Over half of murdered Irish women were killed by a current or ex-partner
Over half of murdered Irish women were killed by a current or ex-partner.
A new report has shown that the vast majority of women (almost 9 out of 10) who were murdered in Ireland since records began in 1996 were killed by a man who was known to them.
61 percent of women were murdered in their own homes.
Women's Aid's Femicide Watch 2018 report shows that an average of 10 women die violently in Ireland every year. 225 have died violently since 1996, with 16 children dying alongside their mothers.
The domestic abuse charity are calling for formal reviews of domestic killings to be introduced in order to protect Irish women and, in many cases, save their lives.
Forensic criminologist Dr Jane Monckton Smith says that partner femicides are "never a crime of passion but are always planned and part of a pattern of abuse."
“I've met a lot of wife killers and murder is never a 'crime of passion'. These murders are not about love, they’re about entitlement to a relationship, and a need to control that relationship.
"Murder is the ultimate expression of control. The most repeated phrase uttered by these killers is ‘if I can’t have you no-one can’."
Just 23 women (13 percent) have been murdered by a stranger since 1996.
Women's Aid director Margaret Martin says that although fatal violence against women is at the most severe end of the spectrum of domestic abuse, it is still an issue faced by a small group of women every year.
“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 violence can be.
"We know where women are killed. We know how women are killed and by whom. It is time to act."
Martin goes on to say that that link between murdered women and domestic violence must be acknowledged.
"We heard 622 disclosures where a man has told a woman he will kill her, the children, a family member or himself," she says.
"756 disclosures where a man had choked, smothered, beaten or threatened to beat his partner with a weapon. 531 disclosures of stalking - both online and in person - and 217 reports of assault during pregnancy.”
Martin says that the introduction of a Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) could help save women's lives going forward.
"These reviews must have powers to make and monitor recommendations to improve prevention," she says.
"We know from other jurisdictions that DHRs are a very important tool for families and loved ones to have their voices heard after often feeling let down by or voiceless in the Criminal Justice System.”