In 2013, a 16-year-old student, Sasha Marsden, went to the Blackpool Hotel, which she thought was an interview for a part-time job. The man she met David Minto, 23, seduced her with a fake. He raped her and stabbed her 58 times. Sasha could only be identified by DNA taken from a toothbrush. Minto was sentenced to 35 years in prison, but the Sashas family has no time limit for grief.
Sashas sister Gemma Aitchison founded YES Matters UK in response to the murder. I wanted to know why this happened to Sasha and what I could do about it, she explains. Part of what her organization does is to talk to young people about consent, body image, pornography, and media influence. What I know now is that as long as women are treated as non-human objects, we will continue to be disposable.
This Wednesday is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and kicks off a 16-day campaign on sexual violence worldwide. On the same day, you can see the groundbreaking report Femicide Census being published in the UK, which analyzes the shocking killings of women and girls in the hands of men for the first time in the UK from 14 to 100 years old. For 10 years, 2009-2018. The census defines the killing of women as fatal violence against women by men and reveals that, on average, women were killed every three days with unchanging terrible statistics for 10 years. This is true despite rising public awareness, increasing research, changing laws and improving police training. According to reports, the pattern of male violence is persistent and long-lasting.
Gemma Aitchison runs the YES Matters UK program, founded after the rape and murder of her sister Sasha Marsden in 2013 at her home in Bolton’s Westhoughton. Photo: Christopher Thomond / The Observer
What is scandalously lacking in reducing female killings in Britain is partly because each murder is treated as an isolated case by multiple agencies and does not attract the wider public attention. As a result, the report states that the information received from the police, for example through a request for freedom of information, may be infrequent, inaccurate or incomplete. While coroner reports often don’t mention the history of male violence, it is difficult to access official documents such as Independent Office Reports for Police Action and Home Murder Review, all of which are included in the census database along with media reports. .
To fix the problem, you need to be able to tell what it is, says Karen Ingala Smith, CEO of Nia, a sexual and domestic violence charity. She and former lawyer and current restaurant executive Clarissa OCallaghan released the first Femicide Census in 2016, a six-year 2009-15 review. Since then, three annual reports have been followed by a small team of part-time researchers and experts. Bono support from international law firm Freshfields Bruckhouse Deringer and consultant Deloitte.
Now looking back at 10 years of death, the census draws terrible conclusions about patterns of abuse and violence and what the authorities have discovered or should have discovered.
Karen Ingala Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Nia, a sexual and domestic violence charity, and co-founder of Femicide Census. Photo: Sophia Evans / The Observer
Almost half of the 1,425 victims were killed by sharp tools, sometimes with additional brutal violence (classified as overkill). The most common form of female killing is stabbing, says Ing Gala Smith. However, most knife crime strategies focus on youth and gang crime. The second method is strangulation. Non-fatal strangulation is often part of a pattern of abuse that has not been fully recognized and investigated. Ingala Smith and OCallaghan support the Center for Women’s Justice’s campaign to add an amendment to the domestic violence bill that will become law next year to cover a new crime called non-lethal strangulation.
62% (888) of women who died were killed by their current or former partners, most of them in their own homes. Four out of ten of these women are preparing to leave or have already separated critical periods and have missed the opportunity to prevent murder from the front lines, including police and GPs, mental health advocates. The home is a bitter lie for many women, the report says.
At least 611 (59%) abuse records were evident, including coercive control, stalking, harassment, physical, financial, and emotional abuse. One-third of women reported abuse to the police. They are still dead.
Kirsty Treloar was murdered by her boyfriend in 2012 when she was 20 years old.
Femicide Census was originally started because of the 20-year-old nursery nurse Kirsty Treloar who asked for help. Police referred her to Nia, the Ingala Smiths organization. On January 2, 2012, Treloar was stabbed 29 times by 19-year-old abusive boyfriend Myles Williams. I searched google because little is known about Kirsty’s death. Ingala Smith explains. Already that year, when I saw a shocking number of death reports.
Eight women died in the first three days of 2012. Ingala Smith has created Counting Dead Women (CDW), a website that is now cloned worldwide. The CDW records all murders, but the census team only investigates and includes cases where it can be said that they legally killed this woman.
