The hidden homicides of women being pushed to their deaths

Fawziyah Javed, 31, and her unborn child died when she was pushed from Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh in September 2021

Athena Stavrou,Lucinda Cameron
Monday 04 March 2024 00:03 GMT
We face lifetime of pain, say family of woman murdered on Edinburgh landmark

The family of a woman who was murdered by her abusive husband after he pushed her off Arthur’s Seat are backing a campaign to ensure justice for women who die after being pushed from a height.

Fawziyah Javed, 31, and her unborn child died when she was pushed from Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh in September 2021.

Kashif Anwar, 29, from Leeds, was found guilty of the murder after a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh last year and was given a life sentence and ordered to serve at least 20 years behind bars.

Fawziyah Javed, 31, died on Arthur’s Seat in September 2021 (PA) (PA Wire)

Ms Javed’s family has now backed the group Killed Women, which is calling for major change as it seeks to uncover and prevent the “hidden homicides” of women pushed to their deaths.

It coincides with the Channel 4 documentary The Push, which follows the case of Ms Javed, who was from the Pudsey area of Leeds.

Ms Javed’s mother Yasmin, a member of the Killed Women network, said: “Domestic abusers will continue to get away with murder if we don’t ensure the cases of so-called fallen women are rigorously investigated by authorities.

“We must have a system that delivers justice for these women.

“The conviction will never heal the grief of losing our beautiful Fawziyah, but we are campaigning to ensure that all those who murder women in this way are held to account.”

Fawziyah Javed on her graduation day (Family handout/Police Scotland/PA) (PA Media)

Criminologist Jane Monkton Smith estimates there are around 130 primarily female victims killed every year in England and Wales whose deaths are not investigated or prosecuted as homicides.

Killed Women submitted freedom of information requests to all 44 UK police forces to find out how many incidents of women falling from a height there were between 1973 and 2023.

It said 42 of the forces were not able to provide the data, or said they were unable to access the information due to the required time and cost.

A family member wears a badge in memory of Fawziyah Javed outside the High Court in Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

Police Scotland did respond, stating there had been 10 homicides involving women falling from height, while Humberside provided data between 2017 and 2023, stating there were seven incidents, the campaign group said.

Killed Women’s Fallen Women campaign calls for the deaths of all women who have fallen from a height to be reviewed by police to identify whether domestic abuse may have been a feature.

The group wants official data collection to track the number of women who die after falling from a height each year, and said domestic abuse should be a key line of inquiry for police in all such cases.

Nicole Jacobs, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales, said: “I strongly support the fallen women campaign to shine a light on this hidden issue.

“Police, forensic specialists and the whole justice system must look seriously at the wider context to these deaths, taking the time to understand any history of domestic abuse, and join the dots.”

Killed Women is a campaigning organisation led by and representing the bereaved families of women killed by men.

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, National Police Chiefs’ Council and Police Scotland have been contacted for comment.

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