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'These figures should shame Irish society' 100 women have died at hands of partners or ex-partners since 1996

There has been more than 200 cases of femicide in Ireland since records began 23 years ago.

Image: Shutterstock/Yupa Watchanakit

FIVE WOMEN HAVE died violently so far in 2019, according to a new report from Women’s Aid, which also shows women are 87% more likely to be killed by a man who is known to them. 

The report points to some of the patterns identified in the more than 200 cases of femicide since the charity’s records began in 1996. 

Over the past 23 years, some 230 women have been killed, while 16 children have died alongside their mothers. 

Almost nine in 10 of those cases involved women being killed by a man known to them. 

Women’s Aid has published the data from the Legacy of Loss report in a bid to raise awareness and to call for greater supports for domestic abuse victims. 

The charity’s CEO, Sarah Benson, said: “Since our records began in 1996, 230 women have died violently in Ireland, 16 children, ranging from 5 months to 14 years old have died alongside their mother. 

100 women have died at the hands of their current or former partners. These figures should shame Irish society. The legacy of loss is incalculable.

Benson, along with advocates and family members of femicide victims, will address a gathering in Dublin today. 

Of the women killed in Ireland over the past two decades, some 56% of them were killed by a current or former partner.

The report also said that women, in general, are more likely than men to be killed in their own home and at the hands of someone they know. 

“When women call Women’s Aid and tell us that they are afraid for their lives, we believe them.  We know just how dangerous domestic abuse can be,” Benson said.

“Femicide by an intimate partner must not be accepted as a fact of life in our society.  Women should be safe in their homes and in their relationships. And we must recognise the strong connection between the killing of women and domestic abuse.”

A review of femicide by the World Health Organisation found that an intimate partner commits more than 35% of murders of women worldwide. In comparison, the same study estimates that an intimate partner commits about 5% of all murders of men. 

In 2017, seven women were killed in acts of femicide in Ireland. 

Earlier this year, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan established an expert study on femicide and domestic homicide reviews to consider international best practice and examine current practice in Ireland. 

It is currently out for public consultation with a report expected within 12 months. 

The Women’s Aid 24hr national freephone helpline is 1800 341 900.

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