Ingala Smith may not be the only one we collect data like this. But we are. From the very beginning, it was essential to cover all situations in which men kill women, as well as women killings of husbands, partners and families. OCallaghan adds: The state is failing to protect women, not implementing policy and not accepting recommendations. You can devote time to training, but failure to implement the tools available on the ground, including injunctions, injunctions, and bail conditions, will fail to save women’s lives, which is a human rights issue.
In 10 years, sexual motivation has killed 57 women (4%). One perpetrator raped and murdered a 50-year-old boy at his first meeting. She had internal injuries and bites. 32 killed women were involved in the sex industry. While 16% of the victims were born outside the UK, the police were only a fifth. The provisions of the domestic violence law exclude migrant women. If the service is not alert to the fact that violence against women occurs in all backgrounds, the census points out that it is less likely to identify people at risk.
The state is failing to protect women, not implementing policies and not following recommendations.Clarissa OCallaghan, Femicide Census
Ingala Smith and OCallaghan say the state’s response is also dangerously fierce. Worldwide, the number of murders is declining, but women’s murders are increasing. We have a domestic violence bill, and it is not the final measure of violence against women and girls, says Ingala Smith. It minimizes gender differences. Murdering men do so in the context of gender discrimination inherent in societies that normalize male predatory behavior from an early age and are too eager to blame victims.
According to the census, the UK is one of the few countries in Europe that has not ratified the Istanbul Convention, which is based on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The Census points out that men’s violence against women and girls is fundamentally aware that gender inequality and the beliefs, attitudes and institutions that support it will not be eradicated without addressing it.
Eleven women were murdered by their grandchildren. Focusing only on partner violence, the report says, is missing the full spectrum of generational violence. What is excluded from the census is a hidden murder. For example, in some cases, it was determined that a woman stabbed herself, even though the witness said otherwise. Criminologist Dr Jane Monckton Smith, in the report, says that if a sudden death occurs in the context of domestic violence, you should have a more professional curiosity.
Clarissa OCallaghan, co-founder of Femicide Census. Photo: Gary Calton / The Observer
The subtitle of Femicide Census is, if Im not on Friday, I could have died. Judith Nibbs, the mother of five children, who was beheaded by her 30-year-old husband, Dempsey Nibbs. This report is dedicated to her memory and all the victims of the murder of women over the course of 10 years, with each name listed. People say several women die a week. Gemma Aitchison says. But it’s been a few women a week since I was born, and Im 34. That’s a huge system problem. According to the census, these women are important.
Femicide Census. Photo: Glazier Design
The Femicide Census concludes with a series of recommendations, including a thorough collection of gender segregation data, ratification of the Istanbul Convention, and improved funding. Domestic violence costs society over 66 billion annually. According to last year’s report, it takes 393m per year to provide safety and support, but the funding is only a fraction of that. The killings of women in the blockade expanded.
If the government truly works to end violence against men against women, Ingala Smith says, inter-party support is needed for a long-term, women-centered approach that recognizes that gender inequality is inherent in patriarchal societies. If the state agency did its job well, it could start.
The census is a unique criterion for accountability. But the future is uncertain. We rely on donations and pro bono support, says Ingala Smith. I want to be able to say we’ll be here for the next 10 years, but we can’t. Who would do if we didn’t do this?
Murder victims in 2019 (main image, top of this feature): top row, from left: Aliny Mendes, 39 years old; Sarah Henshaw, 40 years old; Rosie Darbyshire, 27 years old; Charlotte Huggins, 33 years old; Jodie Chesney, 17 years old; Leanne Unsworth, 40 years old, second row from left: Sarah Fuller, 35 years old; Amy Parsons, 35; Asma Begum, 31 years old; Elize Stevens, 50 years old; Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34 years old; Antoinette Donnegan, 52 years old, 3rd row from left: Lucy Rushton, 30 years old; Kelly Fauvrelle, 26 years old; Dorothy Woolmer, 89 years old; Bethany Fields, 21 years old; Megan Newton, 18 years old; Ellie Gould, 17 years old. 4th row from the left: Suvekshya Burathoki, 32 years old; Julia Lawson, 42 years old; Diane Dyer, 61; Kayleigh Hanks, 29 years old; Keeley Bunker, 20 years old; Joanne Hamer, 48 years old. Bottom row, from left: Sarah Hassall, 38 years old; Nicola Stevenson, 39 years old; Angela Tarver, 86; Leah Fray, 27 years old; Miri Khan Mustafa, 38 years old; Sammy-Lee Lodwig, 22 years old.
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