People said something had changed with the awful death of Sarah Everard. But the message certainly hasn’t reached the men who rape, harm and kill women. And I can’t see a difference in the government, police, Crown Prosecution Service or the judiciary either.

Since Sarah Everard was abducted, raped, murdered and, in the words of her mother, “disposed of as if she were rubbish”, at least 81 other UK women have been killed in circumstances where the suspect is a man. It is absolutely ludicrous that we know this because of my work, a random northern woman in east London, not the government, not the National Police Chiefs Council. Each of these women will have died in terror and pain, just like Sarah. Each one leaves behind grieving friends and family for whom the loss will last a lifetime.

It is significant that Sarah was killed by a serving police officer, but I wish the suffering of these women, and the anguish of those who loved them, were not accepted as normal and inevitable.

Sarah Everard.
Sarah Everard. Photograph: Metropolitan Police/Reuters

Men’s fatal violence against women cuts across all sections of society, across ages, class and ethnicity. But some women are afforded more empathy than others. Some are more likely to be disbelieved, to be blamed, to be sent away without the help they need. This appalling hierarchy of victims continues into death. It is almost always the young, conventionally attractive, middle-class white woman killed by a stranger, the perfect victim, that makes the front pages. Not the 50-year-old from a council estate in Leicestershire, killed by the father of her children after a 30-year marriage, where her life and dignity have been chipped away, little by little, every day. Perhaps until she found the strength to leave him and he chose to exercise the ultimate form of control. I want every woman’s death to be a reason for soul-searching.

I started Counting Dead Women in January 2012, after the murder of 20-year-old Kirsty Treloar, who had been referred to the charity of which I am chief executive, when she was trying to leave her violent boyfriend. A year and a half later, Clarrie O’Callaghan and I had our first conversation, one that would lead to the development of the Femicide Census. We’ve made Freedom of Information requests going back to 2009 about men’s fatal violence against women. From this we’ve identified that 62% of women killed by men are killed by a partner or ex-partner, and that at least a third of these women were in the process of leaving, or had left him; that teenage girls, as well as women in their 80s or 90s, can be killed by men who were supposed to love them; that 92% of women who are killed by men are killed by someone they know. One in 12 is a woman who is killed by her son.

Black women are disproportionately victimised, yet more likely to receive a sub-standard response from state agencies. And Sarah Everard was the 16th woman to be killed by a serving or former police officer since 2009.

Has something changed since Sarah Everard was abducted, raped, murdered and disposed of by Wayne Couzens? The government has published the third national strategy to tackle violence against women that doesn’t name men as the perpetrators in the title. It names high-profile victims in the introduction but doesn’t name femicide.

It is a folly if we set an ambition to end men’s violence against women and girls if we cannot name women as disproportionally the victims and men as overwhelmingly the perpetrators of sexual and domestic violence and abuse.

The Observer and Femicide Census’s End Femicide campaign is important. The media plays a huge role in shaping people’s attitudes and understanding and it is to the Observer’s credit that it is looking at femicide in depth. Femicide is not just homicide of women by men, it’s about how and why women are killed and how this is different from when men are killed.

Understanding this is a key step towards ending femicide.

The 81 Women allegedly killed by men since the murder of Sarah Everard

Data compiled by Karen Ingala-Smith on her blog Counting Dead Women

1. Geetika Goyal,

29, died 4 March

2. Imogen Bohajczuk,

29, died 4 March

3. Wenjing Xu,

16, died 5 March

4. Karen McClean,

50, died 19 March

5. Stacey Knell,

30, died 19 March

6. Smita Mistry,

32, died 23 March

7. Sammy Mills,

31, died 23 March

8. Patricia Audsley,

66, died 25 March

9. Phyllis Nelson,

76, died 26 March

10. Klaudia Soltys,

30, died 27 March

11. Simone Ambler,

49, died 29 March

12. Emma McArthur,

49, died 1 April

13. Sherrie Milnes,

51, died 1 April

14. Constanta Bunea,

50, died 4 April

15. Jacqueline Grant,

54, died 6 April

16. Loretta Herman,

85, died 9 April

17. Egle Vengaliene,

34, died 9 April

18. Sally Metcalf,

68, died 10 April

19. Sarah Keith,

26, died 13 April

20. Peggy Wright,

83, died 18 April

21. Charmaine O’Donnell,

25, died 23 April

22. Michelle Cooper,

40, died 23 April

23. Kerry Bradford,

57, died 25 April

24. Julia James,

53, died 27 April

25. Beth Aspey,

34, died 30 April

26. Susan Booth,

62, died 2 May

27. Mayra Zulfiqar,

26, died 3 May

28. Maria Rawlings,

45, died 4 May

29. Chenise Gregory,

29, died 4 May

30. Agnes Akom,

20, went missing 9 May

31. Wendy Cole,

70, died 10 May

32. Caroline Crouch,

20, died 11 May

33. Svetlana Mihalachi,

53, died 12 May

34. Nicola Kirk,

45, died 12 May

35. Unnamed woman,

32, died 13 May

36. Agita Geslere,

61, died 25 May

37. Lauren Wilson,

34, died 26 May

38. Peninah Kabeba,

42, died 27 May

39. Jill Hickery,

80s, died 29 May

40. Bethany Vincent,

26, died 31 May

41. Esther Brown,

67, died 1 June

42. Michaela Hall,

49, died 1 June

43. Mildred Whitmore,

84, died 1 June

44. Stacey Clay,

39, died 2 June

45. Linda Hood,

68, died 11 June

46. Marlene Coleman,

53, died 16 June

47. Sophie Cartlidge,

39, died 18 June

48. Gracie Spinks,

23, died 18 June

49. Michelle Hibbert,

29, died 19 June

50. Kim Dearden,

63, died 20 June

51. Sally Poynton,

44, died 22 June

52. Catherine Wardleworth,

70s, died 23 June

53. Sukhjit Badial,

73, died 29 June

54. Elsie Pinder,

66, died 3 July

55. Catherine Stewart,

54, died 4 July

56. Ishrat Ahmed,

52, died 4 July

57. Tamara Padi,

43, died 7 July

58. Katie Brankin,

37, died 12 July

59. Sandra Hughes,

63, died 13 July

60. Beatrice Stoica,

36, died 23 July

61. Pat Holland,

83, died 24 July

62. Yordanos Brhane,

19, died 31 July

63. Amanda Selby,

15, died 31 July

64. Louise Kam,

71, found dead 1 August

65. Malgorzata Lechanska,

37, died 1 August

66. Megan Newborough,

23, found dead 8 August

67. Diana Nichols,

57, died 9 August

68. Maxine Davison,

51, died 12 August

69. Kate Shepherd,

66, died 12 August

70. Bella Nicandro,

76, died 14 August

71. Eileen Barrott,

50, died 15 August

72. Sharon Pickles,

45, died 19 August

73. Helen Anderson,

41, died 23 August

74. Jade Ward,

27, died 26 August

75. Maddie Durdant-Hollamby,

22, died 27 August

76. Fawziyah Javed,

31, died 2 September

77. Ingrid Matthew,

54, died 11 September

78. Sabina Nessa,

28, 17 September

79. Unnamed woman,

died 17 September

80. Terri Harris,

35, died 19 September

81. Sukhjeet Uppal,

40, died 19 September

Source: The 81 women killed in 28 weeks

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