Domestic violence murders “more than double” in the isolation of Covid-19 | Society


At least 16 suspected domestic violence murders in the UK have been identified by activists since Covid-19’s lockdown restrictions were imposed, far higher than the average rate for the time of year it emerged .

Karen Ingala Smith, founder of Counting Dead Women, a pioneering project that records the murder of women by men in the UK, identified at least 16 murders between March 23 and April 12, including those of children.

Looking at the same period over the past 10 years, Smith’s data records an average of five deaths.

Its conclusions for 2020, which are gathered from research on the Internet and people contacting on social networks, were raised Wednesday during testimony before the select committee on internal affairs.

Dame Vera Baird QC, Victims Commissioner for England and Wales, told MEPs during the remote session: “Counting Dead Women have been the victim of a total of 16 sexual homicides in the past three weeks . We usually say there are two a week, what I think is five a week is the size of this crisis. “

A number of charities and activists against domestic violence have reported an increase in calls to hotlines and online services since the lock-in conditions were imposed, reflecting experiences in other countries.

Smith, who is also the managing director of a domestic violence charity, said, “I don’t believe that the coronavirus creates violent men. What we see is a window into the levels of abuse that women live with all the time. Coronavirus can exacerbate triggers, although I may prefer to call them apologies. Locking in can restrict some women’s access to support or escape and may even limit the actions some men take to keep their own violence under control.

“We have to be careful about how we talk about the increase in the number of men killing women. In the past 10 years, a woman in the UK has been killed by a man every three days, by a partner or ex-partner, every four days. So, if that was on average, you would expect to see seven women killed in 21 days. In reality, there are always times when the numbers are higher or lower.

“But we can say that the number of women killed by men in the first three weeks since the lockout is the highest in at least 11 years and is double the average of 21 days in the past 10 years. “

Smith’s research shows that at least seven people were killed by partners or former partners during the period, while three people were killed by their fathers.

The committee also heard from Nicole Jacobs, the Commissioner for Domestic Violence in England and Wales. She said deadlines for investigating crimes should be relaxed to allow survivors of home violence to report the perpetrators once the restrictions on coronaviruses are relaxed.

“I heard the police talk about the need to extend the time for reporting crimes. There are people who are currently being abused who are unable to call the police because it would not be safe for them, “said Jacobs.

“But they might want to report a crime later, so we have to allow some extension of what the normal time frame would be for this sort of thing.” “

“Summary” offenses, which means that they can only be tried by a district court, including common assault and harassment, must be prosecuted within six months.

Jacobs said services must prepare for the “inevitable increase” in victims of domestic violence seeking help when the foreclosure ends.

She said there were concerns that some of the millions of pounds of public funding announced for the charitable sector would be hard to reach small local charities that supported specific groups.

“We need to allow these charities to bid quickly and very simply and get the funds they need to support what they are doing, but also to plan for the inevitable surge we will have.” “There will be people waiting and trying to survive every day and then accessing support as quickly as possible after the lock is lifted,” she told MEPs.

In the UK, call the national domestic violence helpline on 0808 2000 247, or visit Women’s Aid. In Australia, the national family violence counseling service is 1-800-737,732. In the United States, the domestic violence helpline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Other international hotlines can be found via


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