Of the 113 women killed by men in England, Wales and Northern Ireland last year, 85 died in their homes, according to the Femicide Census, an annual analysis by the charity Women’s Aid.
Nine in 10 women killed during 2016 died at the hands of someone they knew. Of these, 78 women were killed by their current or former intimate partner, three by their sons and five by another male family member. Nine were killed by a stranger.
Women’s Aid said that the census revealed patterns in the killings. Many were committed in similar locations, a sharp instrument was used as a weapon in 47 cases.
“More needs to be done to address men’s fatal violence against women, as once again the Femicide Census reveals fatalities not as isolated incidents but as part of a repeated pattern of male violence against women,” said Katie Ghose, chief executive of Women’s Aid.
“Shockingly, in 2016, over two-thirds of women killed by a man were killed by a current or former intimate partner; 83% of these women were killed at their own home or the home they shared with the perpetrator.
“The government must urgently put the prevention of femicide at the centre of its work to combat male violence against women and girls.”
Women escaping domestic violence can be rehoused in refuges, but Ghose warned that the government was planning to remove supported housing funding for refuges, placing women in greater jeopardy.
“Without a safe space to escape to, more women will be killed by men that they know,” Ghose said. “The government must act now. Refuges are a vital lifeline, not an optional extra; they are not just a bed for a night but essential for women and their children to safely escape domestic abuse and rebuild their lives away from the perpetrator. A crucial part of preventing more fatalities must be to ensure sufficient provision for domestic abuse and sexual violence services, including refuges.”
She added: “Demand for refuges already far outstrips supply and the proposed funding model could be the breaking point. Refuges will be faced with the awful reality of either turning more women away or closing their doors for ever.
“Only by creating a long-term and sustainable funding model for a national network of refuges can we ensure that every woman can safely escape domestic abuse.”
Karen Ingala Smith, chief executive of the charity, nia, which campaigns to end violence against women and children, said the census provided vital data allowing for male on female violence to be contextualised.
“Men are killing women and girls; most often women and girls that they are related to,” she said. “Nine out of ten women killed by men in the census were killed by someone they knew. Over three quarters by a current or former partner. Every woman killed was important. But when we think about women killed by men, it’s important that we don’t forget about women who were killed by a man who wasn’t a partner; in 2016 they included a 30-year-old woman who was sexually assaulted and killed as she walked to work, a 20-year-old woman who suffered 60 separate injuries as she was raped and murdered by a delusional sexual predator who had promised to help her get home safely and an 81-year-old woman who was battered on the head and set alight by an intruder in her home. Men’s fatal violence against women extends beyond their partners and families.”
The National Domestic Violence helpline can be contacted on 0808 2000 247
Feminism exists so that no woman ever has to face her oppressor in a vacuum, alone. It exists to breakdown the privacy in which men rape, beat, and kill women. What I am saying is that every one of us has the responsibility to be the woman Marc Lepine wanted to murder. We need to live with that honor, that courage. We need to put fear aside. We need to endure. We need to create. We need to resist, and we need to stop dedicating the other 364 days of the year to forgetting everything we know. We need to remember every day, not only on December 6. We need to consecrate our lives to what we know and to our resistance to the male power used against us.
Andrea Dworkin on the mass murder in Montreal where 14 female students were murdered by anti-feminist Marc Lepine on Dec. 6, 1989
Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the far-right group whose posts were retweeted by US president Donald Trump last week, is accused of trying to persuade the victim of an alleged sexual assault from making an official complaint, the Observer has learned.
The 31-year-old deputy leader of the anti-Muslim group Britain First is said to have tried to persuade the victim not to complain after she alleged she was sexually assaulted by the group’s leader, Paul Golding, in July. The alleged attack occurred after one of the group’s demonstrations in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, when members congregated at a hotel after a rally denouncing child sex abuse.
Former Britain First member Graham Morris, in the hotel that night, says he witnessed Fransen encouraging the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to stay quiet. Morris said: “Jayda was saying, ‘I can give everything you need, a platform. I’ll do this for you, that for you.’ She was offering her all sorts. I’m thinking this is sick, but [the alleged victim] went along with it. I was there and I saw exactly how it went.” Morris, who says he was dating Fransen at the time, then alleged that the Britain First deputy told the victim that she should go back to the hotel bar where other members of the group were drinking.
He added: “Jayda said: ‘You’re going to have to come back to the bar and let everyone see you with Paul [Golding] so it looks like a misunderstanding. I was disgusted that a woman could try and encourage another woman not to report what happened.”
Fransen did not return the Observer’s calls. Britain First did not comment.
The alleged victim did eventually report Golding to police in early September; Morris, 54, from Leicestershire, revealed that he had also contacted police about the claims he makes about Fransen. Despite Fransen’s tweets being retweeted by Trump, Britain First is described by critics as a modest movement riven with infighting.
