Domestic homicides surge to a five-year high

Friday 13th September 2019

Responding to a BBC investigation into rates of domestic homicide, Adina Claire, Acting Co-Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:

“We’re appalled that domestic homicides are now at their highest rate in five years. Domestic homicide is a gendered crime, with 82% of perpetrators being male and 73% of victims being female. It is the final, fatal act of control from an abuser, when the perpetrator, far from losing control, exerts the ultimate control over their victim. We know that these are not isolated incidents or one-offs: the research shows there are clear warning signs for domestic homicides, and that when a woman attempts to leave her abuser it is the most dangerous time.

The government must put reducing domestic homicides at the centre of its work to reduce violence against women. We know that it is not just so-called ‘high-risk’ cases which lead to homicide; coercive control is a significant indicator and we know not all survivors are  taken seriously with the current approach to domestic abuse. Despite not being classified ‘high risk’ many women lose their lives at the hands of perpetrators, which is why our Change That Lasts approach at Women’s Aid takes a different, more holistic approach to safety. A sustainable funding model for refuge accommodation and specialist domestic abuse training for all police officers are urgently needed – without these we don’t stand a hope of defeating this horrific crime. We will continue to work with police forces to roll out the College of Policing’s Domestic Abuse Matters training programme to improve police understanding of the nature of domestic abuse and homicide.”

If you are worried that your partner, or that of a friend or family member, is controlling and abusive, you can contact the Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge, on 0808 2000 247 or visit www.womensaid.org.uk.

For more information, please contact the Women’s Aid press office: 020 7566 2511 / [email protected]

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