Most Irish Women Murdered By Men Know Their Killer

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Reviews of domestic murder cases would save the lives of women and children according to Women’s Aid,

The latest Femicide Watch Report reveals nearly 9 in 10 women murdered here are killed by a man known to them.

The organisation wants formal reviews of domestic killings so that agencies can recognise the full pattern of male violence.

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In over half of all the resolved cases, women were killed by a current or former boyfriend, partner or husband.

Women’s Aid is calling on the Government to introduce formal reviews of domestic killings as a matter of urgency and argue that the learning from reviews will help save lives.

Without these domestic homicide reviews, agencies lack the ‘whole picture’ and are unlikely to see the full pattern of male violence against women and children.

The report reveals that since the beginning of 1996, 225 women have died violently in the Republic of Ireland. 16 children were killed alongside their mothers. 137 women (61%) were killed in their own homes.

Where the cases have been resolved 98 women (56%) were murdered by a current or former male intimate partner. Another 20 women (11%) were killed by a male relative and in 35 cases (20%) women were killed by a man who was known to them. 23 women (13%) were murdered by a stranger.

Women’s Aid says that the dangerous patterns present in abusive relationships are all too often dismissed and not taken seriously which can put women at risk of serious assault or homicide.

Risk factors for intimate partner Femicide can include a history of physical violence and also a pattern of emotional abuse and controlling behaviour.

Many of the risk factors in domestic violence homicide cases overlap with behaviours and tactics used by perpetrators of domestic violence including physical abuse, threats to kill, abuse during pregnancy, jealousy, stalking and surveillance and controlling behaviour.

Women’s Aid believes that increased recognition and management of risk factors for intimate partner homicide would lead to an improved response to domestic violence by the State and its agencies, saving the lives of women.

Margaret Martin, Director of Women’s Aid says that fatal violence against women is at the most severe end of the spectrum of domestic abuse:

“When women call Women’s Aid and tell us that they are afraid for their lives, we believe them. We know just how dangerous domestic violence can be. We know where women are killed. We know how women are killed and by whom. It is time to act. Femicide by an intimate partner must not be accepted as a fact of life for women. Women should be safe in their homes and in their relationships. And we must recognise the strong connection between the killing of women and domestic violence.”

“The types of abuse and behaviour that precedes intimate partner Femicide, mirrors what we hear from women each day. Last year over 21,000 contacts were made with Women’s Aid including which 19,385 disclosures of abuse against women and 3,552 disclosures of child abuse. We heard 622 disclosures where a man has told a woman he will kill her, the children, a family member or himself. 756 disclosures where a man had choked, smothered, beaten or threatened to beat his partner with a weapon. 531 disclosures of stalking –both online and in person – and 217 reports of assault during pregnancy.”

Key statistics from the Women’s Aid Femicide Report 2018:

  1. Seven women have died violently in the Republic of Ireland in 2018.
  2. Since 1996, 225 women have died violently in the Republic of Ireland.
  3. 16 children were killed alongside their mothers.
  4. 137 women were killed in their own homes (61%).
  5. In the resolved cases, 98 women were murdered by a partner or ex-partner (56%).
  6. Another 20 women (11%) were killed by a male relative and in 35 cases (20%) women were killed by a man who was known to them.
  7. 23 women (13%) were murdered by a stranger.
  8. In the 20 cases where a woman has been killed by a male relative, 16 were killed by their sons (80%).
  9. In total, 87% of women were killed by a man they knew.
  10. Women of any age can be victims of homicide with women under the age of 35 making up 52% of cases in Ireland.
  11. There have been 22 cases of murder suicide in this time, where the killer has killed a woman and then himself during the incident or shortly afterwards. In 21 of these cases the killer was a partner or ex of the victim.