could women killed through male violence.  I want us to stop seeing the killings of women by men as isolated incidents, to put them together and to see the connections and patterns.

The murders of some women barely cause a ripple, some don’t make it into the national media. If the press take this seriously, there’s more chance of people seeing what is going on, of understanding the implications of male violence and to say ‘no more’.

126 UK Women killed by men in 2012

144 UK  Women suspected to have been killed by men in 2013

149 UK Women suspected to have been killed by men in 2014

UK women suspected to have been killed by men in 2015

Can you give me a link to Counting Dead Men?




172 thoughts on “Counting Dead Women

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  4. IV spoken to u before about my daughter Sam who was murdered by her ex boyfriend on 21.2.12. she is on the wall . There was 8 misconducts of justice. & She told the police he had threatened to kill her . When she went to the police station for assistance to get her belongings after having no clothes or. Pushchair for the baby . They said there was no manpower. & Sent her home . Laying in waiting he banged the back door in & stabbed her once. That was enough to kill her instantly. My 19 year old baby . . The police said no one was available till 7 pm. She was at the police station @ 4 ish . By 5.30 she was dead . With her baby beside her when she took her last breath. I have a petition on the threat to life policy. To give to the mo . Threasa may. IV seen barrancess Newlove . & Been in contact with Refuge. But I find it hard to fight on my own. Working long hours to keep a roof over my head . Dealing with the grief . & Been letdown badly by the victim support. Only seeing them once in the first 3 years . After her death. Yours sincerely Maria Laney x

    • Its so difficult to get femicide taken seriously and totally understand your exhaustion Maria. Really hope Karen can help you but in the meantime, I send you a huge hug and remember to take care of yourself in your fight for justice for yourself, your daughter and your grandchild.

  5. In the USA 3-4 women are killed every day. 19% of the dead in intimate partner violence are children. less than 5 % of dead are men and over 80% of men killed are killed in self defense AFTER they used lethal force (strangulation) against their female partner. So the dude who thinks 50% of deaths are men is on crack, deluded or has no clue unless you Brits are absolutely different from Americans in terms of gender based violence.

  6. Any dead is one too many. I was trying to find figures for 2016 in order to compare them with Russia’s 14,000 women murdered every year in DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. Russia is a country geared up for VIOLENCE, against women and against everything and everyone. All geared up for war. That’s the relation i need to find.

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  22. As a man, I can’t help but feel a little guilty reading through these statistics, even if personally I have no reason to feel guilty. I think many men will feel defensive towards numbers like this because they will feel persecuted (even if they are not guilty in any way), however it is so important that this continues to be spoken about openly, so that we get closer to the root of the problem (whatever that is), and so that no one should fear violence in our society (especially at home). Thank you for doing this work, and all the best.

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  27. Sorry sue, that was meant as a way of saying youre not alone. No point reporting sexist violence if the police are sexist too. It simply puts you in more danger. If they are taking that approach, stay away from them as theyre allies of your daughters abuser and will likely help him regain control of her. Stay safe.

  28. I am having same problem in uk school system. I had to move my daughter from her first primary school when she was six after 4 months of gender based violence by six boys including a sexual assault. The school and authorities went after me and her with a vengeance. When a similar incident happened at her new school, this time at the hands of a muslim girl who was trying to terrorise a number of girls in her class, same thing again. The school protects its reputation by silencing the victim as the bully might prove violent. I have had to avoid school property due to the fact they are gunning for me whilst not holding the muslim girl or her family to account for violence and false reporting of child abuse about me to the police. Its a horrible situation to be in and leaves my daughter very vulnerable but if im on school grounds i am a liability as i may well fall into one of her mothers traps to punish me for reporting her daughters violence to the school.

  29. I was a victim of physical abuse 30 years ago and was amazed at the reaction of the police when my daughter also found herself in the same situation. An unwilingness to do anything or to even believe that there was anything going on. In fact we were told that we could be arrested for harrassment if we continued to seek help.

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  35. My school friend emma burns 31 was murdered in 2011 by her boyfriend who battered her to death with a claw hammer she died 4 days later with bleeding on the brain as a result of her injurys, she told police she had fell and she was ok after a neighbour had called 999 after hearing her screams..

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