South Wales police force area had second highest number of women killed by men across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, finds new report

The Femicide Census annual report[1], launched on Human Rights Day (10 December), found that at least 113 women were killed by men in Wales, England and Northern Ireland between 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2016. 9 in 10 women were killed by men they knew, and 85 women killed by men were killed at their home.


The number of women killed by men per police force area is greatest in three areas, with South Wales Police area (8 women killed by men) coming a close second to the Metropolitan Police area (12 women killed by men), followed by Greater Manchester police area (7 women killed by men).


Unlike these other forces, which have significantly larger population sizes, South Wales also features in the top five areas having the highest rate of femicides per population for that year. Three quarters of the women killed by men in the South Wales Police force area were killed by intimate partners.


Of the 113 women killed by men across Wales, England and Northern Ireland, 13 (12%) were killed in Wales. Notably, the report highlighted that femicide can affect women of any age, although women aged between 46 and 55 were most affected. It also found, that over two thirds of women killed by men were killed by their current or former male partner, representing the majority of femicides. Significantly, over three quarters of women killed by a former intimate partner were killed within the first year of separation.


Eleri Butler, Chief Executive, Welsh Women’s Aid, says:


“Femicide, which is the killing of women and girls by men, usually because they are women, is a devastating violation of human rights. That at least thirteen women were killed by men in Wales in 2016, with a further 100 women killed by men in England and Northern Ireland, is a stark and devastating reminder about the scale of this most extreme form of male violence against women which is caused by and further contributes to women’s inequality.


Wales introduced legislation in 2015 which required all agencies to make the prevention of violence against women and the protection of women and children their core business. So we urgently need further examination and explanation of why Gwent, Dyfed-Powys and North Wales police force areas combined saw five women killed by men in 2016 and why South Wales features as one of the areas with the highest number of women killed by police area and per population.


Until the connections are made between all forms of male violence against women, like sexual violence, so-called ‘honour-based violence’, prostitution or domestic abuse, and until this most serious form of discrimination against women and girls is taken seriously, women will continue to be killed, controlled, harmed and deprived of their liberty, by men.


Men’s fatal violence against women is the most extreme form of violence against women that is largely predictable and preventable, yet we too easily tolerate it as a society and fail to invest in prevention, early intervention and crisis support for women and children who need help.


The fact that women are most at risk after leaving a relationship shows the importance of the lifesaving support provided by specialist services across Wales. Violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence specialist services that help women recover from abuse need sustainable investment by government and public services. Perpetrators of abuse need to face robust sanctions which challenge and hold them to account for their behaviour. Things need to change if we are serious about making sure that no woman or girl should be killed because they are women and girls, and that everyone in Wales can live free from violence and abuse.”


Anyone affected by domestic abuse, sexual violence or any other form of violence against women in Wales can contact the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 or via its webchat provision for 24-hour, confidential information and support, and help to access local services.


Notes to Editors:


  • For further information, or to arrange interviews, please contact Tina Reece (Head of Engagement) at Welsh Women’s Aid on 07950 381355 or [email protected]
  • The Femicide Census annual report is published by Women’s Aid Federation of England on 10 December 2017 at The Femicide Census was developed by Karen Ingala Smith and Women’s Aid England working in partnership, with support from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Deloitte LLP. The Femicide Census aims to provide a clearer picture of men’s fatal violence against women, committed by partners, ex-partners, male relatives, acquaintances, colleagues and strangers. The Femicide Census annual report summarises the early findings on cases of femicide in 2016.
  • Welsh Women’s Aid is the Wales umbrella body for violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence specialist  services in the third sector in Wales. Our aim is to end such violence and abuse and ensure survivors have access to high-quality, needs-led and strengths-based support so that they can live safe, healthy and equal lives free from abuse. We act as the voice of the specialist sector to influence and improve policy, legislation and practice for the benefit of survivors, working in partnership with services, survivors and other stakeholders to end to violence against women in all its forms.
  •  More information is available at
  • To donate £3 to Welsh Women’s Aid to help us continue our work to end violence against women and children in Wales please text ‘BLHI37 £3’ to 70070.
  • Anyone affected by violence against women, domestic abuse or sexual violence in Wales can contact the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 for 24/7, for confidential information and support.

[1] Published by Women’s Aid England and Karen Ingala Smith