Fransen, who has ambitions to lead the party, is awaiting trial for hate speech at a rally in Belfast.
Maria Merian was born in 1647. At the time of her birth, Shakespeare had been dead for 30 years; Galileo had only just stood trial for arguing that the Earth moved around the Sun. And yet, here in Germany, was a child who would become an important but oft-forgotten figure of science.
Aged 13, she mapped out metamorphism, catching caterpillars from her garden and painting them in exquisite detail. At that point, most believed that caterpillars spontaneously generated from cabbages and maggots materialised from rotten meat. She later voyaged to Suriname in South America to pursue pupae further, discovering not just new species but also the conditions needed for their survival.
Some call her the first field ecologist; others admire her for her eloquent brushwork. However, her studies will help today’s biologists plot which insects lived where. These data are invaluable because this could help scientists predict what species will survive climate change.
Naomi Alderman discusses the life and legacy of Maria Merian with biologist and historian Kay Etheridge from Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania and biologist Kathy Willis from Kew Gardens.
QotD: “I would love to know, if it’s not the artificially constructed social status bestowed on them due to their biological sex under patriarchy, what left-wing men think makes any of them *not* women.”
I would love to know, if it’s not the artificially constructed social status bestowed on them due to their biological sex under patriarchy, what left-wing men think makes any of them *not* women. What do they assume they have/feel/think that women don’t?
I honestly don’t see any essential difference between me and these men beyond a) my female body and b) their social privilege. But obviously they have some magic qualities they just can’t bear to reveal.
Flanked by the upper Himalayan ranges, Ladakh is a remote region along
India’s northern tip.
The area is largely Buddhist and its monasteries attract thousands of tourists each year. But a little-known fact about Ladakh is that the region is also home to 28 nunneries.
Photographer Deepti Asthana chronicles the story of one such nunnery in a tiny village called Nyerma.
The tradition of nuns in Buddhism dates back to the time of the Buddha, who is believed to have advocated for the right of women to be ordained. But, over centuries, the status of nuns has declined. Unlike monks who always lived in monasteries, nuns never had a designated place to pray or live.
But since 2012, many elderly nuns in Ladakh have found a home at the Chattnyanling nunnery built by the Ladakh Nuns Association with the help of local villagers. “These women desperately needed help,” says Dr Tsering Palmo who founded the association. “They had no food to eat and a few even served their own families as domestic help.”
Lobzang Dolma, 85, is the oldest nun at Chattnyanling. Before she started living here, she had worked as an agricultural labourer in the fields.
Dr Palmo (centre, front row) is seen here with young nuns who attend a local school and also study Buddhist philosophy and medicine. Earlier, only monks were invited to attend or conduct rituals, but now young nuns are also being invited to recite holy texts. These rituals are also a source of income for them.
Dr Palmo says she has observed deep sexism in religious institutions and believes that a modern education will give young nuns the confidence to challenge the traditional order.
The Guardian, yet again, is calling a commercially raped child a ‘sex worker’.
In this article on Cyntoia Brown, who was first trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation at the age of sixteen, the first paragraph says this:
Celebrities including Rihanna, Cara Delevingne and Kim Kardashian West are calling for freedom from prison for a woman who was 16 years old when she killed a man who hired her as a sex worker.
At this point I can’t believe this is an accident; this is very deliberate, partisan language, “hired her as a sex worker”, not even “hired her for sex”, as if the situation was just a bug in the otherwise benign system of ‘sex work’.
I have written to the Guardian many times on this subject, and not ever received a reply (the Observer does better). Please feel free to use or adapt the below template:
I am writing to you, yet again, to complain about your use of the term ‘sex work’ in relation to a commercially sexually exploited child (in the article ‘Cyntoia Brown: celebrities call for victim of sex trafficking to be freed’ published online today).
Brown was sixteen years old when she was commercially raped (and had been sexually abused from a younger age), the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises anyone under the age of eighteen as a child, regardless of local age of consent laws. In New Zealand, where the sex industry has been decriminalised, only people over the age of eighteen can legally consent to ‘sex work’, so there is no justification to refer to Brown as a ‘sex worker’.
This use of language is harmful, it invisibilises the abusive system in which Brown was exploited, and invisibilises the role sex buyers play in this system. By calling Brown a ‘sex worker’ you sanitise the man who paid to rape her as someone merely engaging in a commercial transaction, rather than a predator who targeted the most vulnerable children.
The Guardian keeps asking for subscribers, I will not give you a penny while you continue to sanitise the harm done to vulnerable children, young people, and adults by uncritically using the term ‘sex work’ to describe commercial sexual exploitation.