Latest Office for National Statistics show increase of femicide in the UK

Aida fofana
3 min readOct 21, 2020


Femicide has increased according to latest figures from the Office of National Statistics.

Current femicide numbers

With momentary dips along the way, the annual homicide report shows during 2009 the figure for femicides was 193 that year and over the decade the figure has increased by 25%.

Femicide is the intentional killing of women and girls due to their gender.

A closer look at the data revealed that 33% of women murdered in 2019 died at the hands of their current or ex partner; a further 38% of women's killers were unidentifiable.

Though 38% of the cases had acquitted all suspects, 71% of the homicides were located on residential properties compared to 21% of killings taking place in public spaces.

Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

With a high cohort of cases not having suspects yet majority of killings taking place in proximity of a home, it solidifies the notion that a woman is likely to be murdered by a known person than a stranger committing a random act of violence.

The Female Census report findings

Latest figures come one year after the Female Census report found 147 women were killed by 147 men in 2018. A figure that has increased by ten compared to the previous year and is the highest figure since the census began in 2009.

Both sets of data though a year apart document the same pattern that a large portion of women are killed by men they know.

In 2018 61% of women murdered were killed by their current or former partner with 6% of cases not having a suspect.

The report published by Women’s Aid and co-founder Karen Ingala-Smith also shows:

  • 52% of perpetrators had previous histories of violence towards women or the victim
  • 68% of femicides took place in the woman’s house
  • 39% of women were killed by men who had never been or were not intimate partners.

The ONS, unlike the Femicide census, reports a more general view of the victims of murder classifying them by age, gender and ethnicity therefore it’s hard to indicate from the current data how many of the 33% and 38% of perpetrators had a history of gender based violence but the comparison and combination of the two reports seems to echo similar trends.

Post-pandemic figures

Back in April during the early months of lockdown women’s charity Refuge reported a 700% increase in the amount of online traffic its national domestic abuse website was receiving.

Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of national domestic abuse charity Refuge said:

“What this shows us is, as we anticipated, women under lockdown who are experiencing domestic abuse are finding the window in which to call us — already ordinarily very limited — has further reduced, and are seeking support online.”

The Office for National Statistics is due to release updated figures on the characteristics of domestic abuse in the UK this November and with the recent pandemic figures are set to reveal contributing figures to the current climate of femicide in the UK.



Aida fofana

All things culture & politics! Currently MA Multiplatform and Mobile Journalist