‘We record all the killing of women by men. You see a pattern’ A campaign group hopes to prompt the government to take action to stem the rise of violence against women by keeping a database of every woman who is killed by a man Tracy McVeigh and Claire Colley Observer, Sunday 8 February 2015 00.05 GMT
With neat rows of photographs of smiling women old and young, of all backgrounds, classes and creeds, it might be pages from a social media website or something from an advertising campaign. Hundreds of women, captured in a moment of vitality and life, at home, at parties, on holidays or with friends.
Behind the pictures lie stories of women who, beyond their families, have been remembered chiefly as statistics. But they should be linked, says campaigner Karen Ingala Smith, because they were all killed by men.
On Thursday a database will be launched online entitled Femicide Census: Profiles of Women Killed by Men. It is a project designed to force a recognition of the scale and significance of male violence against women and is the culmination of several years of work by Ingala Smith, who began a grim and time-consuming task of counting Britain’s murdered women and putting their names on her own blog back in 2012. There were 126 women killed through male violence that year, 143 in 2013 and 150 in 2014.
Scouring news websites and police reports, she pieced together what she says is an important pattern that was not being represented in the way crime and other statistics are collated. It became...
1.4 million women suffered domestic abuse last year, ONS figures show Office for National Statistics survey shows that rates remain stubbornly high, while violent crime more generally continues to fall Alan Travis, home affairs editor Guardian, Thursday 12 February 2015 11.29 GMT
The most common types of intimate violence were non-sexual partner abuse (22%), stalking (21%) and sexual assault (20%). Photograph: Alamy
An estimated 1.4 million women and 700,000 men have suffered domestic abuse in the last year, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS data also reveals a hidden link between poverty and domestic abuse, with women living in the poorest households more than three times more likely to be victims than those in higher income families.
The official statistics on violent crime and sexual offences in England and Wales, which are published annually, show a positive picture of a steady long-term decline in violent crime over the past 20 years.
The number of violent incidents in England and Wales has fallen from a peak of 3.8m in 1995 to about 1.3m in 2013/14.
With 526 homicides in 2013/14, the murder rate is now at its lowest level since 1989, when 521 were recorded. Gun and knife crime is also falling.
New figures on alcohol-fuelled crime, however, show that the number of violent attacks in which drink played a role remains stubbornly at around 53%, as it has for the last 10 years. Alcohol is reported to be...
Legal aid cuts exposing domestic abuse victims to court ordeal, says report Citizens Advice says victims may face being cross-examined by their abuser because they have to represent themselves in court Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent @owenbowcott Thursday 19 February 2015 00.01 GMT
A Citizens Advice bureau. Photograph: Frank Baron/Guardian
Victims of domestic abuse increasingly face being cross-examined by their attackers because legal aid cuts make it difficult to qualify for courtroom representation, according to research by Citizens Advice.
The warning also features in a report by a parliamentary select committee that says women who have endured violence in the home may have problems providing the evidence required to obtain a lawyer.
The justice system’s treatment of victims of domestic violence has become a politically charged issue. The Ministry of Justice says all victims are entitled to legal aid to help them “break free from abusive relationships”.
But a Citizens Advice report, Victims of Abuse: Struggling for Support, says the regulations, “both in terms of evidence requirements and income or asset thresholds requiring financial contribution, leave large numbers of victims giving up on their rights to justice”.
It adds: “In some cases these restrictions expose victims to risk, leaving no alternative but to represent themselves in court facing their perpetrator.”
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 set out regulations about how victims can provide evidence of abuse having occurred in the previous two years.
Domestic abuse victims: struggling for support? 19 February 2015 Imogen Parker, Senior Policy Researcher
‘The law leaves me in a situation where my ex can come round when he wants to, text me, phone me…and I can’t stop him. My kids and I are constantly frightened, living in lock-down conditions and there is nothing we can do.’ Abuse survivor
Yet despite its prevalence, seeking support for domestic abuse can be difficult. Many victims face substantial barriers to telling anyone, or even acknowledging to themselves, that they are in an abusive relationship. Victims can face emotional barriers – like low self-esteem, self-blame, fear, guilt, love and commitment to extricating themselves from an abusive relationship.