Blog: Shocking UN Report into femicide.

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This is an horrific statistic.

According to a report from the UN released on 23rd November 2022, from approximately 81,000 women and girls killed across the world in 2021, around 45,000 (56%) of them were killed by a family member.

In this shocking statistic there is revealed the dark truth that the majority of women and girls killed across the world in any given year, will be killed by someone that they know…not only that, but that the majority will also be killed by a family member, someone they shpuld be able to trust: a husband, partner, father, uncle, brother or son.

UN Women and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime said the figures were “alarmingly high”, but the true number of femicides – where women are killed because of their gender – is likely to be much higher. Roughly four in 10 deaths in 2021 were not counted as femicides because there was insufficient data. 

The onset of the Covid pandemic in 2020 coincided with a significant increase in femicides in North America and western and southern Europe, according to the research. Data from 25 countries in Europe and the Americas indicates that the increases were largely due to killings carried out by family members other than husbands and partners.

A contributor to the report, Bárbara Jiménez-Santiago, a human rights lawyer and the Americas regional coordinator for the international women’s rights organisation Equality Now, said: “Domestic violence is still commonly viewed as a private ‘family’ matter in some parts of the world,” she said. “Police and prosecutors often don’t take cases seriously, and victim blaming is widespread. This deters women and girls from reporting violations. Offenders go unpunished and this fosters a culture of impunity that perpetuates further abuse.”

In the UK, the vast majority – 93% – of defendants in domestic abuse and violence trials are men perpetrating the crime against women and girls and to further add insult to injury, 82% of these defendants are repeat offenders.

Aside from the implications for law enforcement and the appalling conviction rates for sexual assault and r*pe alongside domestic abuse, this speaks of a widespread lack of rehabilitation and education upon coming in front of a court – whether defendants are found guilty or not.

I am an advocate of, and deliverer of training and education in coercive control and domestic abuse and do so because my sister was killed by a partner she had met eighteen months earlier in social media. The pattern of his behaviour mirrors almost exactly the behaviour examined by hundreds of killers summarised by Jane Monckton-Smith in her excellent book ‘In Control’.

I’m passionate about helping young people understand coercive control and domestic abuse so that they can make informed choices about their partners and will understand the Red Flags they may experience.

As well as that, someone needs to work with young people – especially young men – to open eyes to controlling and abusive behaviours that they may have seen so that they have a chance to understand and reject such behaviour.

If you’re interested in hearing more about the work we do in schools and colleges please see the Coercive Control and Empathy Lightbulbs talks outlined on the Speaker Page HERE.

In addition there are a range of books to help you understand sexism, misogyny and abuse and they’re listed HERE.



23 / 11 / 2022