Press Release

13 February 2020

Refuge responds to ONS annual homicide statistics

London 13th February 2020:  Refuge, the UK’s largest domestic violence charity, responds to Office for National Statistics (ONS)  annual homicide statistics.
In response to the release today of homicide statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of national domestic abuse charity Refuge said:

‘These statistics show that violence against women and girls continues to be a scourge on society. In 2019, almost half the number of adult female homicide victims were killed in a domestic homicide. Domestic abuse continues to harm and kill women at an alarming rate, and Refuge is extremely concerned that the 2019 statistics show a 27% rise in the number of women killed in a domestic homicide compared to the previous year.  While these statistics dropped in 2018, this rise in 2019 proves that any indications domestic abuse was reducing were wholly unfounded.

On average, two women every week across England and Wales are killed by a current or former partner. Women’s lives lost to male violence –  leaving children without mothers, parents without daughters, families without loved ones. This must serve as a stark reminder to Government and law enforcement alike that domestic abuse is a crime, must be taken more seriously and addressed with urgency.

The Government has a real opportunity to address gender-based violence by ensuring that the Domestic Abuse Bill comes back to Parliament as soon as possible. We hope that the Government will act quickly to ensure the Bill is strengthened, and has a smooth passage into law. We are eagerly awaiting the new statutory duty to fund refuges, which must be backed up with enough funding to ensure that every woman has somewhere safe to go if they need it. No woman fleeing domestic abuse should be turned away from safety. The Bill has the ability to transform the response to domestic abuse – and that chance must not be lost.  Women’s lives depend on it.’

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