Female domestic violence victims make up more than one-in-ten homicides in South Yorkshire

More than one in ten murder and manslaughter victims in South Yorkshire are women killed by domestic violence

Monday, 10th December 2018, 11:32 am
Updated Monday, 10th December 2018, 11:35 am
Sex crimes committed by adults in positions of trust have increased by more than 80 per cent since 2014.

Campaigners have called for '˜urgent' government action to protect women from fatal attacks, after new Home Office figures revealed the extent of domestic homicides across England and Wales.

Homicide cases include both murder and manslaughter, while domestic homicides are those in which the victim was a romantic partner or family member of the suspect. South Yorkshire Police recorded 44 killings involving a victim aged 16 years or over in the three year period between April 2014 and March 2017.

The figures exclude the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, who were included in the homicide statistics following an enquiry in 2016.

Of these victims, six were domestic homicides, 27 were non-domestic, and 11 were homicides in which no suspect was identified. Women victims accounted for five of the domestic homicides. This means women killed through domestic violence made up 11 per cent of all the murders and manslaughters recorded by the force.

Sandra Horley, chief executive of domestic violence charity Refuge, said violence against women and girls was "the biggest threat" facing women in the UK.

"Domestic violence is a matter of life and death and an overwhelmingly gendered offence," she said.

"One in four women will be affected by domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime.

"Two women are killed by their current or former partner every week."

There were 400 domestic homicides in England and Wales over the same three year period, with women making up 73 per cent of the victims.

The figures mean that women killed during domestic abuse accounted for 19 per cent of all killings across the two countries, excluding Hillsborough. For just the killings where a suspect was identified, they made up almost a quarter of victims.

Katie Ghose, chief executive of Women's Aid, said: "Time and time again, we hear of cases where a woman is killed described as an 'isolated incident.'

"By looking at the context of the killing of women by men, we can see that these cases are far from isolated incidents.

"Too many of them follow a repeated pattern.

"We call for the government to urgently put the prevention of femicide at the centre of its work and its forthcoming domestic abuse bill to combat fatal male violence against women once and for all.'

Women were more than six times more likely to be killed by a male partner than men were to be killed by a female partner. Four out of five female domestic homicide victims were killed by a current or former partner, and all but one by a male partner.