‘Murders are result of misogyny’: Women killed by men in over quarter of all murder cases in recent years

Exclusive: ‘If the Conservatives do not act fast to tackle the root cause of this violence, more women and girls will suffer,’ says Lib Dem MP

Maya Oppenheim
Women’s Correspondent
Monday 28 March 2022 17:46
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<p>Wera Hobhouse, the Women and Equalities spokesperson for the Lib Dems, says data shines a light on a nationwide ‘scandal’ of male violence against women and girls</p>

Wera Hobhouse, the Women and Equalities spokesperson for the Lib Dems, says data shines a light on a nationwide ‘scandal’ of male violence against women and girls

Women were killed by men in over a quarter of all murder cases in England and Wales in recent years, a new study has found.

Research by the House of Commons library, shared exclusively with The Independent by MP Wera Hobhouse, discovered women are the victims while men are the primary suspect in 28 per cent of all murder cases since 2016.

The report found 2,350 homicides took place between April 2016 and March 2021 - with 668 of these cases being women murdered by men.

Ms Hobhouse, the Women and Equalities spokesperson for the Lib Dems, who commissioned the study, told The Independent the data shines a light on a nationwide “scandal” of male violence against women and girls.

The MP for Bath, added: “These figures are nothing short of a national scandal showing the epidemic of violence against women, perpetrated by men.

“It is shameful that the Conservatives have turned a blind eye to anti-women hatred and showing a disgraceful lack of understanding of the issue. Make no mistake – these murders are a result of misogyny and sexist attitudes throughout the UK.

“We need a dramatic culture change with bold changes led by the government. We must send a clear message by making misogyny a hate crime. If the Conservatives do not act fast to tackle the root cause of this violence, more women and girls will suffer at the hands of men.”

Her comments come after Conservative MPs last month voted against making misogyny a hate crime in England and Wales.

While last December, an official review by the Law Commission found misogyny should not be made a hate crime. The independent body warned the measure would be “ineffective at protecting women and girls and in some cases, counterproductive” but many MPs and campaigners are still keen for the measure to be introduced.

The fresh data found the percentage of cases where men were killed by men is 64 per cent. Researchers noted the homicide victims they looked at were not the total figure of homicides currently recorded in England and Wales – with some cases not included, such as where the sex of the victim or suspect is not known.

Commenting on the figures, Isabelle Younane, of Women’s Aid, a leading domestic abuse charity, said: “Over the past few years, there has been a horrifying number of women whose lives have been taken by male violence.

“Women continue to feel unsafe on the streets – and in their homes. This must change. We know that violence against women is rooted in sexist attitudes.

“To build a world where violence against women is no longer tolerated, we must challenge gender stereotypes, end everyday misogyny, and unpick the power imbalances which are so ingrained in our society.”

Between two and three women are murdered each week by their partners or ex-partners in England and Wales. One in four women will suffer domestic abuse at some point during their lives – with domestic abuse having a higher rate of repeat victimisation than any other crime.

But violence against women and girls has gained increasing attention since the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens last March.

The murder of the 33-year-old woman fuelled anger at the government and police for not doing enough to address violence against women and girls, with the police facing sustained criticism over the failure to properly tackle these issues within their own ranks.

Couzens was reportedly nicknamed “the rapist” by colleagues because he made female officers feel uncomfortable.

Last week it also emerged Couzens has been charged with four counts of indecent exposure by the police, with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) saying the alleged offences took place in Swanley in Kent in the weeks before the officer kidnapped Everard.

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