The femicide census is a unique source of information about women who have been killed by men in the UK and the men who have killed them.

Men’s violence against women is a leading cause of the premature death for women globally but research in the UK and Europe is limited and unconnected.  The Femicide Census significantly improves upon currently available data by providing detailed comparable data about femicides in the UK since 2009, including demographic and social factors and the methods men selected to kill women.  By collating femicides, we can see that these killings are not isolated incidents, and many follow repeated patterns.

The Femicide Census has a range of uses to contribute to improving knowledge, strategy, policy and practice, including:

  • Raising awareness of men’s fatal violence against women
  • Providing a clearer picture of men’s fatal violence against women in the UK by factors including relationship between perpetrator and victim, age, form of violence selected, location of fatal incident and justice outcome
  • Utilisation of the information to create advocacy tools based on concrete data on intimate partner violence homicides and other forms of familial or non-familial killings of women
  • Providing a resource for academics, journalists, policymakers and others researching femicide
  • Identification of state failings
  • Remembering and raising the status of women killed by men
  • Reducing men’s violence against women and girls.

Launched in 2015, The Femicide Census was founded by Karen Ingala Smith and Clarissa O’Callaghan with support from Freshfields, Deloitte and Women’s Aid (England). It was inspired by information collected by Karen and recorded in her blog Counting Dead Women. Since then, The Femicide Census has become established as a leading articulation of men’s fatal violence against women in the UK.  We are now ready to take the Femicide Census into its next phase as an independent entity.

Impact and Influence of The Femicide Census

The 2015 HMICFRS Report “Increasingly everyone’s business: A progress report on the police response to domestic abuse” endorsed the need for collated information on domestic homicides to disseminate learning to police forces and recommended that police forces consider how they can contribute effectively to, and access the information held within, the Femicide Census.

The “Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences” delivered at the November 2016 UN General Assembly cited the UK Femicide Census as an example of best practice.

London Mayor’s Knife Crime Strategy
Women victims of intimate partner homicide by stabbing have been described as invisible victims of knife crime. However, the Femicide Census helped ensure that intimate partner homicide/violence against women was addressed in the London Mayors 2017 Knife Crime Strategy.

Data from the Femicide Census has been used in two landmark legal cases.

The Femicide Census and Counting Dead Women were cited in a recent piece of work by forensic criminologist Dr Jane Monckton Smith of the University of Gloucester, The Homicide Timeline.

Parliament – Since 2016, MP Jess Phillips, has, on International Women’s Day (IWD), read out the names of UK women killed by men since the preceding IWD, supplied by Karen Ingala Smith’s Counting Dead Women; thus highlighting the extent of men’s fatal violence against women, raising the status of victims and ensuring that the women’s names are all recorded in Hansard, the official parliamentary record.

General public, media and arts – The Femicide Census has achieved significant media coverage and attention from artists who have been inspired to develop works addressing men’s fatal violence against women.